This unique fruit has been cultivated for over 2,000 years, (since the Tang Dynasty), and is rather delicate. The fruit grows on a rather bushy evergreen tree, in warm or tropical climates only- as it would not survive freezing temps!
Although popular in the South Pacific, Australia, and parts of Asia, it's a native fruit in Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. But, it is also now grown in the Southern U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean as well.
Citrus fruits are well known to be very beneficial for their Vitamin C content, (which is excellent for overall health, and fighting colds and flues.) But, did you know that the star fruit is a rather exceptional fruit- exceeding most other citrus fruits in it's health and nutritional properties?!!
For starters, the Vitamin C content is higher than most other fruits; a 1 cup serving contains as much as 76% of the recommended daily serving!
Star fruit is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, potassium, pantothenic acid, and fiber, and is low in sugar, calories, and sodium. It's no wonder that the star fruit has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history! For example, Brazilians have used star fruit as a cough suppressant, to calm nausea, and to aid as a diuretic.
****Because this fruit has a very high content of oxalic acid, (an anti-nutrient compound that can interfere with metabolism and absorption of several minerals), it can be dangerous for anyone with renal failure or kidney issues to consume this fruit! And similar to grapefruit, it has also been known to interfere with certain drugs, so those with existing medical conditions should speak to their physician before consuming this fruit!
Now that the warnings are out of the way, let's point out the amazing benefits of eating this exotic fruit!
**The high vitamin C content aids in the prevention of sickness and infection, forms collagen in bones and tissue, and aids in the absorption of iron. An interesting study has been conducted that concluded that there was as much as a 50% reduction of risk for developing a common cold in those that were in extreme arctic climates who consumed healthy doses of vitamin C!
***The flavonoids and antioxidants work to neutralize harmful free radicals that can cause inflammation in the body. This is especially important for skin health, and cancer prevention. There have been some studies done to suggest that star fruit can help to lessen the effects of eczema.
***Fiber content is important for digestive and cardiovascular health.
***The potassium, copper, and pantothenic acid content is important for the circulatory system, as well as the prevention of muscle cramps.
I personally enjoy star fruit sliced, and in a salad, or for a beautiful garnish! But, feel free to try it for yourself, and experiment in the kitchen with it. Remember, if you live in the North, Midwest, or even East Coast of the U.S., you may have to grab this fruit when you see it, as it isn't always easy to find!
I go on a "Star Search" every year, and they are worth the wait! Lol!