Starfruit; Health Benefits, Types, Nutritional Value, Recipes,

Starfruit; Health Benefits, Types, Nutritional Value, Recipes,

Starfruit is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native and popular throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Micronesia, and parts of East Asia. The tree is also cultivated throughout non-indigenous tropical areas. The fruit has distinctive ridges running down its sides (usually five but can sometimes vary); when cut in cross-section, it resembles a star, hence its name. The entire fruit is edible and is usually eaten out of hand. They may also be used in cooking and can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks.[1]

Starfruit (Averrhoa carambola L.) is one of the many native fruits grown throughout Thailand and many other Asian countries. When cut in cross section, the five-pointed star is a classic characteristic of this fruit. Starfruit skin is green to yellowish in color and the taste of its flesh ranges from fresh sour to slightly sweet.[2] Reviewed data show its various traditional applications in humans, such as its effect as an appetite stimulant, with antipyretic, laxative, diuretic, and digestive effects, as well as in treating throat inflammation, mouth ulcer, toothache, cough, asthma, or eye-related problems.

Nutritional Value of Starfruit

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 128 kJ (31 kcal)
6.73 g
Sugars 3.98 g
Dietary fiber 2.8 g
0.33 g
1.04 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A equiv.

lutein zeaxanthin
66 μg
Thiamine (B1)

0.014 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.016 mg

Niacin (B3)

0.367 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0.391 mg

Vitamin B6

0.017 mg

Folate (B9)

12 μg


7.6 mg

Vitamin C

34.4 mg

Vitamin E

0.15 mg

Minerals Quantity%DV

3 mg


0.08 mg


10 mg


0.037 mg


12 mg


133 mg


2 mg


0.12 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.  Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Health Benefits of Starfruit

  • Antioxidents –  show interesting evidence of chemical constituents and nutritional values, including the traditional uses.[4]. Starfruit has been shown to have high concentrations of Vit C, epicatechin, and gallic acid,[5]as well as flavonoid C-glycoside, which has strong antioxidant activity.[6 ]A previous report shows that Vit C can decrease glycation and reduce glycohemoglobin in all proteins during the aging process,[7 ]as well as decrease the osmotic fragility of erythrocytes caused due to free radicals.[8] Therefore, Vit C has strong antioxidant status and star fruit contains a rich, locally grown source of this potent antioxidant.
  • Prevents Cancer – Research on star fruit has revealed that it can be a potent anti-cancer fruit, thanks to its dense antioxidant and fiber content. [9]The polyphenolic flavonoids found in star fruit are able to counter the mutagenic effects of free radicals and clear them out of the body before they can do damage and lead to chronic disease. [10] Furthermore, the fiber in star fruit will cleanse the colon and reduce toxicity levels, helping to lower your risk of colon cancer.
  • Anti-inflammatory – The high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids present in this fruit make it a good anti-inflammatory for various skin disorders including psoriasis and dermatitis. [11] The rich source of vitamin C also helps in flushing out toxins and collagen synthesis.
  • Heart Health – The high amounts of sodium and potassium present in star fruit act as electrolytes in our body, which help in maintaining blood pressure. This also ensures regular heartbeat and healthy blood flow.
  • Stimulates Lactation – It has also been traditionally used to increase lactation in mothers who have trouble producing enough milk for their newborns. [12] And in large doses, it can also act as an emmenagogue.

  • Promotes Weight Loss – With a tiny amount of calories per fruit, this tropical treat won’t compromise your calorie goals, if you are trying to lose weight. [13] Furthermore, it is full of fiber and other nutrients that can speed the metabolism, which can help support your effort to shed those extra pounds. Fiber will also help you to feel full faster, lowering your chances of overeating or snacking between meals.
  • Boosts Immunity – A single medium-sized star fruit has approximately 50% of the daily value recommended for vitamin C, which is great news for your immune system. [14] With a solid vitamin C boost in your morning fruit smoothie, your immune system will be functioning at a high level with an optimal number of white blood cells.
  • Balances Blood Pressure – With a moderate amount of calcium, star fruit is able to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes by relieving tension on blood vessels and arteries. [15] By eliminating hypertension, your heart will be able to rest, circulation can be more effectively carried out, and the fluid balance in your body will be appropriately maintained.
  • Improves Digestion – Dietary fiber is a key element in digestion, as it can stimulate the movement of stool through the digestive tract, relieving symptoms of constipation, bloating, cramping and diarrhea. [16] Furthermore, it can help to improve nutrient uptake and the bioavailability of other essential minerals and vitamins. Both the inner fruit and the waxy peel of star fruit provide significant levels of dietary fiber.
  • Increases Bone Mineral Density – There is a diverse range of minerals in star fruit including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium, all of which can help promote better bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as we age. [17]
  • Controls Diabetes – Research has found that this insoluble fiber-rich fruit can prevent the release of glucose after eating. [18] This helps to control insulin levels in the body, making it an ideal snack for people who want to avoid diabetes or for diabetic patients to manage their symptoms.
  • Improves Metabolism – With high levels of pyridoxine, folate, and riboflavin, this fruit can help to optimize your metabolism by ensuring that necessary enzymatic and hormonal processes take place throughout the body. These critical vitamins play a part in everything from nerve cell communication and energy metabolism to circulation and emotional control. [19]
  • Reduces Cholesterol Levels – With a very low amount of natural fat and a high level of dietary fiber, this tropical greenish-yellow fruit is great for managing and reducing cholesterol levels. [20] Fiber helps to regulate LDL (bad) cholesterol and elevate HDL (good) cholesterol, thus lowering your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
  • Detoxifies the Body – Known as a diuretic, this fruit can stimulate urination, which can be helpful for someone looking to detox. This fruit will help to cleanse both the liver and the kidneys, although people with pre-existing kidney conditions should eat this fruit with caution. [21] By increasing urination, star fruit can lower the levels of toxins, excess salts and fats within the body.
  • Improves Respiratory Health – This fruit is known as an anti-inflammatory and cooling agent that can promote salivation and cut through mucus or phlegm. This makes it a popular remedy for respiratory infections and general health, alleviating sore throats and addressing underlying infections of the respiratory system.
  • Treats Sore Eyes – Due to the anti-microbial properties of star fruit, it is also used by people to treat sore eyes.
  • Skin Care – Starfruit is packed with antioxidants, such as quercetin, gallic acid, and other polyphenolic flavonoids, that can counter the effects of oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals before they can damage the skin. [22] [23] This includes preventing or minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, while also keeping the skin moisturized and blemish-free as you age. Eat it or apply it, it is equally beneficial in both ways.
  • Hair Care – A rich source of antioxidants, B complex vitamins, and vitamin C, starfruit has all the nutrients which promote healthy hair growth. This star-shaped tropical fruit appears in both sweet and sour tastes. The sweet fruit is found from summer to autumn and the sour fruit from the end of summer to the middle of winter [24].
  • The star fruit is a literal one-stop medicine shop – It’s used the world over as a home remedy for hangovers and sunburns. It works well on coughs, fever, ulcers and sore throats. It also effectively combats diabetes. The leaves of star fruit can be used to treat stomach ulcers, pus-filled skin inflammations and boils. It improves digestion. Flowers of the sweet star fruit are good for treating coughs in children [25].
  • Antimicrobial agent – which fights the microbial bacillus cereus, e.coli, salmonella typhus, etc. It also cures eczema. With only 30 calories per fruit plus lots of fiber, star fruit, like kokum and passion fruit, is a great choice for anyone trying to lose weight. It contains 9.5g of carbohydrate per serving, including 2.5g of dietary fiber. This provides 3% of the daily requirement for carbohydrates and 10% of the daily requirement for dietary fiber. They’re also full of antioxidants and flavonoids. [26]
  • Excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C – that help keep the metabolism of the body steady and strong, star fruit also has thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin in very small concentrations. It’s a good source of vitamin B9 (folic acid), which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and it also contains vitamin C and vitamin B5 [27].
  • Excellent source of minerals-  It has low amounts of all essential minerals but is especially rich in copper (14% of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in one medium-sized fruit). Starfruit lowers cholesterol levels and adds bulk and moisture to feces [28].
  • The fruit has also been used to treat sore eyes – If you are looking to up the magnesium content in your diet, then eat food rich in vitamin B6 along with star fruit. This ‘magic’ fruit is given to lactating mothers as it is commonly believed to stimulate the flow of milk. A decoction of its leaves and roots (prepared separately or in combination) can help cure headaches, ringworm, and chicken pox. To cure nausea and indigestion, eat half a piece of the fruit and repeat the dose after three hours [29].





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