10 Health Benefits of Star Apple | Why Star Apple Is Good for your Body
Among natives of the Caribbean Islands, this nutritious tropical fruit is a delicacy.
They have eaten it for centuries past, probably will for centuries more.
They call it ‘caimito’. It is food for the gods, and for everyone else who will relish its juiciness.
Star apple is an exotic tropical fruit that originated from the Caribbean Islands but is now very popular across many tropical countries of the world.
The fruit derives its more common name from the star-like shape formed by the seeds of the fruit when you cut it through the middle.
Star apple, like a lot of fruits, come in varieties. Three varieties, actually.
You have the purple, yellow and green types of the fruit.
The purple star apple is the most common variety, which I’m sure you’ll find readily available at most fruit stand you come to.
Health Significance of Star Apple (agbalumo, Udara)
Star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) is a low calorie fruit. It is highly nutritious and rich in essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that the body requires for enhanced metabolic functioning.
As studies have shown, this versatile fruit can be helpful in treating certain health complications.
It has strong medicinal value contained in the seed, fruit and even leaves of the plant.
This is why it has been used for centuries by natives of the Caribbean to treat a number of health conditions.
It is a powerful natural remedy against conditions like diarrhea, pneumonia, high blood pressure, as well as fever, teeth-related and indigestion.
Nutritional Values of Star Apple | Why Star Apple Is Good for your Body
Star Apple contains zero fat, and it is very low in calories.
This is important for anyone concerned about weight issues. It is also a good source of dietary fiber.
This helps to improve your digestive function as well as lowering your cholesteroland sugar levels.
Caimito has thus been shown to be an important fruit in diabetes prevention.
If you have diabetes complications, or you just want to prevent the diseases, eating star apple now and then will do you good.
This wonder food also contains active ingredients that can behelpfulin preventing some types of cancers, like colon cancer.
Furthermore, caimito is a veritable source of calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health.
A single serving contains roughly 10 percent of your daily recommended calcium need.
Regular consumption of this fruit will help to strengthen your bones and teeth, keep you healthier and reduce the associated symptoms of joint and muscle pains, and menstrual cramps.
However, many people have found it tedious eating star apple due to the peculiar nature of the fruit.
And if you don’t know your way around it, you may not enjoy it as much as you’d expected and that may make you averse to eating it again altogether.
Hey, hold on! For starters, the rind and skin of star apples contain sticky latex and they have an astringent taste.
The way to enjoy your star apple is not to bite into the fruit, but first slice it through the middle.
Then spoon out the soft flesh inside and, voila! There you have it.
More Health Benefits of Star Apple
As studies have shown, star apple contains vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthier overall.
It holds a lot of nutritional benefits for you and eating it regularly will improve your health. How?
Consider the following health benefits of star apple:
1. Solves Digestive Problems
Having problems of indigestive and cramps?
Don’t look too far remedy, if you have some caimitos sitting in your kitchen.
Star apple, as we mentioned earlier, contains a high amount of dietary fiber.
This can help in taking care of your digestive system and keep you in good health.
Fiber eases problems of indigestion and constipation, and improves the process of passing out waste.
This will keep your digestive system healthier. By normalizing your bowel movements, star apple also help to get rid of other digestive problems.
In the long run, a healthy functioning digestivecan help to prevent colon cancer.
2. Weight Loss Fruit
When you’re thinking weight loss, think caimito.
This is one of the most important fruit you want to eat, when it comes to losing weight and keeping fit.
Being a low fat, low calorie fruit, star apple is one of the best choices of foods to be included in a weight loss diet.
Also, the high amount of dietary fiber in the fruit improves your satiety and makes you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
This helps prevent over eating, which is very important when you are trying to lose weight.
3. Diabetes Treatment and Control
Another important benefit of star apple is that it helps control blood sugar levels and so is an ideal food for people suffering from diabetes.
It has been found that the fiber in the fruit can also help to keep the blood sugar levels under control.
This fruit is also rich in antioxidants that protect your body against health conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.
4. Contains Active Anti-microbial Agents
Studies have shown that star apple contains eleagnine, an antimicrobial alkaloid with antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The seeds of star apple are commonly used in the preparation of ointments that are meant to fight against a number of bacterial infections.
5. High In Vitamin C
This is very important for improved health and wellness.
Because vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient enhances the normal metabolic functions of the body.
It is a powerful antioxidant responsible for producing agents like collagen, which can improve your health.
Taking vitamin C supplement regularly is important for healing of wounds, protecting the heart, improving immune health and eye health, and lowering blood sugar levels.
Also, the antioxidant properties found in vitamin C can help to neutralize the harmful effects of the free radicals in the body.
This will help prevent many deadly conditions from overwhelming a person, like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
6. Improves Bone Health
Calcium and phosphorus are two very important minerals needed for the development of strong bones and teeth.
A right balance of these minerals is needed by the body to maintain good bone health as well as to prevent various bone disorders.
Thankfully, star apple is a veritable source for both minerals.
In fact, it is one of the highest sources of calcium, and snacking on it regularly will improve your bone health significantly.
Eating star apple is also good for you, especially if you are treating any bone-related condition like osteoarthritis and joint pain.
7. Prevents Iron Deficiency Anemia
Every healthy body requires ample amount of iron in the blood.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that occurs due to inadequate amounts of the mineral iron in the body.
Iron is required by your body to produce hemoglobin, a protein molecule in the red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body and returns carbon dioxide from the body tissues back to the lungs.
Iron deficiency anemia is often characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and head ache.
This can lead to considerably and unhealthy weight loss and fainting spells if not properly checked.
But iron deficiency anemia can be corrected by taking iron supplements once or twice a day, or by eating foods high in iron and vitamins, like star apple and other leafy greens.
8. Dysentery, Diarrhea and Fever Treatment
Being a potent medicinal plant, the seeds, leaves and bark of star apple are all required in the process of treating a vast number of common ailments and diseases.
This is because the plant contains very powerful compounds that can serve to restore and rejuvenate health.
In many rural communities and villages across the world, medicinal concoctions incorporating some herbal plants, including star apple, are often prepared to treat sicknesses.
The common conditions include malaria,dysentery and diarrhea. Research has shown that the barks and leaves of star apple contain properties that can also be effective against skin infections.
Also, In Western Nigeria, the cotyledons from the seeds of caimito are used for preparing ointments that treat dermatological and vaginal infections.
Research indicates that the leaf extract of caimito was found to exhibit hypoglycemic (reduce blood sugar levels) and anti-platelet properties, which may be beneficial in managing diabetes mellitus and heart attack respectively.
9. Anti-Aging Ingredients
That’s right! Star apple has properties that can help to keep you looking healthier even as you age.
Studies has indicated that this exotic fruit may help delay the process of aging.
In fact, there are actually a number of natural foods that have anti-aging properties, and star apple is one of such foods.
Since the human body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, it is important that we eat foods rich in this nutrient.
10. Rich Source of Fiber
This tasty fruit is a powerhouse of dietary fiber, which is altogether good for improved digestive system functioning.
Eating one regular size of star apple can add up to 3g from the normal daily intake of fiber which range is 25g – 38g.
Fiber is also required to help normalize your bowel movement and ease the flushing out of toxin and other waste matters from the body.
Although star apples are not commonly available in most local grocery stores, they can be bought at larger specialty and departmental malls.
And even though they may be a token more expensive than your regular everyday-fruit, the amount is immaterial when you consider the awesome health significance of this tropical delight.
Possible Side Effects of Star Apple
Like a lot of things, there are some possible side effects associated with eating star apples. Below are some of them:
Allergies and Toxic Reactions
Some people, especially those eating star apples for the first time, may experience allergic reactions to the fruit.
So it’s better to take not, more so if you have a history of allergy for any other food type previously.
Also, because the seeds and leaves of star apples contain some beneficial properties that are traditionally used as home remedies, you have to make sure to consume it in moderation.
Too much of it can be troubling for your system.
Try not to over eat this fruit, even if you find it irresistible.
The properties in the seeds and leaves can become toxic if they’re eaten too much, and there has been cases of food poisoning from this.
Ask Your Doctor
In some cases, you may require the advice of a nutritionist or doctor before you start to eat star apple.
For instance, if you have certain health conditionsthat you’re treating with some specific prescription medicines, the combination with the powerful medicinal value of star apple may counter the effect of your drugs.
Or worse, it may aggravate your situation and trigger an adverse reaction altogether.
For this reason, you should get the nod from your doctor before you eat star apple whilst medically treating your condition.
Bearing the above in mind, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy eating your star apple from now.
Of course, there are loads of other health benefits of star apple that were not covered in this report.
Researches are in the works, and more facts are sure to emerge in the years to come.
But for now, there’s no harm to come from eating this exotic, tropical delight.
As long as you don’t over eat it!