Star Fruit – Benefits, Nutritional Facts, & Healthy Recipes
July 7, 2023
July 7, 2023
Star fruit is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. It has gained popularity across the world for its myriad of uses and benefits. Biting into the star fruit is extremely satisfying as it is both crunchy and juicy.
In some areas, it is relished as a local delicacy, while other areas consume it as a delightful exotic fruit. Every region has incorporated this fruit uniquely into its local cuisine. The Chinese prefer it with fish. Australians pickle it. Jamaicans dry it. Filipinos eat it simply with salt, while Indians prefer this fruit in the form of juice.
In appearance, the star fruit is an oval-shaped fruit with five ridges that stretch longitudinally across. It is these ridges that give it the appearance of a star when viewed cross-sectionally, hence, the name – Star Fruit.
The fruit can be either sweet or sour based on the variety you choose. Some sour varieties even turn sweet over time as they ripen.
In addition to these characteristics, the fruit possesses several nutrients that will not only provide the body with essential nutrients but also keep you healthy in the long run.
Starfruit is a low-calorie but high-fibre food that makes it exceptionally healthy. It is also low in fat but loaded with Vitamin B, Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, iron and several important antioxidants making it an all-around healthy snack.
As per USDA, 100 grams of star fruit contains the following nutrients
The sweet and tangy taste of star fruit can be savoured without any guilt because it comes power-packed with several health-enhancing nutrients. Below are some of the advantages of consuming star fruit.
The star fruit is a good source of vitamin C. A single serving of this fruit can take care of 57% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake. Vitamin C cleanses your body’s toxins, and its anti-inflammatory qualities help with skin conditions like dermatitis.
It also helps your body to fight against the flu and common colds. According to research, adequate consumption of vitamin C can significantly build up your tolerance for colds and strength against infections.
Furthermore, research shows that vitamin C is also required by the body to make collagen found in bones, muscles and cartilage. It also helps in absorbing another essential nutrient – iron.
Studies show that a deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, bad skin, slow tissue healing and fatigue. Incorporating star fruit into your diet will ensure your vitamin C levels are always optimal.
Star Fruit is loaded with important minerals like sodium and potassium that regulate your blood pressure.
As per research healthy levels of both these minerals will ensure that your blood pressure doesn’t fluctuate radically and your heartbeat rhythm stays stable. It also contains calcium which is again very beneficial for your heart.
Healthy amounts of calcium ensure robust blood circulation and fluid balance in the body, thus reducing your chances of developing heart disease.
100g of star fruit contains 2.8g of fruit fibre that helps check your blood sugar level It slows the absorption of sugar from food, and therefore helps prevent spikes in blood sugar. By doing this, it helps regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Eating food that is high in fibre can prevent diabetes and can also actively help people already suffering from diabetes. Since star fruit is so easy to eat and rich in fibre, it makes for a healthy, guilt-free snack for diabetics.
Being high in fibre also helps in tackling high cholesterol and resulting in susceptibility to heart ailments. Moreover, every 100g of this fruit contains just 0.3g of fat, making it extremely suitable for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
The rich presence of dietary fibre in this fruit has another health advantage- it improves your digestion. According to research, fibre helps in regulating the softness of your stool, making it easy to pass through your system.
People suffering from constipation will find relief as this fruit stimulates your digestion and improves your bowel health. Good bowel health will also tackle other symptoms of poor digestion like cramps and bloating.
The fruit is also a rich source of Vitamin B which is crucial for normal cell functioning and development. Star fruit contains two types of Vitamin B- riboflavin and folate also referred to as folic acid in dietary supplements. Research says that both these vitamins regulate your metabolism and make sure that your hormone and enzyme levels stay within the normal range.
Star fruit’s high vitamin C content acts as a potent antioxidant, which helps protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals. Studies prove that vitamin C also plays a vital role in collagen synthesis, a protein that maintains the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Consuming star fruit can aid in promoting youthful-looking skin and reducing the signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
In terms of hair health, star fruit’s nutrient profile supports strong and lustrous locks. The presence of vitamin C aids in collagen production, which strengthens the hair strands and promotes healthy growth. Additionally, star fruit’s hydration properties help keep the hair and scalp moisturised, preventing dryness, itchiness, and dandruff. Regular consumption of star fruit can contribute to vibrant and healthy-looking hair.
Being low in sugar makes the star fruit an ideal snack to munch on without worrying about gaining weight. The high fibre content also makes your metabolism work fast, ensuring you burn your calories quickly.
Foods that are higher in fibre are also more filling than their low-fibre counterparts, thereby keeping you satiated for longer periods of time.
Star fruit, with its sweet and tangy taste, is a nutrient powerhouse that offers numerous health benefits. It is rich in vitamin C, which helps prevent inflammation, boosts the immune system, and promotes collagen production for healthy skin and hair. The fruit’s mineral content, including sodium, potassium, and calcium, supports heart health and regulates blood pressure. Star fruit’s high fibre content aids in digestion, regulates blood sugar levels and promotes weight management. Additionally, it contributes to better hair and skin health, providing hydration and essential nutrients. With its low sugar content, star fruit can be enjoyed as a guilt-free snack.
While star fruit can offer various health benefits, it’s important to consider a few precautions and potential risks associated with its consumption. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Kidney Function: Star fruit contains natural compounds called oxalates, which can be harmful to individuals with kidney problems. Oxalates can accumulate in the body and form crystals, potentially leading to kidney stone formation. If you have kidney disease or a history of kidney stones, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming star fruit.
Medication Interactions: Star fruit contains certain substances that can interact with medications. It may inhibit the activity of specific liver enzymes responsible for metabolizing certain drugs, leading to higher drug levels in the body. This can potentially cause adverse effects or affect the efficacy of medications. If you’re taking any prescription medications, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating star fruit into your diet.
Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to star fruit. Allergies can manifest as itching, swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing. If you have a known allergy to star fruit or other fruits in the Oxalidaceae family (such as kiwi or strawberries), it’s best to avoid consuming star fruit.
Moderation: As with any food, moderation is key. While star fruit can be a nutritious addition to your diet, consuming excessive amounts may lead to digestive discomfort, including diarrhoea or an upset stomach. It’s recommended to consume star fruit in moderation and in the context of a balanced diet.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should exercise caution when consuming star fruit. While star fruit is generally considered safe, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your diet during these stages.
You can use some of the below-mentioned healthy recipes to savour the fruit and reap all its health benefits.
This nourishing vegan smoothie is a great way to curb those incessant hunger pangs while making sure your body gets all its necessary vitamins and minerals.
Prep time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 2 minutes
This delicious dish is a beautiful amalgamation of different flavours and textures. It is crunchy, juicy and refreshing- a great dish by itself or an equally great accompaniment to regular lunch/dinner options.
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 10 minutes
Another way to truly enjoy star fruit is to pickle it, the Indian way.
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Star fruit works wonders on the skin as mentioned earlier. Apart from consuming and reaping its benefits, star fruit can be used in a homemade face mask as well. Take 1 medium-sized starfruit and blend it into a thick puree along with 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and mix it. Massage onto your entire face or problem areas and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water and pat your skin dry.
In conclusion, star fruit is a delicious and nutritious tropical fruit that offers a wide range of health benefits. Packed with vitamin C, minerals, and fibre, it supports overall well-being and promotes optimal functioning of various body systems. From its anti-inflammatory properties to its positive effects on heart health, digestion, blood sugar regulation, and weight management, star fruit proves to be a valuable addition to a healthy diet. Moreover, its potential benefits for skin and hair health make it an excellent choice for enhancing one’s natural beauty. So go ahead and savour the unique flavour of star fruit while reaping its many nutritional advantages.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
A: Star fruit is rich in vitamin C, minerals like potassium and calcium, and dietary fibre. It also contains antioxidants that help protect against free radicals and promote overall health.
A: Yes, star fruit can be beneficial for weight loss due to its low sugar content and high fibre content. The fibre helps promote the feeling of fullness and aids in digestion, while the low-calorie content makes it a healthy snack option.
A: While star fruit can be consumed by people with diabetes, it’s important to monitor portion sizes due to its carbohydrate content. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate amount for your individual dietary needs.
A: When selecting star fruit, choose ones that are firm and brightly coloured. Avoid fruits with bruises or blemishes. Store star fruit at room temperature until ripe, and then refrigerate it for up to a week. It’s best to consume ripe star fruit within a few days to enjoy its optimal flavour and nutritional benefits.
A: While the most common type of star fruit is the yellow variety, there are also green-skinned star-fruits available. Both types offer similar nutritional benefits and can be used interchangeably in recipes.
A: Yes, star fruit can be consumed by children as part of a balanced diet. However, it’s important to introduce it gradually and monitor for any allergic reactions or digestive issues. As with any new food, it’s advisable to consult with a paediatrician if you have any concerns.