Tomatillos are native to Mexico and are staple ingredients in a variety of sauces popular in Central and Southern America. They are also sometimes called “Mexican husks” because of the way they look — when unripe, they are covered in light brown-colored husks that break off when they’re ready for consumption.
Green is the color of tomatillos that are perfect for harvesting. Eventually, they may turn yellow, red or a bunch of other colors, depending on their cultivars.
Tomatillos that are purple or red in color are ideal for turning into jams and jellies as they possess a much sweeter taste than green ones. But regardless of the color, tomatillos can be broiled, steamed, fried — any cooking method by which tomatoes can be prepared. By the way, tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, and this only means that they are very much related to the likes of potatoes and eggplants.
Consuming tomatillos is a very good idea because they offer numerous health benefits, courtesy of the many nutrients they possess. Here are some of the perks that you can get from including tomatillos in your diet:
They Encourage Better Digestion
Just like other members of the nightshade family, tomatillos are excellent sources of fiber. This only means that eating them on a regular basis comes with a bunch of digestive benefits.
For instance, they help enhance the production of digestive juices and enzymes that are all necessary for the food you eat to be properly broken down so that your intestines can have an easy time obtaining all of their vitamins and minerals. Also, impressive amounts of fiber in tomatillos help sweep the byproducts of digestion out of the body with much efficiency. This means that tomatillos help detoxify the body as well as keep constipation at bay.
They Promote Healthy Heart
Everyone knows that fiber is good not only for the digestive system, but also the cardiovascular system. That’s because fiber helps in cleaning the arteries, thus preventing all of the dangers associated with clogged arteries from striking. In other words, regularly consuming tomatillos may help lower heart attack and stroke risk.
Another reason why tomatillos are good for the heart is the presence of loads of vitamin C in them. Actually, this nutrient is an antioxidant that helps keep cholesterol in food stay in your GI tract rather than inside your arteries.
They Strengthen the Immune System
Speaking of vitamin C, the presence of this nutrient is what makes tomatillos excellent strengtheners of the immune system, which results in a considerable decrease in your risk of having upper respiratory tract infections.
Because tomatillos can be included in the diet in manners just like you would tomatoes, having your immune system strengthened should be an easy task. Most especially when the cold or flu season is already here, you can count on tomatillos and other vitamin C-rich foods to keep you from winding up under the weather.
They Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Another vitamin that you can obtain from tomatillos is vitamin A, which is primarily associated with eye health. This only means that consuming tomatillos on a regular basis is perfect for keeping your peepers out of harm’s way.
Vitamin A is actually an antioxidant just like vitamin C, and it’s excellent at protecting the cells of your eyes from being damaged by excess free radicals. Eye experts say that adding plenty of vitamin A-rich foods like tomatillos in your everyday diet is a wonderful idea if you want to keep your sharp vision intact.
They Lower Your Risk of Cancer
Just like so many other fruits and vegetables on the planet, tomatillos may help in keeping cancer at bay. These Mexican tomatoes owe it to their antioxidants that neutralize excess free radicals in the body before they have the chance to damage healthy cells and leave them mutated, which can pave the way for the formation of cancer.
According to scientists, antioxidants present abundantly in tomatillos are especially beneficial for the prevention of oral cancer and lung cancer.