Have you ever eaten a ripe tamarillo fruit before? You may just be on a voyage to discover the wonderful benefits, both nutritional and medicinal, of this small, oval, and duck-like egg fruit. Tamarillo fruit is one of the components of many antioxidant products you buy in the market. It is also sold as juice, jam, or eaten fresh like other fruits. The fruit which belong to the family of Solanum, resembles sweet tomatoes. Because of this resemblance, it was formerly called tree tomato(es), due to its color and shapes. It would be good to note also that tamarillo fruits resembles egg plants as well.
Scientifically, tamarillo is called Solanum betaceum, or Cyphomandra betacea. Other names include Dutch eggplant, Yellow tree tomato, etc. Tamarillo has a glossy smooth, cranberry hued skin, and succulent flesh. The skin is thin and really bitter, unlike the sweet inner flesh. When ripe, its flesh is bright, exhibit sweet-tart, and possess stimulating flavor.
There are different varieties of tamarillo, but the most common type are the red and golden tamarillo. The seeds of the tamarillo fruit is soft and edible, like the seeds of sweet tomatoes and garden eggs.
Can tamarillo fruit be eaten raw?
Although the skin of tamarillo is really bitter, the fruit can be eaten raw when ripe. All you need to do is cut the ripe fruit into halves, and use spoon to scoop the fleshy, sweet inner part of tamarillo. Alternatively, you can peel off the bitter skin by parboiling the tamarillo fruit and then eat the fruit after pealing off the skin. Whichever method you applied, tamarillo can be used in smoothies, made into chutney, refined into hot sauce, and cooked down into a topping for cakes, ice creams, sandwiches, pasta, roasted chicken, or egg dishes. It can be used in decorating fruits or green vegetable salads. The juicy, inner part of tamarillo can be crushed and blended for making smoothies, sauce, salsa, jams, and paste.
Where can you find tamarillo?
Tamarillo was originally found in Latin and central America, but became a popular fruit and food ingredient in parts of India, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, where it was given the name, “tamarillo.” In recent times however, tamarillo became a plant that is grown in warm, and sunny areas around the world. This however did not increase the production capacity as it still remains small. because of this, it is quite not easy to find tamarillo. Within the areas where it is cultivated, tamarillo can be found in grocery stores, supermarkets, and among local producers.
Nutritional benefits of eaten tamarillo
Tamarillo fruits like sweet tomatoes, garden eggs, and Pepino fruits is highly fortified with different food components such as fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. These makes the fruit a handy source of these macro and micro nutrients, which your body requires on a daily basis to maintain its optimal functions.
Vitamin content of tree tomato
Without vitamins, our enzymes would hardly function, and probably result to our deaths. Our cells would naturally die away and nobody could live another two or three hours. Aside being cofactors for enzymes, some vitamins function best as antioxidants, scavenging free radicals and suppressing the adverse effects of oxidative stress on our systems.
Tamarillo fruits are richly endowed with several vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
What are the health benefits of tamarillo fruit?
Aside being a modest source of several vitamins, tamarillo fruit also possess a moderate quantity of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. These nutritional components in addition to its several bioactive phytochemical components make tamarillo fruits a home remedy for several deficiency diseases, and also autoimmune diseases.
Tamarillo is beneficial for your heart health
Being well fortified with potassium in an ample quantity, tamarillo assists in controlling your heart rate, as well as blood pressure. The presence of potassium balances the harmful effects that sodium exerts on your heart. Tamarillo also contains magnesium and other minerals that ensures that your heart functions properly and is in good health.
Tamarillo fruits also possess Lycopene, a compound known for its wide range of biological activities. lycopene, inhibits factors that cause prothrombosis and those that play pro-inflammatory roles, thereby improving cardiovascular diseases.
Another bioactive compound present in Tamarillo fruits, lutein, reduces carotid artery intima-media thickness, especially in patients with atherosclerosis.
If you are treating cardiovascular related diseases, adding avocado seed powder to your sweet tomatoes juice may be the best synergy for a quicker recovery and protection from CVD. You may as well drink avocado seed tea along fresh sweet tomatoes.
Tree tomato fruits contain high fiber content
In addition to possessing high potassium content, the enormous fiber present in tree tomatoes is also beneficial to your heart. Dietary fiber assists in the inhibition of bad cholesterol absorption. Fiber is also helpful for digestion. It also prevent watery stool and prevents constipation, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. High fiber intake has been associated with decreased chances of developing coronary heart diseases, such as hypertension, obesity, and stroke.
Tamarillo improves vision
The fruit is endowed with high Vitamin A content. Vitamin A is associated with healthy eyes. It ensures that your eyes are moist, thus preventing the onset of dried tears and its discomfort. Tears also act as a barrier to virus and bacterial entrance into your eyes. Tamarillo also lowers the chances of eye infections due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral bioactive components, present in the fruit.
Tamarillo fruits also possess various nutrients such as vitamin C, which help in preventing oxidative stress and some degenerative eye disorders, including macular degeneration, and cataracts. The presence of iron in he fruits also ensure the adequate supply of oxygenated blood to the eye capillaries, thereby ensuring the proper distribution of nutrients and bioactive compounds to your eyes.
Tamarillo fruits possess anticancer properties
Studies have shown that regular intake of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants may forestall the progression of cancer cell proliferations. Both the anthocyanin and lycopene present in the fruits are strong cancer cell growth inhibitors. This makes Tamarillo a good cancer remedy.
A study ahs shown that tamarillo fruits are rich in polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which exbibits anticancer properties by inducing apoptosis that inhibits the promotion of cancer. Chlorogenic acid can stimulate apoptosis and inhibits cell proliferation by inducing mitochondrial-dependent pathway expression. It is also capable of eliminating lung cancer stem cells.
Other active anticancer compounds present in tamarillo are Hydroxycinnamic and Hydroxybenzoic acids. Hydroxycinnamic acid can promote apoptosis of cancer cells by scavenging free-radical activity.
Tree tomatoes improves your skin health
The vitamins A, C, and E present in tamarillo fruits builds blocks of the skin. When you make tamarillo a daily food , it will ensue that your body is not deprived of nutrients which make the skin health and glowing. The antioxidants present in the fruit slow down the aging processes, and prevents the aging of the skin due to UV light and pollutants, which we encounter on daily basis.
Tamarillo extracts have been used in various skin cream formulations because of its high antioxidant contents, especially vitamin E which maintains the skin tone and integrity. Polyphenols, anthocyanins, and flavonoids present in the fruit offer protection to your skin.
The antimicrobial components of the bioactive compounds present in the fruit also fight and ward off skin infectious microorganisms that would cause skin rashes, eczema, and other skin diseases.
Tamarillo prevents kidney stone
The high citric acid content in tamarillo fruit makes it a good remedy for dissolving kidney stones. The citrate present in tamarillo acts against kidney stone formation by two mechanisms. First, it binds with urinary calcium, thereby reducing the supersaturation of urine. In addition, it binds calcium oxalate crystals and prevents crystal growth.
Hypocitraturia is one of the most common metabolic disturbances in patients with calcium stones and affects about 60% of these patients. Patients with low urinary citrate should be encouraged to increase their consumption of foods high in citric acid, such as tamarillo and lemon juices. Citric acid also helps in the removal of uric acid from the body.
When you consider the rate at which patient with kidney related diseases are increasing in number, you would surely agree with me that tamarillo and other fruits with high citric acid content should be part of our daily meals.
Tree tomatoes improve diabetic condition
Chlorogenic acid and lycopene present in the fruits are beneficial for managing diabetes. Both compounds possess antidiabetic properties, and lowers blood sugar levels. The antidiabetic activities of tamarillo may be due to the inhibition of alpha amylase enzyme. This inhibition of alpha-amylase enzyme by chlorogenic acid significantly lowers the post-prandial blood glucose level.
Tamarillo for pregnant women
pregnant women will find tree tomato to be helpful throughout the duration of the pregnancy. tamarillo is well endowed with the Vitamins B complex, including folate and vitamin A. Additionally, tamarillo also possess in adequate amount iron. The antioxidant activity of vitamin C is also an important facto in pregnancy.
Where iron improves he production of hemoglobin, and the subsequent transportation of oxygenated blood to every part of the body, folate and vitamin E ensue that the fetus developing in the uterus is in normal health condition. Folate helps in the formation of the neural tube, and prevent the development of birth defects in the baby’s brain.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that decrease oxidative stress within the body. During pregnancy, increased oxidative stress has been linked to pre-eclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction.
Tamarillo for male fertility
The combination of folate, Zinc and iron is an indication of that folate would be beneficial to men as much as to pregnant women. Men who take folate and Zinc supplement has high sperm quality and concentration. This is because folate improves sperm count, motility and stimulates spermatogenesis.
Iron is vital for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygenated blood to the pelvic regions. These components make tamarillo fruits a very important food for men and women of child bearing age.
Support hair growth
Tree tomatoes also support hair growth. The vitamin E present in the fruit is beneficial for a healthy scalp and strong hair base. The antioxidant wards of oxidative stress which affects hair follicles.
Who should not eat tamarillo?
Although tree tomatoes are packed with great nutrients that improve your body functions and protect you from diseases, it is advisable that you consult your doctor if you notice any allergic reaction in your body. Some persons may do well to minimize the consumption of tamarillo fruits. such persons are:
Kidney disease patient: Although potassium is required for body functioning and to maintain homeostasis, a high intake potassium may be dangerous for a patient suffering kidney diseases, as the kidney will not be able to excrete it out of the body. This will lead to a disease condition called Hyperkalemia.
Side effects of eating tamarillo
Tree tomatoes contain excess amount of acidic compounds such as citric acid malic acid. In normal concentrations these acids aid in digestion of foods. However, when in excess, may force their way through the esophagus, thereby causing the burning sensation.
Irritability Of The Bowels
If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) you should be cautious of tomatoes, as it can trigger its symptoms. It is important that you seek the advice of your doctor before eaten tamarillo fruits.
For someone suffering tomatoes intolerance, tomatoes may cause diarrhea when eating, as it set the gastrointestinal tract in disturbances.
Zheng Y., Liu J., Cao M., Deng J., Kou J. Extrication process of chlorogenic acid in Crofton weed and antibacterial mechanism of chlorogenic acid on Escherichia coli. J. Environ. Biol. 2016;37:1049.
Diep T., Pook C., Yoo M. Phenolic and anthocyanin compounds and antioxidant activity of tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.) Antioxidants. 2020;9:169.
Gul, Z., & Monga, M. (2014). Medical and dietary therapy for kidney stone prevention. Korean journal of urology, 55(12), 775–779.