Star fruit: nutrition, health benefits and How to eat

Star fruit: nutrition, health benefits and How to eat

What is starfruit?

 Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a tropical fruit that looks like a star when you cut it. Immature star fruit is dark green, but its thin skin turns bright yellow as it matures. Star fruits are oval in shape and usually 3 to 5 inches long.
It grows in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, but can be found all over the world. Star fruit has many health benefits, but it can be dangerous if you have kidney disease.
Star fruit is a nutritious fruit that contains vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Star fruit tree

Star fruit grows on Averrhoa carambola. The plants grow well in sunny, humid areas such as Southeast Asia, South America, Australia and parts of the United States.


Starfruit taste

Ripe star fruit is fleshy, crunchy and juicy, and has a sweet tart taste. Small star fruit are more tart than large fruit. Ripe star fruit can have a sweet or sour taste. 

Star fruit nutrition
Star fruit is low in calories and contains many vitamins and other nutrients, including the following:

  • Fiber
  •  Protein
  •  Vitamin C
  •  Vitamin B5
  • Folate
  •  Copper
  •  Potassium
  •  Magnesium

Health benefits of star fruit
Anti-inflammatory power

The high amount of antioxidants in this fruit makes it a good anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and dermatitis.

 Promotes weight loss

 The fiber in star fruit can boost your metabolism and help you feel full longer, so you can eat less. It is also a low calorie food.
Ability to boost immunity

 Star fruit provides you with healthy vitamin C, which helps your body produce white blood cells that fight for a strong immune system.
Improved heart health

The potassium in star fruit helps lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke. Studies show that it can also lower cholesterol levels. 

Improved digestion

The fiber in star fruit helps move waste through the digestive tract, reducing constipation, flatulence, bloating and diarrhea.


Side effects of star fruit
Eating star fruit is dangerous if you have kidney disease.
Star fruit contains many beneficial nutrients, but they also contain a substance called caramboxin which is a neurotoxin. This means it can affect your brain and cause problems with your nervous system. Another substance found in starfruit, oxalate, can damage the liver, leading to reduced kidney function. If your kidneys are healthy, they can process and remove toxins from your body. But if you have kidney disease, toxins remain in your body and can cause serious illness. 

Symptoms of starfruit poisoning include:

  •  Hiccups
  •  Mental confusion
  •  Seizures

 If you have kidney disease, you should not eat star fruit.

 Drug interactions with starfruit
Like some other fruits, star fruit can change the way some prescription drugs work in your body. Ask your doctor if star fruit is safe to eat with your medication. Avoid eating star fruit if you are taking:

  • Bosutinib
  • Panobinostat
  •  Venetoclax

Where to buy starfruit
You can find starfruit at local grocery stores, usually year-round. In the United States, fruit is harvested twice a year in South Florida: from August to September and from December to February.

 How to eat star fruit
Star fruit is very tasty when ripe. Here are some ways people around the world are getting starfruit:
Eat star fruit raw, alone or with other fruits

Try combining fruits with avocados, kiwis, mangoes and bananas in a fruit salad.
Cook it as part of main dish

Star fruit is used in many recipes, including Vietnamese sour soup (often with seafood) and Indian curries.
Prepare puree, jam or pickle

You can store star fruit to store in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy later. In India, star fruit is used for some chutneys.

 Create edible garnish. 

You can saute star fruit slices for two or two minutes and sprinkle it with sugar for icing. Pair it with fish and poultry dishes, or substitute lemon or lime wedges to garnish chilled drinks.
Drink it.

Use a juicer to extract starfruit juice or add chopped starfruit to your blender with other fruits for a smoothie.
How to cut star fruit
To create a "star" slice, follow these steps:

  •  Wash the ripe star fruit with water, then place it on a cutting board.
  •  Carefully run a sharp knife around each of the five ridges, removing and discarding the outer brown edges. You don't need to clean other people's skin.
  •  Place the starfruit in a row on the cutting board, and start cutting across to the desired size. 
  • Remove the seeds from each star slice before cooking or serving.

 How to store star fruit
If you buy green star fruit, let it ripen in a warm room, turning occasionally, until it turns yellow and its "scent" is fragrant.You're looking for a floral scent, which means the fruit tastes best. 

You can store ripe fruit indoors if you plan to serve them within a day or two. Ripe fruit will keep for a while in the refrigerator. You will know that the star fruit is ripe when it has many brown spots.


Star fruit is a delicious and nutritious fruit, low in calories but high in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. People with kidney problems or those taking prescription medications should consult their doctor before consuming this fruit. 

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