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 the fruit in the form of juice. As the fruit is deliciously diverse, it can be consumed in so many different wonderful ways.
In appearance, the star fruit is an oval-shaped fruit with five ridges that stretch longitudinally across. It is these very ridges that give it the appearance of a star when viewed cross-sectionally, hence, the name – Star Fruit. The fruit is both sweet and sour based on the variety you choose. Some sour varieties even turn sweet over time as they ripen. In addition to these many characteristics, the fruit possesses several nutrients that will not only provide the body with essential nutrients but also keep you healthy for the long run.
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Nutritional Value of Star Fruit
Star fruit is a low-calorie but high- fibre food that makes it exceptionally healthy. It is also low on fat but loaded with Vitamin B, Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, iron and several important antioxidants making it an all-round healthy snack.
For every 100g of serving, you consume:
- Fat 0.3g
- Carbohydrates 7g
- Dietary Fiber 2.8g
- Protein 1g
Health Benefits of Star Fruit
Star fruit is both delicious and nutritious at the same time. Its sweet and tangy taste 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.
1. Prevents Inflammation
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 toxins, and its anti-inflammatory qualities help with skin conditions like dermatitis. It also helps your body to fight against flu and common colds. Consuming such a rich source of vitamin C can significantly build up your tolerance for cold and strength against infections.
Furthermore, vitamin C is also required by the body to make collagen found in bones, muscles and cartilages. It also helps in absorbing another essential nutrient – iron. Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, bad skin, slow tissue healing and fatigue. Incorporating star fruit in your diet will ensure your vitamin C levels are always optimal.
2. Good for the Heart
Star Fruit is loaded with important minerals like sodium and potassium that regulate your blood pressure. Healthy levels of both these minerals will ensure that your blood pressure never fluctuates radically and your heartbeat rhythm stays stable. It also contains calcium that is again very beneficial for your heart. Healthy amounts of calcium in the body can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases like strokes and cardiac arrests. It ensures robust blood circulation and fluid balance in the body, thus reducing your chances of developing heart diseases.
3. Fights Diabetes and High Cholesterol
100g of star fruit contains 2.8g of fruit fibre that helps check your blood sugar level. Fruit fibre curtails glucose-release that happens after you eat something. 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 both diabetic and non-diabetic people.
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.
4. Better Digestion and Metabolism
The rich presence of dietary fibre in this fruit has another health advantage- it improves your digestion. It helps in regulating the size and 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 betters your bowel health. Good bowel health will also ameliorate other symptoms of poor digestion like cramps and bloating.
The fruit is also a rich source of Vitamin B that 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. Both these vitamins regulate your metabolism and make sure that your hormone and enzyme levels stay within the normal range.
5. Healthy Hair and Skin
The rich presence of antioxidants along with vitamin B and C in starfruit aids healing of skin and hair cells which in turn leads to shining hair and glowing skin. More particularly antioxidants like gallic acid and quercetin display immense anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
6. Regulates Weight
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 making you satiated for long.
Can Star Fruit be Consumed by Anybody?
Despite its numerous health benefits, star fruit should be avoided by people suffering from kidney ailments. It contains neurotoxins that are harmless to people with normal functioning kidneys but not so much for people suffering from kidney ailments. Such people are unable to flush the neurotoxin out of the body resulting in severe illness.
However, the rest can enjoy this fruit without any compunction.
Healthy Ways to Consume Star Fruit
You can use some of the below-mentioned healthy recipes to savour the fruit and reap all its health benefits.
#1 Star Fruit Strawberry Smoothie
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
- 1 cup star fruit
- 1 cup strawberries
- ¾ cup of water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup mango Process: –
- Chop all the fruits and put them in the blender.
- Once blended to your preferred consistency, serve
#2 Star Fruit Shrimp Salad
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
- 1 cup cooked shrimp
- 5 star fruits
- 1 cucumber
- ½ cup red onions
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Put the cooked shrimp in the salad bowl.
- Add star fruits along with chopped cucumber, onion and fresh mint leaves into the bowl.
- Prepare the salad dressing by mixing lemon juice, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
- Mix it well and pour over the salad.
- It is best served fresh.
#3 Star Fruit Pickle
Another way to truly enjoy star fruit is to pickle it, the Indian way.
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes.
- 6 star fruits
- 5 tablespoons mustard oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 4 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 – 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- Wash and dry star fruits. Later cut them up into star shapes.
- Roast and grind mustard and fennel seeds.
- Add the ground seeds’ mixture along with the star fruits and spices in the pickling jar.
- Let it sit for a day.
- After a day has passed, heat some mustard oil and pour into the pickle jar.
- Keep in sunlight for at least 4 days before using.
The succulent star fruit is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful to look at. This fruit is extremely healthy. It is packed with several important nutrients such as Vitamin C and Fibre, which will keep you in good health and shape. Its consumption is also associated with a myriad of health benefits such as:
- Improved Digestion
- Increased Metabolism
- Healthier Skin and hair
- Prevents heart and blood-sugar related disease
It is also a very versatile fruit that can be prepared in a variety of ways, thus making sure you never get bored of eating this incredible fruit.