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When it comes to eating a nutritious diet, how can we miss out on a superfood? You must have already eaten foods like mushrooms, blueberries, lentils, kale, and green leafy vegetables which are known as superfoods because they offer an intense punch of several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients while being low in calories. One such superfood is star fruit or ‘kamrakh’ in Hindi.
Well, if you follow Shilpa Shetty Kundra on Instagram then you must have already come across her recent post, in which she is seen plucking star fruit from her garden. Here’s what she writes in the post, “These are star-fruits, a superfood, also known as Carambola or ‘Kamrakh’ in Hindi, is a fantastic source of vitamin C and helps strengthen the immune system. Adding a dash of pink salt makes the taste even more amazing (if you have any kidney-related ailments, please avoid this one).”
A star fruit (Averrhoa carambola), is widely consumed in Asia. As its name suggests, it looks like a little five-point star when it is cut. “It is a crunchy, juicy fruit with a light flavour. The skin is waxy, yellow or green, and edible, and the fruit has tiny dark seeds in its center. Star fruits are eaten fresh or cooked with other delicacies. In fact, they can be cooked and transformed into jams and stored in sterilized jars for long periods. Star fruit has a sweet-sour taste,” says Deepti Khatuja, Head Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
Yes, star fruits are really healthy. Below are some reasons why star fruit is a boon to you, shared by Deepti Khatuja.
Star fruit is packed with numerous nutrients, especially fibre. It is rich in fiber (containing approximately 60 percent cellulose, 27 percent hemicellulose, and 13 percent pectin) and low calories. This contributes to the beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis (balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain blood glucose). The fibre content also helps to manage the digestive system by treating irregular bowel movements and promoting the growth of good bacteria.
The star fruit has shown cholesterol-lowering effects, all thanks to the soluble fibers present in star fruit. They inhibit the activity of bad cholesterol and remove the fat molecules from the blood. Treating cholesterol also means reducing the chances of heart ailments.
Being a great source of fiber low in calories, and containing plenty of nutrients, star fruit is an ideal fruit for people on a diet. It can keep you full for longer, make your metabolism work fast. This means, you will burn more calories. It also makes for a great evening snack to munch on whenever your hunger pangs strike.
Soluble fiber can help remove fat molecules from the blood and hence could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Along with that star fruits is also rich in sodium, potassium, and other minerals which can regulate your blood pressure.
Apart from fiber, star fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Star fruits are rich in natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, B-carotene, and gallic acid. These antioxidants help prevent cellular damage.
Star fruit has high antioxidant content along with vitamin C. This combination can ensure that your body’s immune system remains strong and healthy. Also, star fruit is rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus.
Due to these nutritional value, star fruits are commonly used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Some of the clinical conditions they are used for include the following; fever, cough, diarrhea, chronic headache, inflammatory skin disorders (eczema), and fungal skin infections.
Though star fruit is delicious and super healthy fruit, it should be consumed in moderation and should be avoided by people with kidney issues. Excessive consumption of this fruit can lead to the risk of heart diseases, kidney ailments and stomach problems such as cramps, bloating and flatulence. So if you have kidney problems first consult your doctor and then consume it.