Starfruit

Starfruit is a delicious yellow fruit with the tinge of green and brown color. They taste tangy, acidic and sweetish with a flavor similar to pineapples, lemons, and plums. It is oblongly shaped, characterized by five ridges and a waxy, smooth skin surface.

Distribution

These fruits are native to India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka but also found all over East Asia, the South Pacific region, and South East Asia. Its massive cultivation is being done in Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Guyana, Brazil, Dominican Republic (West Indies) and Ecuador.

Other Names

  • Averrhoa carambola (Scientific name)
  • Carambola
  • Belimbig (Indonesia)
  • Carambolier (France)
  • Tamarattai (Tamil)
  • Karmal (Hindi)
  • Kamarakh (Urdu)
  • Fuang (Laos)
  • Saranate (Philippines)
  • Khe (In Vietnam)
  • Karambole (Germany)

Nutritional Facts

Per 100 gram of star, fruit contains

Nutrients Amounts
Carbohydrates 9.38 gm
Calories 35.7 gm
Protein 0.38 gm
Fiber 0.80-0.90 gm
Fat 0.08 gm
Ash 0.26-0.40 gm
Moisture 89-91 gm
Calcium 4.4-6 mg
Ascorbic Acid 26-53.1 mg
Niacin 0.294-0.38 mg
Thiamine 0.03-0.038 mg
Riboflavin 0.019-0.03 mg
Iron 0.32-1.65 mg
Carotene 0.003-0.552 mg
Phosphorous 15.5-21 mg

Health Benefits

The fruit contains about 92% water content in it including other crucial nutrients that prevent dehydration and adds nutritional value to the body. It provides low calorie and has a high amount of fiber which makes it a healthy fruit.

The extract of its root and leaf helps in the treatment of headaches and chickenpox. In some tribal communities, folks prefer to tie the leaves of the starfruit to the temples of the individuals. It provides relief from the problems and migraines. Starfruit assists in reducing cholesterol levels in the body and treats hangovers. This fruit is an effective cure for sore eyes conditions, and it controls stools by adding mass and moisture to them. The fruit also stimulates the production of breast milk in pregnant women.

Side Effects

  • Affects the kidney when consumed on a daily basis
  • Damages the kidney in many cases
  • Causes the Oxaluria
  • Overconsumption can elevate the toxicity level in the body
  • Can lead to several neurological problems like seizures, confusion, etc.

Culinary Uses

  • Eaten raw in the form of vegetable and fruit
  • Used in Salads
  • The ripe fruit is utilized in dessert

Medicinal Uses

  • Juice is conventionally used as a face scrubber that helps in removing pimples, dark circles and enhances the complexion by cleansing and smoothening action.
  • Hair washing with starfruit’s juice controls and eradicates the dirt and dandruff
  • Extracted pure juice contains antibacterial characteristics that fight against several infection-causing bacteria specifically Staphylococcus. This bacteria is the causing agent of various skin problems and digestion associated ailments
  • Prevents our skin from fungal infections due to its antifungal traits
  • The powdered or crushed seed contains sedative properties that aid in the treatment of asthma and colic

Other Uses

  • The acidic extract of this fruit is administered into polishing and cleaning metals such as brass
  • Acidic feature helps in dissolving rust and prevents tarnishing
  • Fruit and its extracts are also used for bleaching and dyeing processes
  • Tree wood is utilized in making furniture and other home decors

Varieties

  • Thai Night
  • B 10
  • B 16
  • Fwang Tung
  • B 6
  • Wheeler
  • Hart
  • Maha
  • Giant Siam
  • Arkin
  • IU-THO

Season of Starfruit

They are not restricted to any specific season because of flowering 3 to 5 times in a year. However, generally, starfruits are harvested from June to August.

During Pregnancy

Starfruit is safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy. It holds several nutritional components that reduce body cholesterol, maintains blood pressure and minimizes hypertension. It also prevents Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

How to Eat?

  • Firstly, wash the fruit by scrubbing with your fingers
  • Slice off both ends of starfruit slightly if you want
  • With the help of a sharp knife make thin slices in the shape of star by cutting across the broader side
  • Use the knife to remove the visible seed from the center of sliced fruit or consume with the seed because the entire fruit is edible

Recipes

  • Chutney
  • Starfruit smoothie
  • Pickle
  • Starfruit spritizer/quencher
  • Jam and jellies
  • Carambola fruit Salad
  • Starfruit Salad dressing
  • Starfruit Rasam
  • Gin cocktail
  • Sangria
  • Starfruit and cucumber juice
  • Starfruit sorbet
  • Tropical slushie
  • Spiced star fruit salad
  • Starfruit cake

Interesting Facts

  • These plants can survive (lifespan) for around 40 years
  • The tree corrugate its leaves during the night if any vibration happens
  • Starfruit blossom every year, therefore, termed as non-seasonal
  • Starts producing fruits after three to four years of plantation
  • According to the average estimation, a mature tree produces around 200 to 400 pounds of the fruit per year
  • The tree possesses compound leaves consisting of 5 to 11 completely different pairs of oblong or ovate leaflets
  • This fruit responds to the propagation by grafting as well as seed

Storage

Starfruits can be stored for a more extended period in refrigerators by wrapped in plastic bags even in hot climates. Also, they can last for at least a week in the freezer. However, they can also survive at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

References

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