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Starfruit, also known as Carambola, is the fruit of the Averrhoa carambola tree and is recognised for its numerous health benefits, according to Dr Ushakiran Sisodia, Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.

Rich fibre content of the fruit aids digestion.Rich fibre content of the fruit aids digestion. (Source: Unsplash)

Many of us recognise the starfruit from our childhood — a common offering from vendors outside schools, local fairs and tourist destinations, often alongside tempting berries and nuts.

Starfruit, also known as Carambola, is the fruit of the Averrhoa carambola tree and is recognised for its numerous health benefits, according to Dr Ushakiran Sisodia, Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.

Let’s take a look at the health benefits of starfruits.

Nutritional profile of starfruit

According to Sisodia, here’s what a 100-gram serving of starfruit contains.

  • Calories: 31
  • Carbohydrates: 6.73 g
  • Protein: 1.04 g
  • Fat: 0.33 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Vitamin C: 34.4mg (57% DV)
  • Potassium: 133 mg
  • Folate: 12 μg (3% DV)
  • Magnesium: 10 mg

(Source: Unsplash)

Health benefits of starfruits

According to Sisodia, there are many health benefits of starfruits.

  • High in antioxidants: Rich in Vitamin C, it acts as a robust antioxidant, strengthening our immune system. Most importantly, monsoon season is associated with a lot of illnesses or infections and starfruit, abundant in Vitamin C, could be your ally in boosting immunity. But, as always during the rains, ensure thorough washing to keep contaminants at bay.
  • High in fibre: Rich fibre content of the fruit aids digestion.
  • Aids in a weight loss diet: Its low-caloric profile can be instrumental in weight management.
  • Low on sugar: For those concerned about their sugar intake, rest assured, the starfruit doesn’t overload on sugars.

Can starfruits be eaten by people with diabetes?

While the starfruit has a low glycemic index, Dr Sisodia noted that making a suitable choice for diabetics, it is always advisable to consult with your diabetologist or nutritionist before adding it to your routine diet.

“The fruit’s oxalic acid content can potentially affect those with kidney issues, a concern that our diabetic population should be mindful of,” she added.

Is it safe for pregnant people?

Dr Sisodia said that generally starfruits are safe for people in their pregnancy.

However, she warned expecting mothers that while starfruit is generally safe, they should always consult their gynaecologists to ensure it is suitable for their unborn.

There is always a possibility of developing or having an existing allergy to starfruit, thus its ideal to be alert about the possibility.(Source: Getty Images/ Thinkstock)

Things to keep in mind while eating starfruit

According to Sisodia, here are some things to be mindful about before eating starfruits.

Allergies: There is always a possibility of developing or having an existing allergy to starfruit, thus its ideal to be alert about the possibility.

Avoid overindulgence: Avoid overindulge or excessive consumption of starfruit as it can increase the risk of kidney stones.

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Can interact with medication: As with many fruits, starfruit too can interact with specific medications so if you are on medication for a chronic condition, its ideal to consult with your personal physician before consuming the fruit.

Myths about starfruits

Busting a popular myth, Dr Sisodia noted that not all starfruits are sour; in fact, many sweet varieties are relished raw across our nation.

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First published on: 18-08-2023 at 17:30 IST





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