What is Tamarillo?

Also known as the tree tomato, tamarillo is an egg-shaped subtropical fruit that grows in warm and sunny areas of the world.

It’s native to South America and was first cultivated in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Today it’s popular in different parts of the world, including Africa, China, Nepal, India, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States. New Zealand is, however, a major cultivator and exporter.

Tamarillo grows in clusters similar to tomatoes. However, unlike the tomato, its shape is more oblong, and its skin has a bitter taste that most people find distasteful. You may want to peel the skin as it makes it more likable.

The fruit comes in gold, red, and amber hues with orange-yellowish flesh and small, tender, edible seeds.

It has a deeply sweet, tangy, and tart taste and can be eaten raw or added to various recipes, including chutneys, sauces, soups, salads, and sandwiches. They have also been included in cakes, ice cream, and pies.

Tamarillo is a storehouse of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that can benefit your body in various ways.

This article takes a closer look at tamarillo fruit’s nutrition and health benefits.

Tamarillo nutrition:

100 grams fresh tamarillo contains:

  • Calories: 30
  • Carbohydrates: 25 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Vitamins A: 1637 international units, which is more than 100 percent of your daily requirements
  • C: 5 milligrams, or 50 percent of the daily requirement
  • E: 9 milligrams, or 14 percent of the daily requirements
  • Calcium: 10 milligrams or 1 percent of the daily requirement.

Tamarillo also contains small amounts of niacin, copper, folate, magnesium, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and thiamine.

Tamarillo Health Benefits

1. Boosts metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which the body converts the food you eat into energy in the cells. You need this energy for everything, including growing, thinking, moving, etc.

Specific enzymes in the body control this process while various nutrients like the B complex vitamins facilitate the functioning of such enzymes, thus increasing metabolism.

Tamarillo contains vitamin B6, and since it is part of the B complex vitamins, it can help promote the conversion of calories from food into usable energy.

Vitamin B6 plays an essential role in protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and the production of neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers in the brain).

B6 is also needed for iron to be converted into hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells essential for oxygen transportation throughout the body.

Additionally, vitamin B6 promotes the conversion of stored energy (glycogen) into an active form of fuel (glucose) ready for use in the body.

Low vitamin B6 can cause anemia, among other health issues. However, regular consumption of tamarillo can boost your B6 intake and thus promote its functions.

2. Regulates blood pressure

Keeping your blood pressure within normal is essential to ensure proper cardiovascular function and reduce disease risk.

Consuming vegetables and fruits like tamarillo can offer sufficient potassium needed to promote normal blood pressure levels.

100 grams of fresh tamarillo contains approximately 400 milligrams of potassium; in reference to the daily recommendation of 4700 milligrams, it’s pretty easy to fill the remaining amount by incorporating plenty of colored fruits and veggies throughout the day.

Furthermore, research shows colored fruits and vegetables can lower systolic blood pressure by 10 percent in individuals with high blood pressure.

3. Tamarillo may lower the risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. As of 2018, 30.3 million Americans were diagnosed with heart disease, and every year, approximately 647,000 American adults succumb to heart disease. That’s quite a big number, but these numbers may begin to drop with more people becoming health-conscious.

In addition to lifestyle changes, having a diet plan promoting heart health and general health is essential. That should involve lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Tamarillo is one of those fruits that can make a great addition to your heart-healthy diet.

It’s rich in soluble fiber and antioxidants such as carotenoids and anthocyanins, which promote cardiovascular health.

Research shows that a diet rich in anthocyanin can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease markers.

On the other hand, carotenoids have been shown to play an important role in fighting inflammation, increasing insulin sensitivity, and lowering blood pressure, all of which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

4. It may support eye health

Tamarillos contain high levels of vitamin A, which can help promote good vision, fight inflammation, and lower the risk of eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

As an antioxidant, vitamin A neutralizes free radicals in the eye, preventing oxidative stress that may result in disease.

5. It may promote longevity

When it comes to living longer, some things may be out of your reach; however, there are those specifics like leading a healthy lifestyle that can promote health, lower the risk of disease and increase your chances of living longer.

Tomatillo is rich in vitamin C, a key nutrient for achieving longevity. This is because it’s a powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity and minimizes your chances of falling sick.

In lab studies, vitamin C has proven beneficial in promoting longevity, and these benefits could somehow apply to humans.

It’s high in antioxidants

Tamarillo is rich in antioxidants, which are essential for fighting off free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing harm. The health benefits of consuming antioxidants include reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. A diet high in antioxidant-rich foods may also have a positive effect on brain function and memory. In addition, antioxidants have been shown to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, promoting weight loss, and treating arthritis.

It’s rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for overall health, and it’s also a key component in maintaining a healthy immune system.

When we think of our immune system, we usually think about the body’s ability to fight off infections. But our immune system is also responsible for keeping our internal environment healthy. Healthy cells produce antibodies and cytokines, which help the immune system take care of invaders before they have a chance to cause harm.

A recent study published in the journal Science found that vitamin C can boost the immune system by helping to create more robust antibodies and cytokines. The study was conducted on mice and found that when the mice were given a low dose of vitamin C, their immune system was able to create more robust immunity against bacteria and viruses.

When the mice were given a higher dose of vitamin C, their immune systems became even stronger and were better able to combat both bacterial and viral infections.

Vitamin C is also known to be a powerful antioxidant, which protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition, vitamin C has been shown to help improve blood flow and promote healing.

So if you want to increase your vitamin C intake while boosting your immune system, consider snacking on some tamarillos.

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for overall health, and it’s also a key component in maintaining a healthy immune system.

This little fruit also contains other vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which are essential for keeping the body healthy.

Tamarillo helps with digestion

Are you wondering if tamarillos are good for digestion? The answer is yes! Tamarillos are a fruit that is high in fiber and has been shown to help with digestive problems.

Fiber is an important type of carbohydrate that helps keep your digestive system working properly. In fact, a cup of tamarillo fruit has about 13 grams of fiber, which is more than half the recommended daily intake! Eating fiber-rich foods can help reduce bloating and constipation, two common problems associated with the gut.

In addition, the antioxidant properties of tamarillo can protect your gut lining.

If you’re looking for a nutritious snack to support your digestive health, consider including tamarillos in your diet.

How to eat tamarillo

Eat as is

Tamarillo is a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. You can simply eat it as is or add it to other dishes for added flavor.


A tamarillo salad is a great way to enjoy the unique flavor of this fruit. To make a salad, simply chop up the tamarillo and add it to your favorite greens. For a bit of sweetness, add some diced pineapple or mango. Top with a light dressing and you’re good to go!


A simple salsa made with diced tamarillo, onion, lime juice, and cilantro is the perfect accompaniment to grilled tofu. To make it:

Combine diced tamarillo, onion, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Serve it alongside your main dish.

As a dip

Slice the tamarillo in half and scoop out the flesh. Add the tamarillo flesh to a blender with some water or juice and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and add some chopped fresh herbs, diced avocado, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy as is or with some crusty bread on the side.

In smoothies

A tamarillo smoothie is a great way to start your day. Simply add some chopped tamarillo, a banana, some yogurt, and a little honey to a blender and blend until smooth. You can also add a little milk or water if you find the smoothie too thick.


Chutney is a popular way to enjoy tamarillo. To make chutney, start by cooking diced onion and garlic in a pan until softened. Add diced tamarillo, sugar, vinegar, and spices like ginger, cumin, and mustard seed. Cook the mixture until the tamarillo is soft and the sauce has thickened. Enjoy your chutney with crackers, on sandwiches, or as a condiment for curries or stews.


Tamarillo curry sauce is a great way to add some flavor to your favorite dishes. Simply cook the tamarillos with some onions and garlic, then add your favorite spices. Curry powder, cumin, and turmeric are all great choices. Once the sauce is finished, it can be served over rice or vegetables.

Topping on oats

Start your day off right with a bowl of oats topped with diced tamarillo. The sweetness of the fruit will complement the earthy flavor of the oats, and you’ll get a boost of energy from the complex carbs. Plus, you’ll get a good dose of fiber and vitamins A and C.

Make soup

Tamarillo soup is a fantastic way to enjoy the unique flavor of this fruit. Simply simmer diced tamarillos in water or vegetable broth until they are soft, then puree the soup and season to taste. For a bit of extra richness, you can add some cream or yogurt when serving.

Side effects and precautions

Apart from one study where one participant reported hives 12-24 hours after consuming tamarillo, there are no other known side effects to the fruit.

Nonetheless, in case of any allergic symptoms, like any other food, discontinue and seek medical advice if need be.

Final Thoughts on Tamarillo:

Tamarillo is a nutritious subtropical fruit found in warm climate areas. It’s rich in nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

Regular consumption may help lower the risk of cardiovascular conditions, regulate blood pressure, promote longevity, and boost eye health.

Tamarillo is quite versatile and easy to incorporate into the diet. Tamarillo can be an excellent addition to anything from desserts, condiments, and even the main dishes.

More exotic fruits:

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