Is Star Apple Good for Diabetes? 7 Health Benefits

Are you a diabetic? Are you looking for ways to keep yourself healthy? Do you have doubts about what foods are good for the health and which ones are unhealthy?

Well, just know that you are not alone. Diabetes is a very commonly affecting ailment in today’s world. It is a condition of metabolism that influences the entire body and functioning.

But do not worry because we are here to help you manage this situation with health tips, information, and much more. Today, we will be talking about a unique fruit – the Star Apple.

Are you wondering …?

  • What is star apple?
  • Is star apple good for diabetes?
  • What is the glycemic index of star apple?
  • What are its nutrition facts?
  • What are the benefits of eating star apple?
  • Are there any side effects of eating star apple?

These are important questions to ask before including a certain food item in your meals. We will help you to devise the answers to these questions and clear your confusion about this fruit.

We will start with the basics first. So, let us get started by getting to know about this fruit better.

What is Star Apple?

What-is-Star-Apple

The star apple is a very uncommon fruit and not very widespread everywhere. It is a tropical fruit belonging to the Sapodilla family. The scientific name of the star apple plant is Chrysophyllum cainito.

This fruit is native to America and West Indies and has slowly spread to other tropical regions and parts of the world like Southeast Asia. It is also known by other names such as – purple star apple, tar apple, milk fruit, etc.

The fruit is almost the size of an apple and thus half the name. It is round and green when unripe. As the fruit ripens, it becomes dark purple on the outside. The outer covering is smooth and firm. The skin is edible.

The other former half of the name of this fruit is due to its star-shaped core. Both the flesh inside of the fruit and the core is edible. It is sweet-tasting and is enjoyed in various parts of the world.

This is a seasonal fruit and is enjoyed in summers as a chilled dessert or treat.

Apart from just the fruit of this plant, the tree’s bark and its leaf are also used as medicinal elements. The fruit is also appreciated for its nutritional richness and benefits.

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We will have a deeper look at these aspects of this fruit as we keep moving further. Lets have a detailed look at the effects of this fruit on diabetic patients.

Is Star Apple good for diabetes?

Is Star Apple good for diabetes

Well, this is one among the list of wonder-fruits for diabetes. Alongside being safe, it is also very beneficial for the health of an individual.

The Star apple is a low-carb and low-calorie fruit. Therefore, it makes a great diabetic-safe fruit for those with blood sugar issues.

To be clearer about its safety on the diabetic individual’s body, we can look at its glycemic index (GI). The star fruit hase a very low GI value. Hence, it is assured that the star apple will have no harmful effects on blood sugar levels.

The star apple is a very nutritious fruit and supplies the body with several healthy minerals and vitamins. It is also a good supply of antioxidants for the body.

All these qualities together make it a very immunity-boosting addition to the diet. It offers safety and protection to the health against other ailments that can worsen the body’s functioning.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to increased risks of other issues in the body. Moreover, regular symptoms also seem to heighten due to the impacts on blood sugar levels and metabolism.

These issues can be highly benefitted by incorporating useful and healthy food items such as the Star Apple fruit. It has no spiking effects on the blood sugar levels and, at the same time, also improves health holistically.

In addition to this, the star apple tree leaves are also used for medicinal purposes to extract and make into effective medicines. The star apple leaf extract is used as infusions to treat diabetes.

Hence, not just the fruit but the leaf of this tree is also good and helpful in controlling and managing diabetes. The bark of the tree also had several medicinal purposes.

As we go on, we will discuss the benefits of this fruit on an individual’s health in detail. But before that, lets have a look at the glycemic index of this fruit. 

What is the Glycemic Index of the Star Apple?

What is the Glycemic Index of the Star Apple

Measuring the healthiness of any food item becomes easier with knowing the Glycemic Index of that food. The glycemic index is a measure of the carbohydrate-content in a food and its eventual impact on the body.

This method is more useful for diabetics, as they have to keep a constant eye on what they are eating and how it will affect their health.

The glycemic index of any food is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. It is then classified into three different categories based on their carb-content readings.

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The following is a table representing the three glycemic index groups and their ranges:

Sl. No. Glycemic Index categoriesGlycemic Index ranges
1.Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics)0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic Index (safe when taken in controlled quantities)55  to 69
3.High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics)From 70 and above

With the table’s help given above, one can easily find out what safe or unsafe category one food belongs.

When it comes to Star Apple, the glycemic index of this fruit is low. It is only 28. This is a very low limit and thus ensures no harmful effects on the diabetic blood sugar levels.

Now, let us move on to learn about the nutritional composition of this fruit.

What are the nutrition facts of Star Apple?

Like every fruit, the star apple also has some other benefits to the body due to its nutritional contents.

The nutrients are the building blocks of any food that constitute the impacts on the body. We already discussed that the star apple is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, which assist in the body’s overall health and wellness.

Let us have a look at what these nutrients of the star apple are and their quantities available. This table represents the types and quantities of nutrients found in 100 grams of star apple.

Sl. No.Nutrients found in 100 g of star appleAmount available
1.Calories67.2
2.Fats0 g
3.Proteins2.33 g
4.Carbohydrates14.65 g
5.Fiber3.30 g
6.Water73.32 g
7.Cholesterol0 mg
8.Riboflavin (vitamin B2)0.04 mg
9.Thiamine (vitamin B1)0.08 mg
10.Niacin (vitamin B3)1.340 mg
11.Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)15.2 mg
12.Vitamin B60.200 mg
13.Calcium12.35 mg
14.Iron0.49 mg
15.Phosphorus18.95 mg

It also has notable amounts of minerals such as copper, folate, magnesium, potassium, etc. These are crucial minerals for the body that enable and enhance better functioning of the body.

All in all, these several nutrients nourish the body in numerous ways and have many benefits too. Let us have a detailed look at what the benefits of eating star apple are.

What are the benefits of eating star fruit?

What-are-the-benefits-of-eating-star-fruit

All this while we praised the star apple for its numerous benefiting qualities and rich nutritional profile, but what are the actual advantages it has on health? Let us find out.

  1. It is a very light food item on the body. The star apple, as we already mentioned, is low in calories and sugars. Thus, it is a perfect food choice for anyone with weight issues.
  1. It is also an excellent source of fiber in the body. Fiber is necessary to maintain positive digestive health. It helps in keeping the metabolism perfectly paced and clean. Moreover, the fiber in the body helps prevent gut issues, constipation, indigestion, etc.
  1. It is also high in vitamins, especially vitamin C. this assists in strengthening the immunity of the body, collagen formation, wound-healing, etc.
  1. The numerous antioxidants available in star apple lead to a reduction of oxidative stress in the body. This, in turn, helps the body to stay away from the harmful effects of free radicals. These antioxidants also aid in fighting against cancer-causing agents in the body.
  1. Iron present in the star apple also gives rise to better blood circulation and immunity. It helps in preventing harmful effects of low hemoglobin, anemia, etc.
  1. The availability of calcium and phosphorus in the body assists in bone and teeth strengthening.
  1. The entire tree and its products are used in Ayurveda and for medicinal purposes.
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What are the side effects of eating star apple?

Alongside the many benefits, one also needs to take into consideration the harms of this fruit.

  • Too much star fruit can lead to neurological issues and disorders. It must be eaten in limited amounts.
  • It can also inflame kidney damage in individuals with already existing kidney issues.

It is important to know your body and its limits and accordingly administering to it. 

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf011178n
  2. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajb/article/view/14802
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfbc.13576
  4. https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-020-03053-9
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfbc.12969
  6. https://ethnobiomed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1746-4269-8-40
  7. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijfs/2019/4959586/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235261811500027X
  9. http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/5773/#.YEoHDp0zZPY
  10. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/afrrev/article/view/58288
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  12. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jasem/article/view/199539
Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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