Read This Before Eating Yellow Star Fruit

Star fruit can be very delicious, and sometimes just hearing the name can muster up images of the sun and the beach — leaving you with an extra tropical feeling on a regular day. A Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report details that the fruit, also known as carambola, is believed to originate from the countries of Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The same report explains how the fruit was incredibly popular in Asia, before making its way to North America in 1887. 

In 1935, the WDPI reports, star fruit made its official jump to Caribbean islands, Central America, and South America. From then on, the love for star fruit grew so much that the United States began growing it commercially in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. But not everyone can or should eat this small sweet (and sometimes tart) fruit as it could cause some major health concerns. This yellow tropical fruit can actually be quite deadly to people, according to Top Tenz.

Why you need be careful when eating star fruit

Yes, star fruit can be quite delicious, but if you or someone you love suffers from kidney problems, it would be best to steer clear of it. Healthline explains how star fruits are high in oxalate (or oxalic acid), which can have adverse effects on those who experience issues with their kidneys. What is oxalate? According to Healthline, it is a compound that is found in a variety of things — like leafy greens, vegetables, cocoa, nuts, seeds, and even fruits. Why is oxalate something that can harm those with kidney issues? Folks with fully functioning kidneys can easily release this compound through their stool and urine, but those with kidney issues cannot, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

The NKF explains how this compound can be extremely harmful and even have a toxic effect on those with kidney issues or kidney disease. Because their bodies do not possess the ability to push it out of their system, the compound stays within the body. Healthline explains that oxalate can reduce the body's ability to absorb minerals properly and facilitate the creation of kidney stones. The NKF states that some of the symptoms of star fruit poisoning can include hiccups, mental confusion, seizures, and in extreme cases, even death.