In the Philippines, there is a fruit that has an infamous English translation – Balimbing. In daily conversation, the term refers to being double-dealing, indecisiveness and two-faced. However, we are not dealing with the adjective but the noun specifically the fruit itself.
Balimbing is called Starfruit or Carambola in English. Usually it grows along coastal areas such as in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and other portions of the Southeast Asia, South Pacific and parts of East Asia. However, it is also being cultivated in Peru, Colombia, Guyana, and United States and in other areas within the American Continents.
Balimbing is a small tree that grows to a height of maximum 6 meters or less. The leaves are pinnate, about 15 centimeters long.
This green and five-pointed (resembling a star) fruit does not only fills up our stomach and satisfies thirst but likewise serve as one of the many alternative weight loss herbs.
First, it is rich in vitamins and minerals specially Vitamin C, which strengthens our immune system. It contains also antioxidants particularly polyphenolics, which facilitates expulsion of free radicals and proper usage of oxygen for better metabolic processes.
Second, this fruit is low in sugar and sodium, which means that fats have less chance of absorption.
Third, it has minute quantities of resveratrol. We all know that resveratrol are found in grapes, and currently being marketed to be the next slimming formula.
The plant can be used in in salads, saute’s, and even in preserves/jams. It tastes like a non-sour kamias or iba and it actually can be quite refreshing.
Nonetheless, it is sad to say this fruit is rarely been seen or cultivated in the Philippines. Thus, we are not sure if this plant is considered already extinct or just near extinction. We hope other countries are still producing these fruits.