Carambola is an evergreen, slowly-growing tree 5 m high with drooping branches and a dense, highly branched, rounded crown or shrub.
Leaflets are soft, dark green, smooth on top, and covered with whitish pubescence from below. Leaflets are sensitive to light and come together at night.
The flowers are small pink or purplish-red.
The carambola fruits are fleshy, crispy, and juicy, slightly spicy, with massive ribbed growths, ranging in size from a chicken egg to a large orange. Ripe fruits are amber yellow or golden yellow. They are unusual in form – similar to a ribbed airship. On the cross-section is a python-pointed star, hence one of the names in English is star fruit, another name – tropical stars. The peel of the carambola is edible. The pulp is juicy, slightly spicy. There are two varieties of fruits: sweet and sour. The taste of some fruits resembles the taste of plums, apples, and grapes at the same time, others – gooseberries with the smell of plums. In the tropics, carambola with sour fruits is more appreciated.
To taste, the juicy strong flesh of carambola resembles a harmonious combination of green gooseberries, apples, and cucumbers. The taste of some varieties resembles the taste of plum fruits, apples, and grapes at the same time, others – gooseberries with the smell of plums. The aroma is strongest when the cannon is slightly boiled in syrup until soft.
Carambola seeds are ovoid, oblate, light brown, up to 1.2 cm in length.
Low-calorie, dietary product, 100 g of which contains only 31 kcal. Carambola is indicated for use by overweight people.
Nutritional value per 100 grams:
Protein 1.1 g
Fat 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 3.9 g
Ash 0.5 g
Water 91 g
Calorie 31 kcal
Useful properties of carambola
Carambola fruits contain organic acids (mainly oxalic), calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium. The vitamin complex of carambola is represented by vitamin C, beta-karate, vitamins B1, B2, B5, provitamin A. Little is known about the healing properties of carambola. In traditional medicine of Asia, its leaves and flowers are used for medicinal purposes.
In India, fruits are used as a hemostatic agent, including for hemorrhoids, juice or dried fruits are used against fever. Canned candied fruits are used to reduce bile levels, against diarrhea, and also to relieve a hangover syndrome.
In Brazil, as a diuretic and in the treatment of eczema. A decoction of fruits and leaves is used as an antiemetic. Leaves attached to the temples relieve headaches, and crushed leaves and shoots help with chickenpox and ringworm. Flowers are used as an anthelmintic. Carambola roots with sugar are an antidote for poisoning. Glutamic acid was found in the leaves, stems, and roots of the plant. A decoction of crushed seeds of carambola fruit acts as a milk product and is easily intoxicating. Powdered carambola fruit seeds are used as a sedative for colic and asthma.
Carambola perfectly quenches thirst and reduces blood pressure, acts as an excellent laxative, increases the body’s defenses (due to vitamin C), and thanks to magnesium it removes excess fluid from tissues. Very useful for vitamin deficiency. Carambola juice is much more effective than regular pickles, relieves a hangover. In addition, with its help, you can whiten dentures. To do this, hold them in a glass of juice for several hours. If the juice is too strong, dilute it with a quarter of distilled water. Carambola helps with headaches, fever, and colic.
By adding carambola to your diet, you will greatly benefit, as tropical stars have numerous health benefits. Here is what carambola is good for:
- the fruit enhances immunity due to the high concentration of vitamin C;
- improves digestion and prevents constipation;
- in China, they believe that a large amount of dietary fiber and a low glucose level in star-like fruits make them an excellent diabetic product that prevents blood sugar spikes;
- antioxidants in carambola prevent the development of certain types of cancer, including uterine cancer;
- carambola has strong antimicrobial properties, therefore, in tropical countries, fruit is prescribed for use by patients with salmonella and staphylococci;
- the high content of folic acid is useful for pregnant women, and in nursing mothers, these stars stimulate the production of breast milk;
- carambola is also useful for men, it prevents arthritis and gout due to the same vitamin C, which removes excess uric acid from the body;
- the rich mineral composition of carambola helps in strengthening bones and for the prevention of osteoporosis;
- can be used as an antipyretic; in Thailand, carambola is used as radish in our country – for coughing and sore throat;
- starfruit benefits for the eyes are great. It has a lot of vitamin A and fruit antioxidants that prevent cataracts and eye inflammation;
- scientifically proven fact: the use of carambola will save you from cardiovascular diseases, in particular, from atherosclerosis and hypertension;
- including tropical stars in your diet will help strengthen your hair. Carambola nutrients do promote hair growth, strengthen their roots, saturating them with vitamin C.
- regular consumption of carambola slows down aging, prevents the appearance of wrinkles and age spots on the skin.
- starfruit moisturizes the skin, maintains its elasticity. In Asian countries, carambola masks are used to treat oily skin. Due to its zinc content and anti-inflammatory components, carambola fights acne and other skin infections.
How to eat carambola
In different countries, this starfruit is used to prepare a variety of dishes. In Sri Lanka, carambola is eaten raw, even with a peel. But in China, they love to cook fish with tropical stars. In Hawaii, they make sherbet from carambola, mixing the juice of fruit and lemon with gelatin. Various desserts and cocktails are also made from fruit.
In general, carambola juice can be added to various dishes, mixed with orange, pineapple, or mango juice, prepare sauces, or jam from it.
In its raw form, carambola has more useful substances, so it is most useful to add it to salads.
Who can not carambola
Carambola contains a lot of oxalic acids, so starfruit is harmful to people suffering from kidney diseases, especially those who are on dialysis.