Fruits

Health Benefits of Carambola

The carambola is a whole fruit known in Brazil and has been winning fans over the past decades. But what is so special about her? Why are the properties of carambola discussed?

Are you curious? Learn everything about the carambola fruit here!

WHAT IS CARAMBOLA?

Carambola, known as star fruit (or star fruit in English translation), is one of the most admired fruits in the world. The fact is mainly due to its shape and its very yellowish color.

The sweet flavor of the fruit may be a characteristic that has conquered many Brazilians in the consumption of carambola. However, other uses also draw attention, such as the application on iron structures to remove stains.

The carambola tree, tree that takes the name of carambola, is small and has white flowers. You can usually find one of these trees in backyards and gardens in more interior regions.

ORIGIN OF CARAMBOLA

The carambola tree has its origins in regions of Indonesia and India. The climate in these locations helped a lot in the stabilization of the first fruits, but the carambola was quickly taken to other places on the planet.

Unlike some species characteristic of countries or regions, carambola became popular all over the world. Today, plantations can be easily found in most of Southeast Asia as well as East Asia.

In Brazil, the fruit arrived later, but it also found popularity. The regions of America that produce carambola are Colombia, Brazil, French Guiana and the United States.

Now that you know a little more about the history of carambola, an extremely popular fruit, it’s time to understand how the species can be integrated into your daily life. Follow it below!

HOW TO PLANT CARAMBOLA

Carambola is a tropical fruit that survives and bears fruit at average temperatures of 25 degrees or more. This fact explains the origin in regions of Indonesia and India, as mentioned.

To plant the tree, you need a moist space with fertile soil and a stable climate. The plant does not survive long in temperatures below 10 degrees or in cases of frost.

You should start planting with seeds being implanted in the ground. Be careful when choosing the fruits, as it is recommended to remove the seeds of mature and preserved carambola.

Check out other recommendations from the environment:

  • deep and moist soil
  • Slightly acidic soil, with a pH between 6 and 7
  • Weather with abundant rainfall
  • good light
  • High relative humidity

CARAMBOLA: BENEFITS AND HARMS

The doubts about the benefits of carambola are huge. Many people ask themselves: what is the use of carambola juice? Do I need to eat pure fruit to improve health conditions? All this will be clarified below.

Finally, note the properties of carambola, which are important to help keep the body healthy.

1. Help in losing body weight

The loss of body weight can be achieved both with the consumption of carambola juice and with chopped fruit. In fact, most of the carambola’s properties are maintained with these two ingestion formats.

Okay, but why does carambola get thin? Firstly, the fruit is low in calories. It’s a maximum of 30 calories per 100 grams. Also, there is a huge amount of water in the food.

Another reason for the popularity of carambola in diets is the large amount of fiber. These elements help in promoting prolonged feelings of fullness in the stomach. So you don’t feel like eating all the time.

2. Improves the skin

If you want to keep your skin dry and soft, carambola is always a good choice. Vitamin C present in the composition promotes a powerful antioxidant effect. Therefore, the skin looks healthier with the consumption of the fruit.

This benefit is preferably achieved through the juice. This is because the properties of vitamin C are not harmed when we mix the carambola with water and sugar. The same is not true for certain purposes.

3. Aids digestion

The carambola fruit is indicated for those who have digestion problems or suffer from an impaired gastrointestinal system. The properties help with constipation, loose bowels or even recurrent pain.

What happens, in this case, is the promotion of the growth of bacteria that make up the intestinal flora. These are known as the “good bacteria”, necessary for the correct functioning of the system.

With the presence of these bacteria, the intestinal transit becomes more fluid. In addition, consumption prevents a large part of infections in the region due to digestion problems.

4. Fights anemia

Some fruits are important in the control of anemia cases and the fruit in question is one of them. The properties of carambola help to maintain optimal amounts of iron in the body. Furthermore, there is the presence of vitamin C.

This union between iron and vitamin promotes efficient control of mineral loss. It works through the insertion of iron in the body and aid in absorption, a role played by the vitamin.

Therefore, people with iron deficiency anemia, that is, anemia caused by a lack of iron in the body, can invest daily in carambola.

HARMS: DO THEY EXIST?

Many people ask themselves: after all, is carambola bad for your health? Rumors about the harmful effects of carambola are often seen. And in fact, they’re not fake.

Star fruit begins to become harmful to health when there is excessive consumption. There are some side effects that can be identified in someone who has an excess of carambola in the body. They are:

  • vomiting
  • Numbness in the body
  • generalized weakness
  • Convulsions
  • agitation and mental confusion

WHY IS CARAMBOLA BAD?

Okay, you already know you can’t go overboard. But what happens for the fruit to change from beneficial to harmful to the body?

Carambola has, in its composition, a substance called oxalic acid. It is toxic if consumed in high amounts, and can even lead to death.

Acid is one of the main causes of the accumulation of stones in the kidneys, besides increasing the chances of the occurrence of severe kidney stones.

In the case of the beginning of an accumulation of stones, the reaction takes place, as the acid neutralizes the action of iron ions. In the case of advanced kidney stones, what happens is calcium neutralization.

In its place, calcium oxalate is formed. This is the salt that accumulates in the kidneys and causes so much discomfort.

CARAMBOLA: HOW TO EAT

To start consuming carambola, don’t forget to check that the skin is shiny and yellowish. That way you know the fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten.

It is essential to wash all the fruit before integrating it into recipes or even consuming the pure food. And don’t forget: in this case, all parts of the fruit (including the skin) are edible. Thus, it is not necessary to remove seeds before cutting them.

If you are consuming with the objective of enjoying the benefits of carambola, the ideal is to always opt for the fruit in its pure state. Thus, the chances of nutrient loss are lower.

If the goal is to flavor your recipes, the use with other ingredients is allowed. It’s just important to remember that carambola is already sweet. In fact, the more yellow and vivid the color, the sweeter the taste. Therefore, control the amount of sugar.

CARAMBOLA: RECIPES

Want to spice up your meals? I have separated 3 quick and easy recipes for you.

CARAMBOLA JELLY

You will need:

  • Carambola (1 kg)
  • Sugar cups (1.5 units)
  • Cinnamon (1 branch)
  • Ginger (3 slices)

How to prepare: cut the carambola into a thin star shape and cook it with the sugar for 20 minutes. After identifying the release of water by the fruit, bring it to a boil and add the ginger and cinnamon. Cook until the water dries and the color of the fruit changes to a caramel tone. Then remove the ginger and cinnamon and let it cool.

CAROM TWELVE

You will need:

  • Carambola (30 units)
  • Sugar (1.5 kg)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • Clove (to taste)

Method of preparation: cut the carambola in the shape of a star. Heat and place the sugar on top. When the fruit starts to water, add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for a maximum of 40 minutes.

You will need:

  • Carambolas (2 units)
  • Lemon (1 unit)
  • ice (1 cup)
  • Sugar (4 coffee spoons)

How to prepare: place the carambola in slices in a blender and add the lemon squeezed with ice. Add water to taste and finish with sugar. Then, just beat until you reach the pulp consistency.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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