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    Star fruit/Carambola

    Carambola, or starfruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to the Philippines (where they are called balimbing or saranate, depending on their sourness), Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. The tree and its fruit are popular throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and parts of East Asia. The tree is also cultivated throughout the tropics, such as in Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia, Trinidad, Ecuador, Guyana, Dominican Republic and Brazil, and, in the United States, in south Florida and Hawaii. The carambola should not be confused with the closely related bilimbi, which is also called belimbing in Indonesia.The fruit has ridges running down its sides (usually five) which in cross-section resembles a star, hence its name. The number of ridges can vary from three to six. Carambola is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and low in sugar, sodium and acid. It is also a potent source of both primary and secondary polyphenolic antioxidants.A. carambola has both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities: scavenging of NO by the fruit extract is dependent on concentration and stage of ripening. Carambola is a fairly complex fruit with many benefits, but like strawberries, a small percentage of the human population should be cautious of the fruit for health reasons. Carambola contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment. Consumption by those with kidney failure can produce hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion. Fatal outcomes have been documented in some patients.