The balimbing fruit is known by several names. Most countries refer to it as carambola and some simply refer to it as the star fruit. Balimbing is naturally shaped like a star and can be eaten with its skin intact. It is a favorite snack for communities in the Philippines and its sweet flavor is making it popular around the world. Exceptionally rich in disease-fighting vitamins and minerals, this fruit is not far from becoming the next “super-fruit”.
Types of Nutrients in Balimbing
Balimbing is not short on vitamins, minerals and fiber. In fact, it contains as much as 22 grams of vitamin C, which forms about 20% of the suggested daily intake. It is a good provider of dietary fiber and a calorie count that ranges between 22 and 40 calories. Researchers claim that balimbing contains reasonable quantities of magnesium, potassium and folic acid as well. The fruit has also been found to have antioxidants in high concentrations.
Balimbing and Disease Prevention
The health industry is on a hunt for antioxidant-rich foods because of the effect they have on diseases. This is one of the reasons why balimbing or star fruits are gaining the attention of nutritionists. The antioxidants in the fruit can inhibit the activity of harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are more powerful when combined with vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a great weapon against disease. It supports the immune system in its daily functions, which include ridding the body of toxins and limiting the spread of bad bacteria. This nutrient has far-reaching health benefits and can offer protection against common colds, heart conditions, diabetes and cancers.
Balimbing and the Heart
An unhealthy diet can compromise your cardiovascular health. Millions of people suffer from clogged arteries, unusual heart rhythms and hypertension. To prevent or help treat these ailments, you can include servings of balimbing in your diet. The potassium and fiber the fruit carries help your heart function without strain and prevent future conditions.
Balimbing and Weight Loss
Shedding pounds means shedding you calories and the balimbing fruit can keep your caloric intake low. With 40 calories per serving, you can enjoy its sweet, savory taste guilt-free. Although it is sweet to the taste, sugar only makes up for 4-5% of its content. It is low in carbohydrates and is the ideal snack if you are watching your figure.
Balimbing and Muscle Health
Muscle can be torn, weakened or strained through physical activity, medication or aging. When this happens, your body requires magnesium to make necessary repairs. Star fruits can feed your muscle minerals it needs to grow and become stronger. Changing your diet can be just as effective as supplements, so fill up on magnesium-rich foods to maintain healthy, agile muscles and nerves.
Add Balimbing to Your Diet
In past years, balimbing was an especially rare fruit to get hold of. Nowadays, it is sold in more specialty stores and selected grocers. There is no need to cut, peel or chop star fruit. You can eat them whole and raw to obtain the highest amount of nutritional goodness.