Fruits and vegetables are an important source of nutrients and during each season we can see the best of each variety in the markets.
Among the different shapes and colors that are displayed on the tables of each stall in the flea markets and markets, there is a peculiar-looking fruit that can be intimidating if it is the first time it is seen.
The carambola comes from the tree of the same name, it is the species Averrhoa carambola L. of the Oxalidaceae family and its origin has been traced to the tropical areas of Asia.
From Asia it has moved to multiple parts of the world, especially in countries located within the tropical and subtropical bands such as Australia, China, Mexico, Brazil, France, Haiti, the United States, Malaysia and Thailand, among others.
The evergreen tree with dense foliage grows to three to five meters tall, with smooth leaves about three inches long.
During its flowering, produces small five-petal flowers of pink and purple colors in great quantity.
The fruit is an oval berry five to fifteen centimeters long and almost always has five “ribs” or protrusions that are located longitudinally, arranged equidistant and that provides a star shape when sliced transversely. .
Because of its appearance, it is also called a star fruit. Its skin is thin and smooth, the coloration It goes from greenish-yellow tones to oranges, depending on its state of maturity.
The pulp is soft and juicy, yellow in color, its flavor depends on the variety, but it is usually sweet with hints of acidity and contains 3 to 6 small seeds in the center.
Many varieties of this fruit are registered, so the main classification It is divided into those with an acid flavor and those with a sweet flavor.
The Arkin and Golden varieties are among the best known, while in Malaysia there are about 17 types that represent economic importance.
The carambola is marketed mainly fresh; Nevertheless, it is possible to find it in processed products such as jellies, jams, ice cream, juices, pulps, concentrates and many other uses.
In the kitchen it is uncommon to use it as part of recipes, despite this, More and more chefs are giving carambola a role in their dishes.
Carambola is composed mainly of water, its content can be up to 90% of its weight, therefore, it is a great source of natural hydration for the body when consumed.
This fruit is also low in calories, with a contribution of 31 kilocalories per 100 grams of pulp, which makes it an ideal food to add to the diet.
Within its nutritional composition, in 100 grams of carambola there are only 6.7 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 milligrams of sugar, 2.8 grams of fiber and 1.04 grams of protein.
The soluble fiber that is obtained by eating it, gives it laxative properties. It is rich in potassium so helps people with heart conditions and high blood pressure.
Other prominent minerals within the star fruit are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium, all necessary for the proper functioning of the organs and the body in general.
Provides vitamin A, which is essential for visual health, the good condition of hair, skin, bones and the immune system.
It is a source of vitamin B-9, known as folic acid that plays an essential role in the development, growth, reproduction and function of cells.
Finally, contains a large amount of vitamin C, which contributes to the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red blood cells, helps the absorption of iron and strengthens the immune system.