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Superfoods: Starfruit

Star Fruit: Nature’s Shining Wonder

Grown throughout Southeast Asia for centuries, star fruit is also known as carambola, which some say derived from a Sanskrit word “karmaranga” which means “food appetiser.” Its other names include belimbing, Chinese star fruit, five-angled fruit, and the star apple. The fruit is said to have been originated in Sri Lanka or Moluccas, Indonesia. Others claim it was first discovered in India by Portuguese seafarers who brought it to Africa and South America. Malaysia takes the credit as the leading producer of star fruits.

  • A great source of polyphenols, which are a potent anti-oxidant that can fight cardiovascular inflammation
  • This sweet and sour fruit is truly a dieter’s delight as a typical star fruit has no more than 33 calories and 0.4 g of fat
  • High in fibre, which helps to regulate the digestive system, and prevents constipation
  • Has zero cholesterol and is fat-free but high in iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C
  • The juice extracted from ground, boiled star fruit leaves and roots can help alleviate symptoms of childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox
  • Its high potassium level can help prevent muscle cramps and improve blood circulation in muscle tissue
  • Grouped as “cooling” in Chinese food beliefs and can be taken to relieve sore throat, and alleviate hangovers
  • The star fruit leaves are effective in reducing skin irritation or itch, and can also be used to stop light bleeding
  • The star fruit skin is high in tannin, helpful in curing diarrhoea and regulating intestinal processes
  • Known to increase milk production in nursing mothers

Caution: Star Fruit contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment.

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