Star Fruit 101: Health Benefits And Nutrition

Star Fruit 101: Health Benefits And Nutrition

Star fruit is not something you see in the average grocery store. Native to Southeast Asia and other tropical areas, star fruit gets its name for the star-like shape, which is particularly evident when you cut the fruit into slices. It exhibits a sweet and slightly tart flavor profile that goes great in a fruit salad. 

Both the skin and flesh are edible and it can be sweet or sour, depending on how ripe the fruit is. If the fruit is greener in color, it will taste more sour, while a yellow fruit will taste sweeter. Just watch out for the seeds that are in the center of the fruit! 

Star Fruit Nutrition

According to research studies, star fruit offers a lot of vitamin C and fiber. For a single, medium-sized star fruit (about 91 grams), the nutrient content is as follows:

  • Fiber: 3 grams (g)
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Folate: 3% of the daily value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 52% of the DV
  • Copper: 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 4% of the DV
  • Potassium: 3% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 2% of the DV

Based on the above information, the nutrient content for a star fruit seems relatively low. Keep in mind, though, that this serving only has 28 calories and six grams of carbohydrates. Calorie for calorie, star fruit is highly nutritious. Continue reading to learn more about star fruit’s health benefits.

Vitamin C Superstar

As a powerful micronutrient with antioxidant properties, vitamin C helps to protect against cellular damage. A 2022 umbrella review included 57 meta-analyses and concluded that vitamin C consumption reduced the risk of multiple cancers, including breast, esophageal, lung, pancreatic, bladder, and gastric cancer. Researchers noted that vitamin C works to protect against cancers by reducing oxidative damage to cells and protecting tissues from carcinogens. Currently, the recommended DV of vitamin C for men is 90 milligrams (mg) and 75 mg for women. That said, those numbers only help people avoid vitamin C deficiency. Based on current findings, people should take at least 200 mg per day to promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Beneficial For The Heart And Digestive Health

The average medium star fruit contains three grams of fiber, which benefits both heart and digestive health. Regarding digestion, fiber add bulk to stool and helps regulate bowel movements. It also acts as food for the healthy bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract. That promotes a healthy intestinal lining and microbiome. Additionally, adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet can help protect against certain digestive disorders, including colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. 

Eating fiber-rich foods is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart. Fiber works to lower blood lipids, blood pressure, and may regulate blood sugar, all of which help lower your risk of heart disease. The vitamin C in star fruit may also offer protection from heart disease. Some studies show that increasing your intake of antioxidants and flavonoids, such as those that exist in star fruit, may help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease in America. 

Safety And Side Effects

Because star fruit has a high oxalate content, it may cause adverse effects in certain groups. People with kidney problems should avoid star fruit and its juice, or at least consult a healthcare professional prior to consuming it. Eating star fruit may lead to kidney damage or star fruit toxicity, which may cause neurological problems like seizures. If you take prescription medication or drugs, proceed with caution. Just like grapefruit, star fruit can alter the way certain drugs are broken down and used by the body.



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