Star fruit is known to be a rich source of antioxidants and essential nutrients. But is it safe to have star fruit during pregnancy?
The star fruit is a greenish-yellow colored fruit that is considered to be native to Sri Lanka. Its nutritional profile includes vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and organic acids, all of which play an important role in helping you have a healthy pregnancy and make delivering the baby easier.
Read on to know more about star fruit, its nutritional values, and the advantages of having it during pregnancy.
What Is Star Fruit?
Star fruit, also popular as Carambola, is a five-angled, waxy yellow-green fruit. The sweet and sour cool fruit grows on a tree popular as Averrhoa carambola, and it’s native to Sri Lanka. As a matter of fact, star fruit is rich in several nutrients, such as carbohydrates, vitamins, carotenoid compounds, organic acids, fiber, minerals, and other crucial nutrients, that might be highly beneficial during pregnancy and a great addition to your prenatal diet (1).
Is It Safe To Eat Star Fruit During Pregnancy?
Yes! You can enjoy eating star fruit during pregnancy. It has a high nutrition content and has a low calorie content, which helps you to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Minerals, vitamins, folic acid or folate, and other nutrients in the fruit provide you the stamina that you need during pregnancy. Drinking fresh star fruit juice prevents and cures throat and mouth infection effectively while expecting. Also, the fruit helps you keep several health troubles at bay. However, star fruit has high oxalate content. So if you have any history of kidney disease, it’s best to avoid it and take your physician’s advice before consuming it (2)
Health Benefits Of Eating Star Fruit During Pregnancy
High nutritional content in the start fruit offers several health benefits while you are expecting. Health benefits include:
1. Immunity Booster:
One of the key health benefits of eating star fruit during pregnancy is that it helps increase your endurance and immunity. The consumption of the fruit helps your immune system to combat several harmful bacteria and viruses. Also, its high vitamin C content helps provide a sufficient intake of antioxidants during pregnancy. The antioxidants effectively inhibit oxidation and prevent the production of free radicals in your body. Also, the high antioxidant content in the fruit minimizes free-radical damage (3).
2. Promotes Eye Health:
Star fruit is an excellent natural source of vitamin A, a vital vitamin to maintain good eye health. So, eating vitamin A during pregnancy nourishes your eyes and safeguards them from infections and disorders effectively. Also, the fruit helps enhance your power of vision to a great extent. Star fruit is an effective remedy to treat sore eyes while expecting.
3. Treats Digestive Disorders:
Problems with digestion can interfere with your comfort during pregnancy. Eating star fruit while you are expecting helps cure several digestive disorders effectively. Consumption of the nutritious fruit helps treat diarrhea, stomach disorders, and constipation. Consult your doctor about the right amount of star fruit (4).
4. Reduces High Blood Pressure:
Potassium in the star fruit is highly beneficial for lowering high blood pressure during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 13% of pregnant women in the US suffer from pregnancy associated hypertension. Hypertension can lead to heart attack or stroke. Eating star fruit helps minimize high blood pressure significantly and prevents the risk of stroke or heart-related problems.
5. Prevents Cancer:
The high antioxidant content in the star fruit is highly effective in protecting you against the development of cancerous cells during pregnancy.
Mary Sabat, a nutritionist from Alpharetta, Georgia, says, “Star fruit can be beneficial for urinary tract infections during pregnancy, as it is high in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity.”
6. Promotes Smooth Urination:
Star fruit has acted as a diuretic since ancient times. Adding a dash of honey to the juice of star fruit and drinking it promotes the smooth functioning of your urinary processes while you are expecting.
7. Reduces Cholesterol:
Regular consumption of star fruit helps minimize levels of bad cholesterol in your blood during pregnancy. It prevents the risk of development of health problems due to high levels of cholesterol (3).
Ways To Include Star Fruit In Pregnancy Diet
Here are some simple ways to include star fruit in your recipes.
- Smoothies: Blend star fruit with orange, banana, and yogurt to make a delightful smoothie.
- Fruit salad: Slice the star fruit into star-shaped pieces and mix it with other tropical fruits such as pineapple, kiwi, and mango. Drizzle some honey or garnish with mint to make a delectable fruit salad.
- Fruit Skewers: Thread star fruit slices on skewers with other tropical fruits like pineapple to create a colorful dessert.
- Star Fruit Sorbet: Mix star fruit puree with lime or lemon juice and freeze it to make a refreshing dessert that can also be consumed as an on-the-go snack.
- Salsas: Blend star fruit slices with lime juice, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro to create a unique tropical salsa. You can serve it with grilled fish, plain crackers, or roasted chicken shreds.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the risks of eating star fruit?
Eating a star fruit is safe for most individuals except those with kidney diseases. Neurotoxins present in starfruit may cause neurological disorders in such cases. Symptoms of star fruit poisoning in those with kidney disease include hiccups, mental confusion, and seizures (2).
Sabat observes, “Eating star fruit in moderation during pregnancy is generally safe, but since it has a neurotoxin that can be dangerous to anyone, it is suggested to limit this fruit, especially if the kidneys are compromised.”
2. What happens if I eat too much starfruit?
Consuming star fruit in large quantities may lead to oxalate accumulation in the body. It may result in excess calcium deposition in the kidneys, kidney stones, or renal insufficiency (5).
3. Are there any potential allergic reactions to star fruit during pregnancy?
There are no dedicated studies on the potential allergic reactions to star fruit during pregnancy. Before consuming the fruit, consult your healthcare professional, and if you experience any symptoms of an allergy after consumption, immediately seek medical attention and discontinue eating.
4. Does star fruit have any impact on gestational diabetes?
According to a study, star fruit has been observed to have hypoglycemic and antidiabetic effects. They possess a compound proven effective in reducing blood sugar levels in diabetes‐induced mouse models. However, further clinical studies are needed to discuss the antidiabetic effect in humans (3).
It is safe to consume star fruits in pregnancy. This fruit may provide you with many essential vitamins and minerals, and star fruit juice can reduce the risk of mouth and throat infections. Star fruits boost immunity, promote eye health, reduce high blood pressure, and relieve digestive problems. They are also known to prevent cancer and reduce high cholesterol levels. You may take caution or seek a doctor’s advice before taking star fruit if you have a history of kidney issues since oxalate in the fruit may negatively affect kidney function.
Infographic: Ways To Include Star Fruit In Pregnancy Diet
The bright tropical fruit, star fruit, is a healthy addition to a pregnancy diet as it can provide a variety of nutrients that are important for the health of both the mother and the baby. We bring delicious and easy ways to include star fruit in your daily diet and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
- Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a tropical fruit known for its high nutritional value.
- Star fruit provides a good amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and folic acid that are important for the mother’s and developing fetus’s health.
- The fruit helps boost immunity, manage digestive disorders, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
- Pregnant women should consume star fruit moderately, as it contains oxalate that may cause health issues.
- Pregnant women with kidney diseases or stones should avoid star fruit in their diet.
- Narmataa Muthu et al. (2016); Nutritional Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review.
- Why You Should Avoid Eating Starfruit.
- Kasun Lakmal et al. (2021); Nutritional and medicinal properties of Star fruit (Averrhoa carambola): A review.
- Ritu Singh et al. (2014); Prophylactic Role of Averrhoa carambola (Star Fruit) Extract against Chemically Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Swiss Albino Mice.
- Star Fruit
- Dilushi Rowena Wijayaratne et al. (2018); Star fruit nephrotoxicity: a case series and literature review.