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Jamaican Star Apple
The "Mean" But Delicious Island Fruit

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Jamaican Star AppleJamaican Star Apple

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Have you ever heard of a fruit being mean? Well, every Jamaican knows the meanest fruit ever is the Jamaican star apple. These delicious fruits even when they have gotten overly ripe, will just not fall from the tree. The trees tend to be so high that only a skilled climber or the use of a bamboo stick will be able to get it down.


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The star apple fruit, scientifically called Chrysophyllum cainito is a Caribbean and Central American native. It belongs to the Sapotaceae family of trees, which includes approximately 150 species of tropical and subtropical trees. It's fairly abundant in Jamaica, and it's well-known for its delicious fruit and usage as a shade tree. A mature tree can reach over 15 metres in height and has a trunk that is nearly a metre in diameter.

Types of Star Apples

The star apple is not only delicious, but it also has a distinct sensation similar to that of eating coconut jelly. As a result, in certain countries, this fruit is also known as milk fruit. One of the hallmarks of this fruit, which applies to two types of star apple varieties, is its thick skin.

Purple Star Apple

This variety's thick skin is dark purple, but the pulp has a range of purple tints from light purple to white. This is the most popular version of the fruit in Jamaica.

Green Star Apple

These have the same thick skin as purple star apples, but their colour is fresh green rather than purple. Because the pulp is milky white, the flavour is rich and creamy.

What does Jamaican star apple taste like?

The edible parts of the star apple fruit are quite sweet and creamy.

Where does the star apple come from and where does it grow?

The star apple is primarily purple or green in appearance. It's a tropical tree endemic to the Caribbean and the Greater Antilles. It isn't an apple, despite its name. They have spread over the tropical and subtropical regions but are not cultivated in many places. India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, Central America, Jamaica, Cuba, and a multitude of other countries are among them.

The Benefits of Jamaican Star Apple

  1. Powerful Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Properties - Alkaloid is one of the potent antioxidants present in star apples. This antioxidant can also serve as an antibiotic and antibacterial agent. These qualities are responsible for ensuring that your body can effectively fight diseases caused by microbes and bacteria.

  2. Hypertension Treatment - Star apple has long been thought to be a natural treatment for hypertension. It's because of the antioxidants found in star apples. However, because it is well-known in the past, further research is needed, and if you are presently using particular medications to control hypertension, you should visit your doctor first.

  3. Used Traditionally to Treat Yellow Fever - Yellow fever has traditionally been treated with the shell of a star apple. The study has been completed, but more research is required to confirm it scientifically.

  4. Reduce the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency - A long-term iron shortage could be lethal. Early symptoms include dizziness, headache, weariness, unusual weakness, and a quick heartbeat, which are comparable to anaemia. People who suffer from it will feel uneasy in the short term, but an iron deficiency can be hazardous to your body in the long run because iron is required for the development of red blood cells. Imagine what your body will go through if there isn't enough blood in your veins! If you have an acute iron deficit, this is exactly what will happen. Star apple consumption has proven to reduce these symptoms. 

  5. Decrease Blood Sugar - A high blood sugar level in your body can be caused by a number of things. Because diabetes is a condition that cannot be cured but can be managed, the consequences could be fatal. How do you keep your blood sugar under control? You should be aware of what you consume and the consequences of doing so. However, if necessary, star apple could help lower blood sugar levels, though further consultation with a doctor is required.

  6. Natural Immunity Booster - Vitamin C and carotene, which can work as a provitamin A, are a terrific and wonderful combo for naturally boosting immunity. When your immune system is functioning properly, your body has an easier time-fighting infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Because star apples are high in vitamin C and carotene, they are an excellent diet for boosting immunity.

  7. Responsible for Collagen Production - Collagen has a number of important purposes in your body, ranging from giving your skin structure to helping it look firm to assist in the flexibility of your bone structures. In addition, the muscle and blood vessels have the same function. Collagen is required for the formation of the human body, and it is created within the body with the help of vitamin C which is found in star apples. 

  8. Reduce Cramping during PMS - There's no need to be concerned if you're suffering from PMS cramps because there's no better way to alleviate the symptoms than by eating a star apple. It is because of the high calcium content in star apples that they are able to relieve pain. The sweet and creamy flavour of star apple can also help you feel better during PMS.

  9. Effective for Constipation - Constipation is a direct result of slowed bowel movement. As a result, in order to treat constipation, you must first address the bowel movement issue. Enough fibre in your body can help to normalize bowel movement, therefore eating a star apple is perhaps the most enjoyable way to relieve constipation. On the flip side, Jamaicans believe that if you eat too many star apples or fine veins in the star apples they may cause constipation.

Nutritional Value Of Jamaican Star Apple

With all those great benefits, of course, the star apple is packed with vitamins and minerals. It contains was high water content, protein, carbohydrate, fibre, minerals, vitamins B, B2, B3, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

How To Eat Jamaican Star Apple

Like most fruits star apples can be had straight from the tree. Its thick skin contains a latex substance, so it should not be eaten. As you bite into the fruit prepare for your lips to get quite sticky but to prevent this you can simply rub some oil on your lips before having it.

The soft white or light purple inner part of the fruit is what you should eat, also the thin membrane around the seeds. You can also choose to break the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the meat. The fruit is sometimes used to make ice creams or sherbets.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Star Apple

  1. 36 Health Benefits of Star Apple (No.2 is Unbelievable) - DrHealthBenefits.com, https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/fruits/health-benefits-of-star-apple  
  2. Star Apple How to Eat It And What does it Taste Like, https://www.inthekitchenwithmatt.com/star-apple-how-to-eat-it-and-what-does-it-taste-like
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