Carambola or star fruit is one of the popular exotic fruits for its wealth of nutrients. It is a crunchy, juicy fruit with a sweet and tart flavour, comes in two varieties a smaller one which is sour and a larger sweeter one. It is scientifically termed as Averrhoa carambola and the species is a native tree to South East tropical countries - Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines and also cultivated commercially in India. The fruit shaped like a five-point star, when cut looks like a star, hence it is named as star fruit.
The fruit is familiar as beliming manis or baliming in South East Asian parts and kamrakh in Hindi, ambanamkaya in Telugu, thambaratham in Tamil and vairapulli in Malayalam. Carambola or star fruit can be relished as juice, smoothies’ jams and pickled.
Star fruit comes with a rich array of essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B5, folate and minerals zinc, sodium, magnesium, copper and potassium. It is relatively low in calories providing 28 calories and 6 grams of carbs per serving. Star fruit is loaded with umpteen amounts of antioxidants like quercetin, gallic acid, proanthocyanins and epicatechin. The powerful antioxidant properties in star fruit are beneficial in lowering inflammation, cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of fatty liver.
Health Benefits Of Star Fruit
Carambola fruit is loaded with dietary fibre that helps in flushing out fat and cholesterol. Evidence shows that the hypolipidemic effect of carambola fruits is effective in preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver. The host of plant compounds such as flavonoids, phytosterols, saponins and phytochemicals in this star fruit uses fats as a source of energy and thus clears the excess cholesterol out of the body and lowers the risk of heart disease.
A study published in the journal Pharmacological Sciences reveals that star fruit functions as a potent natural supplement in preventing cancer. The ripe fruit is a storehouse of antioxidant and even the peel of star fruit possesses strong anticancerous properties. Being rich in fibre star fruit cleanses the colon, clears out the toxins and lowers the risk of colon cancer.
The richness of natural dietary fibre in star fruit functions well to ease the symptoms of constipation, lowers bloating, flatulence, cramping and diarrhea. In addition, star fruit aids in proper assimilation of the nutrients and increases the bioavailability of essential vitamins and minerals. Evidence shows that carambola leaves decoction is used to treat inflammation, by flushing out the toxins and bacteria causing inflammation of the gut. Ripe star fruit and leaves serve as a gut-friendly natural remedy to keep digestive problems at bay.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Evidence strongly reveals that carambola leaves extracts inhibit the contraction of blood vessels, improves the blood circulation throughout the body and averts the rise in blood pressure. The host of plant compounds such as flavonoids, phytochemicals and saponins also exhibits blood pressure lowering effects.
Sustains Weight Loss
Star fruit is one of the preferred choices of fruit for all dieters as it is low in calories and dense in fibre. The presence of good amount of fibre boost metabolism, keep you satiated, curbs appetite and helps in losing weight.
Star fruit is generally not safe for people suffering from kidney ailments, as it is rich in oxalates which may lead to kidney damage. People with kidney problems should consult the doctor before consuming the fruit.