Star Fruit: Benefits, Nutritional Profile, Risks & Ways To Eat 2023


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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

star fruit benefits

A tropical fruit that provides many health benefits that take on the shape of a star and has a deliciously unique taste is star fruit. Due to the star fruit’s nutritional composition, this tropical fruit’s benefits include weight loss promotion, immunity boosting, and chronic disease reduction, among other beneficial effects. 

While this fruit may not be in everyone’s diet, consuming star fruit is something you could consider. Keep reading to find out what star fruit is good for and its numerous health benefits. 

7 Health Benefits Of Star Fruit

  • Weight loss. 
  • Digestion.
  • Blood sugar control.
  • Anti-cancer potential.
  • Blood cholesterol control.
  • Alzheimer’s prevention potential.
  • Anti-aging potential.

What Is Star Fruit?

Star fruit, also known as carambola,[1] is a tropical fruit. It was first grown in Asia but is now grown in many tropical countries. Star fruit is grown on a carambola tree, producing tropical fruit four times a year. While star fruit is a tasty fruit, the taste will vary depending on the ripeness.

A barely ripe or unripe star fruit will have a sour taste. However, ripe star fruit will have a balanced sweet and tangy taste and has been compared to pears, melons, and gooseberries. 

These fruits have a waxy outer layer. The unripe fruit is dark green, but the ripe fruit is a bright yellow to orange in color. It has an elongated shape and has five groves that dip in. 

Once cut into slices, you can see why it is called star fruit, as the fruit slices will be in the shape of a five-point star.

Many countries in Southeast and South Asia, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, have used star fruit as a traditional remedy for its claimed nutritional and medicinal properties. For example, in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan, star fruit is said to cure sore throats, and in Vietnam, carambola juice is said to improve vision. 

While there is no science to back up those claims, it does highlight how popular star fruit has been in certain countries for many years. 

Nutrition Facts

Star fruits are low-calorie fruits and jammed pack with healthy nutrients, making them excellent nutrient-dense fruits. See the nutritional value of star fruit listed below. 

Star fruit nutrition facts[2] for one medium-sized star fruit (91 grams):

  • Energy (calorie): 28.2 kilocalories
  • Water: 83.2 grams
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6.1 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Magnesium: 9.1 milligrams
  • Phosphorous: 10.9 milligrams
  • Potassium: 121 milligrams 
  • Vitamin C: 31.3 milligrams
  • Folate: 10.9 micrograms

Now that we know the nutritional value of starfruit, what are the health benefits of starfruit? Is starfruit good for you, or should it be avoided? These questions are answered in the section below.

Amazing Benefits Of Star Fruit

Weight Loss Promoter 

A great benefit of star fruit is its great source of soluble fiber. A 2020 review study[3] reported that consuming soluble fiber is beneficial for weight loss. 

The review showed that 62 studies found viscous fiber, a type of soluble fiber, reduced body weight and waist circumference, independent of calorie restrictions or fat reduction when consumed with an ad libitum diet. While the reductions were modest, the studies still showed weight loss promotion potential.


Another benefit of eating foods rich in fiber is they help promote digestive health and prevent constipation.[4] Starfruit contains both insoluble dietary fiber and soluble dietary fiber. 

Soluble dietary fiber gives stool bulks, and insoluble dietary fiber helps increase transit time through your digestive system. Both insoluble and soluble fiber is important for bowel health, so eating star fruit is a great option. 

Blood Sugar Control Potential

Due to star fruit being a great source of fiber, it is a low-glycemic food.[5] The glycemic index[6] is a scale that rates foods containing carbohydrates on how they will impact blood sugars after eating. 

Foods that are low on the glycemic index will have a smaller impact on blood sugars, whereas high glycemic index foods will increase blood sugars at a higher and faster rate after eating. Incorporating more low-glycemic foods into your diet can help with blood sugar control. 

Anti-cancer Potential

As shown earlier in this article, under star fruit nutritional facts, it is clear that star fruit is a good source of vitamin C.

A 2021 review[7] on vitamin C reported individuals who have cancer frequently demonstrate lower vitamin C levels than adults who do not have cancer but cautioned against high doses. Vitamin C deficiency is also associated with higher C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation and an indicator of higher mortality.

The review reported there is some evidence that vitamin C consumed orally may assist in the prevention of certain cancers, such as lung cancer, colorectal adenoma, and endometrial cancer. These results were found in conjunction with also consuming a healthy diet. 

While more research is needed to determine the impact of vitamin C intake on cancer, consuming a diet full of fruits and vegetables[8] has been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers. 

This indicates that consuming star fruit, in addition to a variety of other fruits and vegetables, is good for your health and may ward off cancer.

Blood Cholesterol Control Potential

A 2016 study[9] assessed the impact of consuming star fruit juice on blood cholesterol. Participants consumed star fruit twice daily for four weeks among 27 elderly individuals. 

The study found that after the four-week consumption of star fruit, participants had a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol, and a decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol.

While these findings are exciting and indicate potential benefits related to heart diseases, as good cholesterol promotes healthy blood flow, more human trials with a larger pool of participants are needed to determine the true impact of eating star fruit on blood cholesterol. 

Alzheimer’s Prevention Potential

A 2018 study[10] investigated the association between Averrhoa carambola L. root extract and memory and learning among mice. 

The study found that the root extract improved learning and memory deficit among the mice and may also be associated with reversing the apoptosis or programmed death of neurons. 

While eating star fruit has not been associated with any preventative potential, the researchers stated the root extract examined in the study could be a potential treatment candidate for Alzheimer’s.  Further research is needed in this area.

Anti-aging Potential 

A 2022 study[11] assessed the impact of star fruit extract on skin inflammation, which can lead to premature skin aging. The study determined that star fruit extracts and the main flavonoids of star fruits, Cglycosylated flavonoid components, could prevent air pollution, skin diseases, and premature aging. 

Notably, although this study demonstrates starfruit benefits for the skin, this does not mean that eating starfruit will produce anti-aging potential. Future research, including studies with humans, is required to determine the true anti-aging potential. 

Safety And Side Effects

While there are many great benefits to star fruit, the National Kidney Foundation advises[12] individuals with kidney diseases, including chronic kidney disease or acute kidney injury, should avoid eating star fruit. 

This is because eating star fruit can cause a toxic effect among people with kidney disease. Starfruit creates a toxic effect on individuals with kidney disease because their kidneys cannot pass[12] the neurotoxins out of their bodies. 

Individuals with healthy kidneys can efficiently pass the toxin out of their bodies without any harm, so they are not affected by star fruit toxicity.

Research[13] has shown this toxic effect in individuals with kidney disease who consume star fruit is due to the poisonous effects of oxalic acid and carambola in star fruits. Symptoms of star fruit poisoning include hiccups, mental confusion, disturbances in consciousness, and vomiting. 

Starfruit consumption among individuals with kidney disease can even lead to death. If you are unsure if you have kidney problems, speak with your primary healthcare provider before adding star fruits to your diet. 

How To Eat It

Star fruit is a juicy fruit that can be added to any meal or snack! To prepare star fruit, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Wash star fruit under cold running water.
  2. Place the star fruit on a cutting board and use a knife to cut off the ends.
  3. Cut the star fruit horizontally to your desired thickness and remove any seeds.

Each slice should be in the shape of a star naturally. Due to the beauty of this ripe fruit’s natural shape, it can easily be added to dishes as a garnish. The peel is edible, so the entire star fruit garnish can be eaten. Starfruit can also be eaten at meals and snacks.


  • Add a ripe star fruit slice on top of a yogurt parfait. 
  • Add star fruit into a fruit smoothie or smoothie bowl.
  • Cut a cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds to make a bowl, and fill it with your choice of yogurt or smoothie. 


  • Add star fruit to any green salad for a flavorful garnish. 
  • Top dishes with a star fruit salsa to add a burst of flavor.


  • Make fruit salad using star fruit slices.
  • Freeze star fruit juice to make tasty popsicles.
  • Eat snack fruit slices on their own as a healthy, fiber-rich snack.

Final Thought

Overall, star fruit is a delicious juicy fruit with a slightly tangy taste that can bring a pop of color and flavor to any meal or snack. There are numerous health benefits associated with star fruit, so if you want to try it, you should go for it and enjoy star fruit in your diet.

Individuals with kidney disease should avoid star fruit, as their kidneys will not be able to rid their body of the oxalic acid content within star fruit. If you have concerns about kidney health, be sure to speak with your registered dietitian or primary healthcare provider before eating star fruit.

+ 13 sources

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  1. Carambola | Description, Tree, Fruit, Uses, & Facts | Britannica. (2023). In: Encyclopædia Britannica. [online] Available at:
  2. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:
  3. Jovanovski, E., Mazhar, N., Komishon, A., Khayyat, R., Li, D., Blanco Mejia, S., Khan, T., L Jenkins, A., Smircic-Duvnjak, L., Sievenpiper, J.L. and Vuksan, V. (2020). Can dietary viscous fiber affect body weight independently of an energy-restrictive diet? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 111(2), pp.471–485. doi:
  4. Health, U. (2023). Constipation. [online] Available at:
  5. more (2015). Carambola nutrition, glycemic index, calories, net carbs & more. [online] Food Struct. Available at:
  6. DiabetesCanadaWebsite. (2023). Glycemic index education portal. [online] Available at:—resources/glycemic-index-education-portal.
  7. Doseděl, M., Jirkovský, E., Macáková, K., Krčmová, L., Javorská, L., Pourová, J., Mercolini, L., Remião, F., Nováková, L. and Mladěnka, P. (2021). Vitamin C—Sources, Physiological Role, Kinetics, Deficiency, Use, Toxicity, and Determination. Nutrients, [online] 13(2), p.615. doi:
  8. (n.d.). Fruit and Vegetable Consumption | Cancer Trends Progress Report. [online] Available at:
  9. Leelarungrayub, J., Yankai, A., Pinkaew, D., Puntumetakul, R., J. Laskin, J. and J Bloomer, R. (2016). A preliminary study on the effects of star fruit consumption on antioxidant and lipid status in elderly Thai individuals. Clinical Interventions in Aging, [online] Volume 11, pp.1183–1192. doi:
  10. Wei, X., Xu, X., Chen, Z., Liang, T., Wen, Q., Qin, N., Huang, W., Huang, X., Li, Y., Li, J., He, J., Wei, J. and Huang, R. (2018). Protective Effects of 2-Dodecyl-6-Methoxycyclohexa-2,5 -Diene-1,4-Dione Isolated from Averrhoa Carambola L. (Oxalidaceae) Roots on Neuron Apoptosis and Memory Deficits in Alzheimer’s Disease. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, [online] 49(3), pp.1105–1114. doi:
  11. Wu, P., Iwahashi, H., Xie, H.-H., Wang, Y., Zhou, Y.-Y., Kiso, A., Kawashima, Y. and Wei, X.-Y. (2022). Star fruit extract and C-glycosylated flavonoid components have potential to prevent air pollutant-induced skin inflammation and premature aging. Natural Products and Bioprospecting, [online] 12(1). doi:
  12. National Kidney Foundation. (2016). Why You Should Avoid Eating Starfruit. [online] Available at:
  13. Muthu, N., Lee, S.Y., Phua, K.K. and Bhore, S.J. (2016). Nutritional, Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review. Bioinformation, [online] 12(12), pp.420–424. doi:

Written by:

Health Canal Staff

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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