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The carambola, or star fruit with its five peaks, is a yellow-green, waxy-textured fruit that originates from the sultry lands of the tropics of Sri Lanka. The fruit grows on a small, bushy perennial tree, first dressed in small clusters of lilac-shaped bell-shaped flowers that become the long fruits.

Today this delicious fruit is grown in Australia, South America, Hawaii and Florida. It is better to grow them in climates and moderate temperatures, since they are cold intolerant and die in icy climates.

Obviously, the most unique visual quality of the star fruit is its shape - that of a perfect star when you cut it wide. There are two varieties; The challenge is to be able to distinguish them, what you will want to do, because one is deliciously sweet - described as a cross between an apple and a grape - and the other is extremely sour. As a general rule, the candy has a fatter skin. Some contain two to five small edible seeds in the center of each angular cell.

One of the great benefits of carambola is that it can be enjoyed whole - with its waxy skin and everything.

Apart from the most common yellow variety, which can have hints of coffee on the banks (although there are some candies that are white) this is a fruit that can be bought while it is still green and put it aside so that it matures perfectly in few days. If it matures too much, the fruit turns yellow with brown spots. It is well refrigerated, which is a good way to keep them longer. Uses for carambola include juice and smoothie drinks, smoothies, sauces, chutneys and salads, although they are also good to eat as is, such as an apple. Cooked, sour varieties work well to impart a sour touch to poultry, meat and seafood dishes, and even cooked desserts. As a garnish, they have no rivals.

Since they have the tendency to bruise, it is better to buy the carambolas when they are hard and firm, and treat them with care.


Health Benefits of Carambola


It is no surprise that the largest amount of nutrients in carambola comes from vitamin C, providing 76 percent of the recommended daily value in a single cup serving.

The vitamin C content in carambola helps prevent colds, and any other type of infection. Science has shown that people in extremely Arctic climates, such as military personnel, skiers or researchers, feel a significant low risk - up to 50% - to develop a cold when they ingest healthy amounts of vitamin C.

Another reason why vitamin C is called an essential vitamin is because the body needs it to form collagen in the bones, cartilage, muscles, veins, in addition to helping iron absorption. Also, one of the most notorious consequences of the lack of vitamin C is scurvy, which sailors since ancient times discovered and treated with various tropical fruits, including carambola. Although rare, scurvy can have severe consequences, and treatment for people with scurvy typically begins with vitamin C.

Smaller amounts of dietary fiber, copper, pantothenic acid and potassium (which can prevent muscle cramps by increasing blood circulation) are important components of this fruit. B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, and pyridixin (vitamin B6) are also present and team to develop various synthetic functions within the body, such as forming metabolic enzymes.

An average carambola contains about 30 calories (less than any other tropical fruit per potion), so with its high amount of fiber, it is a good choice for anyone who wants to lose weight, prevent constipation and keep their system functioning well.

It also helps prevent the absorption of LDL ("bad") cholesterol while protecting the colon from toxic substances by adhering to cancer-causing chemicals that may be circulating. Antioxidants offer their own benefits, including the neutralization of harmful free radicals that can cause inflammation. Flavonoids such as quercetin, and epicatechin and gallic acid also offer these benefits.

Traditional folk medicine from Brazil used carambola as a diuretic, as an expectorant, and cough suppressant. The leaves and fruit have been used to stop vomiting; it is put on the temples to relieve the headache; as poultices to relieve chickenpox and keep the body free of parasite infestations.

Powdered seeds have a reputation for a sedative effect