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Belizeans should embrace the starfruit: A natural star of health and wellbeing

Starfruit

Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2023. 9:15 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Commonly found in tropical areas around the world, the starfruit, or carambola as it is also known, is a natural nutritional powerhouse that is gaining traction as an essential element in diets due to its array of health benefits. As Belize boasts an environment conducive to starfruit cultivation, it’s high time for Belizeans to fully embrace this unique, health-packed fruit.

The starfruit, aptly named for its five-pointed star shape when sliced, provides an extensive list of nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one average-sized starfruit contains about 28 calories and packs an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber, while also providing essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B5.

Research has shown that incorporating starfruit into diets can yield various health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Food Science found that the fruit is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage from free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Moreover, the dietary fiber content in starfruit can aid in digestion and weight management. According to the Mayo Clinic, dietary fiber can help maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

For Belizeans, embracing the starfruit offers not only health benefits but also a means to support local agriculture. Belize’s tropical climate is perfect for growing starfruit, and integrating it into local diets can contribute to sustainable food practices and boost the country’s agricultural economy.

However, it’s important to note that while starfruit is beneficial for most, it should be consumed with caution by people with kidney problems. As per the National Kidney Foundation, starfruit contains a high amount of oxalates, which people with kidney disease may find difficult to process.

Belizeans have a golden opportunity to boost their health and well-being by incorporating this star-shaped wonder into their diet. From salads to smoothies, starfruit offers versatility in culinary use while providing a significant nutritional punch. With the starfruit, Belizeans have the chance to align their diet with the bounty of their local land, supporting their health and their community in the process.

 

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