Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine— although they may look like green tomatoes, this small fruit has its own identity! Known as the Mexican husk tomato, Tomatillos are native to Mexico but can also be found growing throughout Central America and the south-western region of North America.
Best known for their vibrant green color and tart flavor, each tomatillo begins covered in a paper-like husk. As the tomatillo grows, it fills the husk and when ready will cause it to split open. This delicious and versatile fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. If you’ve ever enjoyed salsa verde, then you’ve eaten tomatillos! There are so many ways to incorporate tomatillos into recipes, especially as a base for a sauce. From enchiladas to fajitas to smoothies-- this Mexican staple has become a favorite in the kitchens of many modern cooks. Not only are they delicious, but they are good for you.
Here are 5 health benefits that can come with eating Tomatillos:
1. Tomatillos contain a high level of fiber, that can help to improve digestion! One cup of tomatillos contains 2.6 grams of fiber-- this accounts for 10% of the daily fiber needs for women and 7% for men.
2. Tomatillos contain unique antioxidant phytochemicals that have been linked to anti-cancer properties. Studies discovered that naturally occurring phytochemical compounds called withanolides, such as Ixocarpalactone-A, are found in tomatillos and are not only antibacterial but also natural cancer fighters-- effective against breast cancer, leukemia, cancer of the esophagus, melanomas, thyroid cancer, pancreas cancer, and some brain tumors.
3. Tomatillos have plenty of Vitamin C-- they actually contain 20% of the daily recommended value. The Vitamin C found in tomatillos stimulates the production of white blood cells to help boost the immune system.
4. Tomatillos contain a derivative of Vitamin A call beta-carotene, that functions as an antioxidant and helps protect vision. Beta-Carotene has been linked to preventing macular degeneration, cataracts, and other conditions that can have a negative effect on one’s vision.
5. Tomatillos contain Niacin, a member of the B-family of vitamins that can give you a burst of energy! Niacin is used by our bodies to create chemical reactions that convert food into energy and keep our metabolisms functioning properly.
Have you tried tomatillos? Let us know your favorite way to prepare them by leaving a comment below!