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Tamotilla (Physalis ixocarpa)

Tamotilla - Vegetable

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Space plants: 70 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-14 weeks. Husk splits when fruit is ripe.
  • Compatible with a flower border.

Tomatillos are not self-fertile so you need to have at least two plants for cross-pollination. Tomatillos are from the same family as Cape Gooseberries, with a papery husk round the fruit.Tomatillo plants are similar in growth to tomatoes and spread about 1 -1.5m. Can be supported but are happy spreading themselves around. The plants are very productive so 2 or 3 plants may be enough for the average household. Tomatillos will cope with cooler weather than tomatoes. The fruit will swell to fill the husk as they ripen. Do not use fertilizer with these plants.

Health and medicinal benefits

The tomatillo is a nightshade that grows in a husk and is similar to a tomato. Common in Central and South America, it’s a staple of Mexican green sauces and can be boiled, fried, or steamed.This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese.Low in calories but relatively high in fiber, tomatillos are a great way to add volume (especially in smoothies) while still keeping meals healthy.  With a nice dose of vitamin C and potassium, these vegetables are a good choice for both boosting your immune system and replenishing your body after a hard workout.Additionally, tomatillos include niacin, a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps cells turn food into energy — an important aspect of metabolism.Withanolides, which are phytochemicals that have been studied for being known cancer suppressors, are also present in tomatillos.

Top benefits of Tomatillo (Mexican husk tomato)

Mexican husk tomato is known for multiple health benefits. It is good for diabetes patients, helps to lower blood pressure, can be used for weight loss management; enhance the energy level of the body including other health advantages.

The nutritional facts of 100 grams of Mexican husk tomato are as follow: Energy (32 calories), fat (1gram), sodium (1mg), potassium (268mg), carbohydrate (6g), dietary fiber (1.9g), sugar (3.9g), protein (1g), vitamin A (2%), vitamin C (19%), iron (3%), vitamin B-6 (5%) and magnesium (5%). It also has many phyto-chemicals such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. 

Prevents gastritis and bloating: It has adequate amount of dietary fiber that smooth digestion process and speed up the digestion activities. Healthy digestion helps to treat constipation, gas & gastritis and bloating. It is also beneficial for colon health and ulcers.

Diabetes control: The fruit is helpful in breaking complex carbohydrate into simpler forms that can be easily absorbed into the blood stream, thus beneficial for those who are having sugar problems.

Prevents cancer: It has right amounts of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Compounds like withanolides, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. help to combat cancer, especially oral and lungs one.

Boosts the immune system: The fruit contains vitamin C that is good to stimulate the production of white blood cells (WBC) and develops a mechanism to combat pathogens inside the body.

Good for weight loss: Low calorie, low fat, no cholesterol but high in nutrients and fiber make the tomatillo one of the effective means for those who want fat burning.

Improves vision: It is having vitamin A, which is the source of beta-carotene that prevents muscular degeneration and improves overall health of your eyes.

Increases the energy level: It raises your energy level because the presence of niacin that breaks down the complex compounds into simple forms from where energy channelization is easy.

Low down blood pressure: It is good for your heart as it has fantastic proportion of potassium and sodium. Having adequate amount of potassium and lesser quantity of sodium is beneficial for cardiovascular system as potassium acts like as a vasodilator.

Withanolides: A research report published from University of Kansas, USA where it has been confirmed that tomatillo contains 14 phyto-chemical compounds, termed as withanolides. These compounds can play an important role against melanomas, and cancers like thyroid, breast, pancreas and oesophagus. 

If you are going to use Tomatillo to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first.