What is Star fruit?
Star fruit is a small, bushy evergreen tree that grows very well under hot, humid, tropical conditions. The plant bears small lilac colored, bell-shaped flowers in clusters which subsequently develop into oblong shaped fruits with characteristic five angled edges (sides or ribs) that appear like a starfish in cross sections. Both sweet and sour varieties begin to yield under cultivable orchards, and ready for harvesting when the plants reach about 3-4 years old.
The star shaped tropical fruit also known as carambola, is a with sweet and sour flavor. It has a sweet, slightly tangy flavor. Some compare it to a blend of papaya, orange, and grapefruit, while others find it comparable to a mix of pineapple and lemon. The fruit can be sliced and enjoyed on its own, but it can also be added to other dishes and drinks. Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare and eat star fruit.
Health Benefits of Star fruit
Works on Immunity: Star fruit is rich in Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that is considered to be one of the best anti-oxidants for the body. It provides 34.4 mg of Vitamin C which is 57% of daily need.
As Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, it Star fruit health benefits and boosts the immune system to fight against cold, flu and other common infections.
Improves Iron Absorption: Iron is what makes the pigment hemoglobin that lends the colour “red” to our blood.
But more than the colour it provides our body a vehicle that transports oxygen to all parts and organs.
Usually deficiency of Iron is called Anemia, and it comes with symptoms like paleness on the tongue, dark under eye circles, persistent drowsiness, headaches, tiredness and dizziness.
Even with the high amount of iron rich food, you might not be able to get all the benefits because iron needs Vitamin C for effective absorption.
Of all the nutrients, Star fruit has Vitamin C as the most abundant in its composition. By facilitating the absorption of Iron, Star fruit indirectly leads to better hemoglobin levels and alleviate Anemia.
Help individuals sleep better: Starfruit have been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Starfruit also help regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.
Hair Benefits: Star fruit allows other nutrients that are good for the body and hair to circulate more freely. It’s an excellent natural cure for hair loss since it is a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C which can help delay the natural ageing process. B-complex vitamin, which is essential for hair growth and help in keeping hair strong and healthy, is abundantly available in start fruit.
Uses of Star fruit
- Slice it and eat.
- Add it to salads or other fresh dishes.
- Use it as a garnish.
- Cook it into pies or puddings.
- Add it to Asian- or Indian-style stews and curries.
- Cook it with seafood or shellfish dishes.
- Prepare it in a jam, jelly or chutney.
- Juice it and drink as a beverage.
Traditional Medicinal Uses: Preparations of the leaves and roots have been used to cure headaches, hangovers, sore eyes, ringworm, prickly heat and chickenpox. Given to nursing mothers it is believed to stimulate the flow of milk.