Star Fruit Facts and Health Benefits 101

Overview and Facts about Star Fruit

The carambola or star fruit is a type of tropical fruit that has become increasingly popular in the US. The fruit gets its name via the star-shape look it has when sliced across the middle. The star fruit features waxy, green to golden yellow skin with a mixed flavor that resembles the lemon, pineapple and plum.

Originated from the Moluccas and Sri Lanka, and grown in Malaysia and Southeast Asia for several centuries, the star fruit has got several other names including: belimbing, bilimbi, Chinese star fruit, the star apple and five-angled fruit. These days, star fruit thrives in Hawaii and south Florida as it endures growing in a warm atmosphere.

Two kinds of star fruit are cultivated, sour and sweet. Sour varieties usually contain narrowly spaced ribs, whereas sweet varieties generally have thick, fleshy ribs. In general, the flavors between the two varieties are difficult to distinguish, as the sour variety nevertheless has some sweetness in it. The carambola is easily available between July and February.

Ripe Golden Yellow Star Fruit - Whole and Sliced 

Health Benefits of Star Fruit

  • The star fruit is an excellent source of ascorbic acid, which is important to the fitness of your body, as it assists in maintaining bones, teeth, mucus membranes, skin and improves the immune system. Based on Nutrition Data, which is responsible to make reports on nutritional facts for Department of Agriculture in the United States, a single cup of sliced carambola has 37.2 mg of vitamin C.
  • The star fruit provides little amounts of the B vitamins such as vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, and the derivatives may help lower cholesterol and speed up wound recovery. In addition, it contains folate or vitamin B9 that is essential for preventing birth defects as well as for reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
  • The fruit has beta-carotene, which can be converted into retinol or vitamin A in your body for good vision and appetite.
  • The star fruit contains both antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Extracts of the fruit proved antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus, E. coli, Salmonella typhi and Staphylococcus aureus.
  • The fruit contains small quantities of potassium, which regulate blood pressure level; iron for balanced red blood cells; as well as calcium and magnesium, which function together to help fortify bones.
  • The star fruit is rich in soluble fiber, which can be useful to reduce cholesterol levels and keep your bowels healthy. 

How to Choose and Buy Star Fruit?

  • Pick firm, shiny fruit with even color. The star fruit may ripen at ordinary room temperature and you can see light brownish edges on the fruit ribs when it is fully ripe.
  • Avoid buying fruit that has brown, shrivelled ribs. It is also sold dried. 

How to Store Star Fruit?

  • Non-ripe fruit ought to be turned frequently, until they become yellow and having light brown ribs.
  • You may store ripe star fruit at normal room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag for as many as a week.

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