Star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) is one of the exotic fruits from the family of Sapotaceae and originated from Caribbean but now this fruit is widely cultivated in most of tropical countries. However, it is not type of fruit you could find easily in the grocery stores. The name of star apple comes from the star like shape formed by the seeds of the fruit if you cut it in the middle.
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The Varieties of Star Apple” state=”closed
The taste of star apple is not only sweet but there is unique sensation like eating the coconut meat. That’s why this fruit also well known as milk fruit in some countries. The thick skin is one of the characteristics of this fruit which applied to two types of variety of star apple.
- Purple Star Apple
The thick skin of this variety has dark purple color though the pulp is the shades of purple colors from light purple to white.
- Green Star Apple
Green star apple has the same thick skin but the color, instead of purple it is fresh green. The pulp inside is milky white so the taste is sweet and milky.
So, don’t be fooled with the thick skin because the pulp inside is so milky, soft and sweet.
Nutritional Values of Star Apple
Meanwhile, here is the nutritional values in Star Apple:
Serving Size: 100 gr
|Generals||Value & DV%|
|Protein||1.52 gr – 3%|
|Carbohydrate||14.65 gr – 11.27%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.92 gr – 5.05%|
|Vitamins and Minerals|
|Vitamin B1||0.049 mg – 4.08%|
|Vitamin B2||0.038 mg – 2.92%|
|Vitamin B3||1.137 mg – 7.11%|
|Vitamin C||9.1 mg – 10.11%|
|Calcium||12.35 mg – 1.24%|
|Iron||0.49 mg – 6.13%|
|Phosphorus||18.95 mg – 2.71%|
After knowing the varieties and nutritional values of this fruits, then now let’s take a look to the health benefits of star apple that you have never heard before
As Rich of Fiber
Star apple is rich of fiber and eating one regular size of star apple is able to contribute about 3 g from the normal daily intake of fiber which range is 25 – 38 g.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Fiber
1. Friendly Food for Weight Loss” state=”closed
Why fiber is good for diet? It is because fiber contains properties that could make your stomach feel full. In other words, you will feel satiated faster and feel full longer. It is actually the easiest way to control your appetite toward food and prevent you of eating too much, so whatever your diet program is, you will be able to do it. Indeed, you may include star apple for your diet menu to eat in the morning or right before six pm. As a result, have a healthy diet menu there!
2. Protection from Diabetes
It has been proven that the fiber contained in star apple is effective to control the blood sugar level. Further researches which published in African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology in 2009 also stated that the leaves of star apple has the same function with insulin that could reduce the glucose level in the blood stream.
3. Good for Digestive System
Dietary fiber is one of the properties that are responsible to the good health of your stomach. However, star apple contains adequate amount of fiber that your body needs. It is because though fiber cannot be extracted or absorbed, that’s why its function is to bind all unnecessary compounds inside digestive system to be eliminated.
4. Normalize the Bowel Movement
One of the reasons why your bowel movement cannot move normally is because too much unnecessary properties inside the bowel. Some are waiting to be extracted or absorbed, while others are required to be washed away completely from the system. Fiber has important role in making sure all the unnecessary properties were washed away so there are enough room for foods to be extracted and nutrients to be absorbed.
5. Effective for Constipation
Well, the direct effect of slower bowel movement is constipation. That’s why to treat constipation; you have to find how to deal with the bowel movement problem. As mentioned in point 4, enough fiber in your body will be able to normalize the movement inside your bowel, so consuming star apple is probably the delicious solution to get rid of constipation.
6. Additional Protection Against Colon Cancer
Long term stomach problem could be one of the reasons behind colon cancer. Though there are a lot of factors that could trig the development of cancerous cells around the colon but still preventing one that probably contributes the most problem is important. Having healthy colon system will reduce the risk of colon cancer significantly.
Also Read: Symptoms of Colon Cancer
7. Relatively Low in Calories
Star apple has calories that are relatively low in amount, that’s why it is considered to be a healthy snack. Instead of consuming foods which nutrients and benefits are unconfirmed, snacking with star apple is able to fulfill your satiation toward foods but at the same time provide all the health benefits for your body. In short, star apple is a perfect snack for everyone.
As Rich of Vitamins and Minerals
Minerals are important and star apple contains calcium and iron in proper amount as well as Vitamin C. Thus, star apple has the source of vitamins and minerals that are useful for our body to maintain overall health.
8. Good for Bone Health” state=”closed
What you really need to maintain the bone health? The answer is easy, calcium and phosphorus. Most people believe that the source of calcium is dairy products like milk or cheese. Well, how about those who are allergic to such products, should they give up for calcium? Of course not, because there are a lot of vegetables and fruits that contain calcium in relatively high amount and star apple is totally on the list.
9. Strength Teeth
Calcium and phosphorus is essential for the strength teeth. It is true how you take care of your teeth is important like avoiding eating foods that could cause problems to your teeth up to brushing teeth regularly every day. However, what you eat to protect the strength of your teeth from inside is also important. Star apple is probably sweet and not really good for your teeth but the calcium contained will balance it.
Also Read: Benefits of Magnesium
10. Reduce Cramping during PMS
For women who have problems like cramping during PMS, nothing to worry anymore because there is no better solution to reduce the symptoms but consuming star apple. It is due to the high amount of calcium contained in star apple which is able to reduce the pain. Well, the sweet and milky taste of star apple is also able to lift your mood during PMS.
11. Prevent Abdominal Bloating in Women
Besides cramping, abdominal bloating is also often suffered by women during PMS. It is not harmful and not causes any pain but it will make women feel so uncomfortable. That’s probably contributes to how women’s mood during PMS could be unstable because of so much things that cause them being uncomfortable. Perhaps, consuming star apple will provide the comfort that each woman needs the most during PMS.
Also Read: Cause of Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
12. Oxygenate Your Body
Do you think oxygen is only for breathing? Well, oxygen is required by every cell in your body to function optimally and do you know how your body cells get oxygen? It is through hemoglobin, it is a protein found in red blood cells. What is responsible to the production of hemoglobin? Well, the answer is the same with what is responsible to the production of red blood cells, it is iron. Yup iron has prominent function to keep your body oxygenated and iron is relatively high found in star apple.
13. Responsible of Collagen Production
Collagen some prominent functions in your body from providing structure to your skin to look firm up to contributing in the flexibility of your bone structures. Furthermore, the same function also applies to the muscle and blood vessels. So, collagen is essential for the structure of human body and collagen is produced inside of your body with the help of vitamin C.
Also Read: Vitamin C 1000 Mg Benefits
14. Accelerate Wound Healing
As mentioned in point number 13, collagen has function in maintaining the health of muscle, actually collagen also contribute in would healing. Furthermore, vitamin C will provide one layer of protection toward further infection to the open wound and certain antioxidants contained in vitamin C also able to act as antibacterial to accelerate the wound healing.
15. Protect the Heart
How exactly star apple is protecting your heart? Now, do you know how several heart problems could occur? It is because heart is forced to work more than its capacity. The causes could be several but mostly because the distribution of blood is disturbed. Minerals has important role in making sure such things wouldn’t happen and as you’ve probably realized, star apple is a good source of certain minerals required by your body.
Also Read: Benefits of Potassium
16. Natural Immunity Booster
The combination of Vitamin C and Carotene which could act as pro Vitamin A are perfect and wonderful combination to boost immunity system naturally. When your immunity system is working optimally is easy for your body to fight diseases caused by viruses or bacteria. Since star apple contains enough vitamin C and carotene and then it is a perfect food to boost your immunity.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Priobiotic
17. Enhance Vision
When your cells are not oxygenated well, the risk of cell degenerations is higher. One of the direct effects of that problem is vision reduction. To prevent it, you have to make sure to eat foods that could stimulate the regenerations of new cells and vitamin C is essential for your cells to be regenerated.
18. Decrease Blood Sugar
There are several factors that could cause the high level of blood sugar in your body. The effect could be fatal since diabetes is a disease that cannot be cured but could be controlled. How to control the blood sugar level? You should aware about what you eat and what the effect is if you eat it. However, star apple could assist in decreasing the blood sugar level if necessary, though further consultation with doctor is required.
Also Read: Benefits of Okra for Diabetes
19. Prevent Anemia
Anemia is probably one of the common conditions suffered by most people right now. However, don’t take this problem lightly because anemia could become the early indication of much worse problem. Making sure your body has enough iron to produce red blood cells is the perfect solution to deal with anemia and star apple is what you should eat for natural source of iron.
20. Reduce the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency could be fatal in long term. The early symptoms are similar to anemia like dizziness, headache, fatigue, unreasonable weakness and rapid heartbeat. In short term, the people who suffer it will feel uncomfortable but in long term, iron deficiency could be harmful for your body because iron is responsible to the production of red blood cells. So, just imagine what your body will suffer if there is no enough blood in your stream! That’s what going to happen if you’re suffering acute iron deficiency.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Sodium
21. Reduce the Risk of Stroke
Stroke occurs when brain is not getting enough oxygen. If you think oxygen is just for breathing and then you’re totally wrong. Do you know what happen to those who cannot breathe? Their body cells are suffering the same and brain is the center of all cells in your body. That’s how stroke occurs. By making sure your body gets enough iron to produce red blood cells that contain hemoglobin to distribute oxygen to every cell in your body, you will reduce the risk of stroke.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Milk Tea
22. Natural Treatment for Cough
It has been well known from generation to generation that star apple is also able to act as natural treatment for cough. Perhaps it is the most delicious way to deal with your cough instead of consuming medicines. However, as natural home remedies, the effect could be varies from one to another.
Also Read: Symptoms of Bronchitis
As Rich of Antioxidant
To fight free radicals which becoming harder to avoid, you have to make sure that your body got enough antioxidant and as rich of vitamin C and vitamin A, surely star apple is what you need to provide the antioxidant from natural source.
23. Neutralize the Harmful Effect of Free Radicals” state=”closed
If you think there is no way to avoid free radicals to enter your body and then making sure your body has protection so the free radicals would not cause any harmful effect. Antioxidants have been well known to be effective in neutralizing the most harmful effects of free radicals and star apple is containing certain types of antioxidants.
Also Read: Benefits of Alpha Lipoid Acid
24. Prevent the Development of Cancerous Cells
How cancerous cells are developed in your body? Healthy cells once infected by free radicals will be mutated and the mutated cells are the root of cancerous cells. Those cells are growing rapidly and infecting other healthy cells. However, antioxidants could provide protection to the healthy cells so free radicals would not
25. Act as Anti-Aging
It is true that you cannot get younger but at least you could slow down the aging process by consuming foods which contains high antioxidants. Star apple is one of the foods that is highly recommended because as rich of antioxidant, it will promote the regeneration of new cells to replace the old one and as rich of vitamin C, it will provide enough collagen to keep your skin firm and prevent wrinkles.
26. Contains Powerful Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Properties
One of the powerful antioxidants called alkaloid found in star apple. This type of antioxidant is also able to act as antimicrobial and antibacterial. These properties are the one responsible to make sure your body could fight diseases caused by microbial and bacteria optimally.
27. Effective in Fighting Infection
Why you apply disinfectant to your open wound? It is not to cure it but to make sure there is no infection will occur. However, applying from outside is not enough, you have to make sure your body could provide the same protection from inside and star apple which contains antibacterial agent could fight infection from the inside.
28. Reduce Inflammation
Antioxidants have properties that could reduce the worst effect of inflammation and star apple contains one type of antioxidants with the most wonderful effect in reducing inflammation.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Guava Leaves
29. Hypertension Treatment
Traditionally, star apple is well known to be a natural solution to treat hypertension. It is due to antioxidants that contained in star apple. However, since it is well known traditionally, further studies are still required and for you who are currently taking special medications to treat hypertension, consulting it to your doctor first is necessary.
30. The Additional Benefits of the Star Apple Leaf, Seeds and Skin
It is not only the fruit that is beneficial to human health but also the leaves. If you have been growing this star apple tree perhaps you could utilize the leaves as the home remedies solution.
31. Treat Dysentery Effectively
Though the leaves may be toxic if consumed in large amount but traditionally the leaves have been used to treat dysentery effectively.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Mango Leaves
32. Natural Treatment for Diarrhea
The symptoms of diarrhea are similar to dysentery, that’s why if the leaves of star apple could treat dysentery and then it is also possible to treat diarrhea.
Also Read: How to Prevent Diarrhea
33. Treat Malaria
Besides the leaves, the thick shell of the star apple is also effective in treating malaria, though further studies regarding this matter is required.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf
34. Have Been Used Traditionally to Treat Yellow Fever
The shell of star apple traditionally has been used to treat yellow fever as well. The survey has been done though specific researches to prove it scientifically are still required.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Yellow Dock
35. Home Remedy Treatment for Stomach Pain
Stomach pain could be caused by many factors but before you could find the cause of the problem, the leaves of star apple could be used to deal with the pain.
Also Read: Food to Eat after Having Stomach Flu
36. Effective for Skin Rash
Skin rash is not fatal but sometimes could be really annoying. To deal with skin rash, you should find the source that cause the rash, could be varies from allergic to bugs but before that applying the leaves of star apple is recommended to reduce the rash and the itchy.
Also Read: Benefits of Red Onion
As a result, that’s all the health benefits of star apple that now you know.
Cautions of Star Apple
Many researches are required to study about star apple, most of the benefits were obtained due to centuries of traditional usage of star apple as medical properties. Some cautions below are the possibility that may occur if consuming star apple.
1. Food Allergic
If you’re consuming star apple for the first time, you should be aware of the possibility of allergic reaction especially if you have history with allergic to certain fruits.
Also Read: Signs of Wheat Allergic
The seeds and leaves are containing some beneficial properties that widely used traditionally as solution of home remedies but you have to make sure to consume it in proper amount because both seeds and leaves of star apple contains toxin that could be harmful or even deadly if they were consumed in high dosage.
Also Read: Mushroom Side Effects
3. Medical Purpose Required Doctor’s Approval
Though star apple has some properties that beneficial for human health but if you’re in certain health condition with specific medicines to consume regularly, adding star apple as part of traditional medicine should based on your doctor’s approval.
One more thing that unique about star apple is the name. The name of star apple is probably strange in some countries since it seems each country has its own name to call the fruit from Caimito, Golden Leaf Tree, Star Plum, Milk Fruit, Cainito, Kenitu and many more. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why this fruit is not really popular because of too many names to call for only one type of fruit.