7 Fascinating Facts About Star Fruit

Did you know that a single star fruit tree can bear 200-400 pounds of fruit annually?

The star fruit, also known as carambola, is a visually appealing fruit with a distinct star-shaped appearance and bright yellow ridges.

Have you ever tasted star fruit? Here are seven juicy facts about this tropical fruit.

The Star Fruit Tree is Native to Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka

The Averrhoa carambola tree, which produces the beautiful star fruit, is indigenous to Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.

Although the tree thrives in tropical regions, it can also be found in the South Pacific, Micronesia, and the Caribbean. Star fruit trees are bushy with a short, thick trunk, and can grow as wide as they are tall.

A mature tree can reach heights of 25-30 feet (7.5 – 9 meters) and widths of 20-25 feet (6 – 7.5 meters). They bear fruit after three to four years and have a lifespan of around 40 years in the wild.

A single tree can produce between 200-400 pounds (90-180 kilograms) of fruit per year.

The Fruit is Named After Its Star-Like Shape

While the star fruit is officially known as carambola or birambi, it is popularly referred to as star fruit due to its oblong shape with five ridges that resemble a star when cut.

The fruit’s light green or yellow color also adds to its nickname.

Star Fruit is Used in Traditional Medicine

Star fruit is frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, which originates from traditional Indian medicine.

The fruit is believed to help eliminate excess water from the body and can aid in the treatment of fevers, coughs, skin inflammation, diarrhea, and jaundice.

Furthermore, the roots and leaves of the star fruit tree are used to treat ringworm infections, chickenpox, and headaches. Star fruit is also used to prevent cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer due to its disease-preventing properties.

Star Fruit is Nutrient-Rich

Star fruit is packed with essential nutrients. It contains vitamins B2, B6, B9, and vitamin C, as well as minerals such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

The fruit also contains magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber, making it a healthy choice. A medium-sized star fruit weighing approximately 3.21 ounces (91 grams) contains roughly 28-30 calories per fruit.

Eating Star Fruit Can Be Harmful to Some People

Although star fruit is safe for most people, it can be harmful to those with renal problems, such as kidney disease, as it contains oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones.

If you have kidney disease, it is recommended that you avoid consuming star fruit.

Star fruit is a fruit that contains a neurotoxin that cannot be digested by someone with kidney disease. This toxin stays in the body and causes serious illness. As little as 3.52 oz (100ml) of star fruit juice can lead to star fruit poisoning, which can cause hiccups, mental confusion, seizures, and, in some cases, death. It is best to avoid star fruit if you are taking medication. The fruit contains activity from the CYP3A4 enzyme, which can affect metabolism and disrupt the breakdown of medication. There are two main varieties of star fruit: sweet and tart. The tart variety is often used in savory dishes, while the sweet variety is eaten by itself or used to make juices, cocktails, jellies, and sweet desserts. Star fruit is a popular antioxidant and has many health benefits when eaten regularly.

FAQ

1. What is star fruit and where does it come from?

Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. It is now grown in many other parts of the world, including Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. The fruit is named for its unique shape, which resembles a star when sliced crosswise. It has a sweet and tangy flavor, with a texture similar to that of grapes.

2. What are the health benefits of star fruit?

Star fruit is a good source of several important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It is also low in calories, making it a great option for those watching their weight. Some studies have suggested that star fruit may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and may even help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

3. How do you prepare and eat star fruit?

To prepare star fruit, simply wash it and slice it crosswise into thin, star-shaped pieces. The fruit can be eaten raw, either on its own or as part of a fruit salad. It can also be cooked and used in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries and desserts. When eating star fruit, be sure to remove any seeds, as they are not edible and can be toxic in large amounts.

4. Are there any risks associated with eating star fruit?

For most people, star fruit is a safe and healthy food. However, for those with kidney disease, consuming star fruit can be dangerous. The fruit contains a substance called oxalic acid, which can build up in the body and cause kidney damage. If you have kidney disease, it is important to speak with your doctor before adding star fruit to your diet.

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