Starfruit Might Be Star of Fruit Bowl

Starfruit isn’t a popular snack. You don’t see it in the supermarket often, you tend to stick with what you like and — unless it’s ripe — it’s not overly tasty, more like fruity celery. Starfruit that is green instead of bright yellow is not ripe. It can be eaten with salt or pickled.

However, in season, they are closer to a sweet, tangy tropical plum. It can be eaten whole with skin or cut to show the star shape. The ripe season happens twice a year: April-June and October-December.

One medium starfruit has only 28 calories and six grams of carbs. It’s nice to get a taste of the tropics for so few calories as compared to mango and pineapple. The fruit also holds 52 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. Additionally, it contains vitamins A, B and E as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorus. The skin has seven percent of your daily fiber. The fruit has a lot of health benefits and has been used in traditional medicine for everything from tooth pain, to bladder problems, to immune health, indigestion and more.

Because of its many healthy components, research has shown it may help reduce cancer risks, aid inflammation, help blood pressure and cholesterol and up the metabolism. Studies on starfruit’s polyphenols found the fruit may have blood glucose-lowering effects in animal and human studies. As the fruit is naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, it can help people avoid spikes. Packed with antioxidants, starfruit can aid healthy aging. It is particularly high in epicatechin – the same antioxidant found in dark chocolate, red wine and green tea.

The fruit is delicious as it is but can be added to fruit salad for a punch of color, made into jam, chutney and sauces and used as a sweet accompaniment with meat. Frequently, when we come across more exotic foods, it is hard to know how to prepare them but, with its edible skin, all you need to do is slice and enjoy!

For some people, starfruit isn’t going to be part of a healthy lifestyle. Starfruit contains oxalic acid and shouldn’t be eaten by anyone with kidney problems. Also, people who have been told not to eat grapefruit because of medications they are taking should avoid starfruit unless they speak to their doctor. Hopefully, starfruit is something you can add to your diet and enjoy today!

Banner Credit: David Monniaux, Wikimedia

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