The wonderful health benefits that tomatillos provide can be attributed to the presence of a number of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Consumption of this vegetable helps to strengthen our immunity system, prevents various strands of cancer, increase growth of cells and also benefits our digestive system. Tomatillos also help to lose weight, increase energy levels, improve vision and even help to lower blood pressure.
Also known as tomate or husk cherries or tomato verde, tomatillos are small, green Mexican fruit which has Japanese lantern-type shell surrounding it. They are more closely related to cape gooseberries even though they might seem to resemble tomatoes. When tomatillos are picked green, they have a faintly tart, lemon like essence. Tomatillos in ideal conditions are green and have a firm texture. They are a staple in the cuisines of many countries in Central and South America.
Tomatillos are very low in calories but contain substantial quantities of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. These berries have antioxidant phytochemicals called withanolides which have anti-cancer and antibacterial properties. Antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E and flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein are present in this vegetable. Essential minerals like potassium, manganese and magnesium are also present.
Tomatillos contain Vitamin A which takes care of your eyes and prevent eye-sight affecting ailments from arising. Cataract is a disease which occurs mainly in people with advanced age and results in partial loss of vision. Tomatillo soup helps to prevent or at least delay the onset of cataracts.
The antioxidant phytochemicals called withanolides present in tomatillos have anti-cancer properties. These anti-oxidants tend to eliminate the harmful free radicals which affect the healthy cells of our body and turn them into cancerous ones. Consumption of tomatillos helps to prevent lung and oral cancers due to the presence of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and flavonoids.
Tomatillos help to bring down cholesterol levels to manageable levels due to the presence of high amount of fiber. Serious ailments like heart attacks and strokes can be avoided by including tomatillos in your diet.
Tomatillos have the lowest sodium to potassium ratio of all the vegetables. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure as it has vasodilatory functions. It relaxes blood vessels, reduces strain on the cardiovascular system and thus ensures that blood is circulated properly to vital areas of our body. Tomatillos also have dietary fiber which help to remove bad cholesterol from the body and protects your heart from atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Incorporating tomatillos in your diet can help you to increase energy levels. This is primarily due to the presence of niacin, which helps to break down food and complex molecules and furnishes us with usable energy. Niacin facilitates and accelerates this enzymatic process of energy production.
Being low in fats and calories and high in dietary fiber, tomatillos are ideal for you to include in your diet if you are planning to lose weight. The nutrient content of this vegetable keeps your body healthy while the dietary fiber makes you feel fuller and thus prevents you from overeating.
Tomatillos have Vitamin C which helps in the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are the primary line of defense and act against the disease-causing free radicals. This vitamin also aids in improving body sustainability and metabolic functions as it facilitates the production of collagen. Collagen protects our skin tissues as well as the cells and tissues that make up our blood vessels and organs.
Tomatillos are good for treating influenza and they can be used in any form. Tomatillo sauce is considered by many as the best remedy for influenza. The withanolides present in this vegetable help to lower risks of tumor.
Consumption of tomatilla helps to prevent anemia due to the presence of so many nutrients and vitamins. These nutrients facilitate the production of blood in your body. Tomatillo soup is extremely effective in treating common cold as well.
Tomatillos are a pertinent part of many Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas and burritos where they blended with garlic, onion and herbs like cumin and cilantro. They also are widely used in salads, sandwiches and soups and can be steamed, fired or broiled. Tomatillo soup has a number of medicinal benefits. It is one of the most sought after ingredients in Central American sauce preparations due to its unique sweet and tart flavors.
Tomatillos should not be consumed by people suffering from arthritis or inflammation as these conditions may get aggravated due to the presence of alkaloid substances in this vegetable. This vegetable may also cause allergic reactions in some people as it is a member of the nightshade family. The allergy may manifest itself in the forms of skin and eye itchiness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and runny nose.
It is believed that the Aztecs grew this vegetable as far back as 800 B.C and that the Mexicans and South Americans are cultivating it for many years. A fossilized tomatillo, accepted to be 52.2 million years old was discovered in Argentina. The Spaniards introduced this vegetable to the United States after first carrying it to their own homeland. This vegetable is now consumed in different parts of the world and is a part of the cuisines of many different places.
Tomatillos require full sunshine and moist soil to grow properly. They grow in a hot climate and require soaking wet ground. Soil with a pH count close to 7 is ideal for cultivating this vegetable. The tomatillos can be harvested once the fruit gets firm and the husk becomes dry, papery and straw coloured.