Health Benefits Of Tamarillo

What is tamarillo?

Compared to kiwi fruit, tomatoes, or passion fruit, tamarillo fruit is a small duck-egg-sized fruit with a tangy taste and a bold flavour.1 Native to South America, Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum) is grown in other parts of the world for its valuable fruit. It comes in different colours such as red, gold, or amber hues. However, the common type of tamarillo is the red tamarillo. 

Red tamarillo has medicinal and nutritional properties that meet the health-conscious consumers needs.2 It is  also called a “tree tomato”  due to its similar shape to a tomato. Red Tamarillo fruit is preferably not eaten raw due to the bitter taste of the skin and is being used more and more in food and non-food product formulations as well as for consumption. 

The red tamarillos are a rich source of vitamin E and Beta-carotene, with the beta-carotene responsible for its red colour. They can be used in a variety of recipes, such as chutneys, sauces, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Tamarillo has also been used in cakes, ice cream, and pies. 

The properties of tamarillo-derived ingredients were determined primarily by the cultivar and origin of the plant, plant parts, extraction conditions, and analytical procedures.3 Tamarillo is high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals, all of which can help your body in a variety of ways. 

Overall, tamarillo is a fruit crop with great potential for value-added products that are underutilised and sustainable.

Health benefits of tamarillo

  1. Reduces risk of heart disease: Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding risk factors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are usually combined to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Due to their abundance of important vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are frequently advised as part of a heart-healthy diet.4 According to Malaysian laboratory research, tamarillo contains good proportions of soluble fibre, protein, starch, anthocyanins and carotenoids.5 Anthocyanins and carotenoids, in particular, are beneficial to cardiovascular health. Tamarillo contains a number of elements that may support heart health, despite the fact that its cardiovascular advantages have not been thoroughly researched. First of all, tamarillos are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can aid in controlling cholesterol levels. Heart disease is known to be increased by high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol.1 By binding to LDL cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and facilitating its excretion, the fibre contained in tamarillo can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, carotenoids play an essential role in increasing insulin sensitivity to fight inflammation, and at the same time, lower blood pressure - all of these help in reducing coronary heart disease
  2. Speeds up metabolism: The tamarillo fruit may aid in nutrient metabolization as it contains 19–21% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin B6. While vitamin B6 by itself won't give you a tonne of energy, as a member of the B-complex vitamin group, it aids in the conversion of calories into usable energy through proteins and carbohydrates.6 The B complex vitamins, aid in the function of such enzymes, increasing metabolism. The metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates as well as the creation of neurotransmitters, the brain's chemical messengers, depend on vitamin B6. The tamarillo fruit contains vitamin B6 and can aid in the process of turning food calories into usable energy.  Additionally, haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is crucial for carrying oxygen throughout the body, needs vitamin B6 to be formed from iron. Essentially, consuming tamarillo provides vitamin B6 which speeds up this process. Anaemia, among other health problems, can be caused by a lack of vitamin B6. Regular consumption of tamarillo, on the other hand, can increase your B6 intake and thus promote its functions
  3. Supports eye health: Vitamin A is required for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth and development. This vitamin A comes mostly in the form of beta-carotene2 and is particularly found in fruits such as Tamarillo. Beta carotene is an antioxidant3 that helps maintain healthy vision and helps the eye see more clearly. Vitamin A in tamarillo lowers the risk of eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration by acting as an antioxidant in the eye and neutralising free radicals that could cause disease
  4. Aids with digestion: Tamarillo is an excellent source of fibre that has been shown to help with digestion. Fibre is an essential carbohydrate that aids in the proper functioning of your digestive system. As a matter of fact,  a cup of tamarillo fruit contains about 13g of fibre, which is more than half of the daily recommendation. Consuming fibre-rich foods can help reduce bloating and constipation, two common digestive issues
  5.  Increases chances of living longer: Even though living longer by consuming tamarillo may seem out of reach, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and consuming nutritious diets lowers the risks of disease, and increases the chances of living longer. One of the powerful antioxidants known as Vitamin C helps in boosting immunity and prevents one from falling sick.7 Several studies have found that vitamin C can boost the immune system by assisting in the production of more robust antibodies and cytokines.4 The study on mice discovered 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.8 Additionally, vitamin C  protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C has also been demonstrated to support healing and blood flow improvement. Tamarillo fruit is highly rich in vitamin C. In essence, eating some tamarillos will increase your vitamin C intake, boost your immune system, and in turn help you live longer

Nutritional facts

Tamarillo fruit contains 31 calories per 100 grammes. As well as trace amounts of other nutrients, they have 0.36 grammes of total fat, 0.271 milligrammes of niacin, 0.198 milligrammes of pyridoxine, 0.043 milligrammes of thiamine, 0.051 milligrammes of copper, 0.57 milligrammes of iron, 0.1 micrograms of selenium, and 0.15 milligrammes of zinc. Tamarillo also contains copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, folate, niacin, and thiamine.

Side effects and other concerns

While tamarillo is widely known for its numerous benefits, it may cause some allergies and respiratory problems in rare cases. Tamarillos may have similar side effects to tomatoes. Therefore, people who have allergies to eating tomatoes should also avoid tamarillos. Itching, swelling, hives, and even anaphylaxis can be symptoms of allergies.9

Tamarillos are acidic fruits, so eating them in large quantities or on an empty stomach may result in stomach pain, such as heartburn or acid reflux. Tamarillos should only be eaten in moderation or in conjunction with medical advice if you have a sensitive stomach or a history of digestive problems.

Is tamarillo good for the kidney? 

Citric acid contained in tamarillos is essential in avoiding the development of kidney stones. However, the high potassium content in tamarillos may be harmful to the kidney when eaten in excess and uncontrollably. It is therefore important to consult a healthcare professional before consuming tamarillo, especially if you have an underlying illness. 


Tamarillo is a nutritious subtropical fruit native to South America. It is high in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Regular consumption may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar level, promote longevity, and improve eye health. Tamarillo is very adaptable and simple to include in a diet. Desserts, sauces, and even main dishes can all benefit greatly from the addition of tamarillo.


  1. Health, Optimal. Amazing Benefits and Facts about Tamarillo (Tree Tomato). 3 Jan. 2022,
  2. Wang S, Zhu F. Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum): Chemical composition, biological properties, and product innovation. Trends in Food Science & Technology. vol. 95, Jan. 2020, pp. 45–58. ScienceDirect, Available from:
  3. Nascimento GE, Simas-Tosin FF, Iacomini M, Gorin PA, Cordeiro LM. Rheological behavior of high methoxyl pectin from the pulp of tamarillo fruit (Solanum betaceum). Carbohydrate polymers. vol. 139, Mar. 2016, pp. 125–30. ScienceDirect,. Available from:
  4. Skinner SJ, Hunter D, Cho S, Skinner M. The potential health benefits of the subtropical fruits kiwifruit, feijoa and tamarillo. Bioactives in Fruit: Health Benefits and Functional Foods. 2013 Jun 19:169-95. Available from:
  5. Hu C, Gao X, Dou K, Zhu C, Zhou Y, Hu Z. Physiological and Metabolic Changes in Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum) during Fruit Ripening. Molecules, vol. 28, no. 4, Jan. 2023, p. 1800. Available from:
  6. Diep TT, Rush EC, Yoo MJ. Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.): A review of physicochemical and bioactive properties and potential applications. Food Reviews International. vol. 38, no. 7, Oct. 2022, pp. 1343–67. (Crossref),Available from:
  7. Padayatty, S. J., Katz, A., Wang, Y., Eck, P., Kwon, O., Lee, J. H., Chen, S., Corpe, C., Dutta, A., Dutta, S. K., & Levine, M. (2003). Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 22, no. 1, Feb. 2003, pp. 18–35. (Crossref),Available from:
  8. Dallaire, Alexandra, et al. ‘Expression Profile of Caenorhabditis Elegans Mutant for the Werner Syndrome Gene Ortholog Reveals the Impact of Vitamin C on Development to Increase Life Span’. BMC Genomics, vol. 15, no. 1, Oct. 2014, p. 940. PubMed, Available from:
  9. Tiwari, R., and F. M. Wolber. ‘Identification of Tamarillo (Cyphomandra Betacea) Allergens’. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 127, no. 2, Feb. 2011, pp. AB110–AB110. (Crossref), Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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