Tamarillo, an oval-shaped fruit that has smooth and shiny skin best known by the name Tree Tomato in Kenya is a fast-growing tree belonging to the Solanaceae family, which grows up to about 5meters. Depending on the type of cultivar, this fruit comes in different colors, with red tamarillos being more common than orange-yellow varieties.
Tree tomato tastes sweet and tangy, and the flesh of the fruit is juicy, rich in color and packed with slightly larger, smaller and circular edible seeds than tomato seeds.
The tamarillo is also a popular fruit in New Zealand. It’ said to have originated from the semitropical, high-altitude forests found in Peru and Brazil, and possibly from other South American countries like Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia too.
Tamarillo Nutritional Value
- Calories: (31 kcal)
- Carbs: 3.8 grams
- Fiber: 3.3 grams — 14% of the RDI
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Vitamin C: (50%) of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 (folate): (1%) of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: (8%) of the RDI
- Manganese: (5%) of the RDI
- Copper: (5.5%) of the RDI
- Zinc: (1%) of the RDI
- Potassium: (7%) of the RDI
- Magnesium: (5%) of the RDI
NOTE: RDI- Reference Daily Intake.
Below are some Health Benefits of Tree Tomato/ Tamarillo
Contribute iron to the diet
Iron is indispensable for the formation of red blood cells, and the formation of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for the absorption of oxygen in the blood.
Its deficiency translates into anemia, muscle weakness and fatigue.
It is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous.
Tree tomato contains a variety of antioxidants such as vitamin C, β-carotene, anthocyanins and vitamin E.Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg conducted free radical neutralization tests with tree tomato extracts and found that it significantly neutralizes free radicals, regardless of where they have been grown.
These tree tomato data as an antioxidant place it as a good anti-inflammatory and anticancer.
Provides protein to the diet
Proteins are macromolecules from which we acquire the essential amino acids for the generation of new tissues.
They also constitute the raw material for the generation of hormones, digestive enzymes, hemoglobin, vitamins and plasma proteins.
Even though the tree tomato on its own provides about 100 grams of roughly 2.5 grams of protein, a salad accompanied by a meat serving can be a good complement.
The required daily values of protein vary according to the age between men and women, but generally after 19 years women need 46 g daily and men 56 g daily.
It provides vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat- soluble vitamin that contributes to the growth, maintenance and repair functions of the bone system.
It also contributes to the cellular development related to the eyes, mucous membranes, epithelia, skin, nails, hair and tooth enamel.
Further, Is involved in glucose homeostasis and lipids.
It provides vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 – or pyridoxine – promotes the formation of red blood cells, blood cells and hormones.
It participates in the synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and collaborates in the maintenance of the nervous and immune systems, participating indirectly in the production of antibodies.
It also stabilizes blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
It also prevents the formation of stones or calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.
Values of vitamin B six broadly recommended in adults is nineteen to fifty years are 1.3 mg per day
Improves bone and dental health
Magnesium is essential for health. It contributes to the good functioning of the skeletal muscles, the heart and the brain, favoring the transmission of the nerve impulses, the contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
In this muscular process magnesium intervenes with the calcium to provide good musculoskeletal functioning.
The presence of magnesium also favors the strengthening of the bone system and the denture, and is very convenient for the cardiovascular system.
Maintaining blood pressure and heart rate
Helps maintain stable heart rate and blood pressure, protecting the walls of blood vessels and acting as a vasodilator, thus preventing the formation of clots.
It also increases White blood cells For the benefit of the immune system.
How to eat Tamarillo
- Add to bread or muffins chopped peeled tamarillos or add the peeled tamarillo into pork dishes. A chopped tamarillo may also be used to top a pie.
- Prepare a simple salsa by chopping raw tamarillo and mixing it with avocado and chopped chili pepper, or use chopped tree tomato with apple, onion, vinegar and spices for a flavorful chutney.
- Slice a raw tamarillo into slices, then serve the slices with sliced cheese or crackers or add the slices to a tossed salad.
- Combine chopped, peeled tree tomatoes with apple sauce, then serve the mixture on ice cream.
- You can peel tamarillo and use it in a variety of baked foods, dishes and desserts.
- Peel and chop tree tomato and blend it in a fruit smoothie with yogurt, honey, milk, ice cream and a banana.
- Add chopped, peeled tamarillos to bread or muffins or incorporate the peeled tamarillo in pork dishes. You can also use a chopped tamarillo to top a pizza.
You can try out this smoothie.
Banana, Tamarillo Smoothie
- 3 medium sized tamarillos/ Tree tomatoes
- 1 large ripe banana
- Heavy cream
- 500ml whole milk
- 4 tbsps honey (sweetener of choice)
- Wash and cut the tamarillos into halves and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
- Peel and chop the banana.
- Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend until fine.
- You can add a protein powder if you intend to add more calories.(optional)
Tree tomatoes are not only nutritious but also rich in vitamins, A, B6, C, E, fiber and antioxidants. It can be eaten in savoury dishes,salads and smoothies.
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The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my very best to keep the information contained in this post as updated and accurate as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.