Tomatillo Benefits and Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  10 min read

What are tomatillo benefits and side effects? Are tomatillos vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are tomatillo pros and cons: all the info on tomatillos that every ethical consumer wants to know…

tomatillos benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on tomatillo benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about tomatillo benefits and side effects. This will include tomatillo benefits for your health and potential risks, tomatillo water footprint and tomatillo carbon footprint, tomatillo sustainability, if tomatillos are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if tomatillos are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about tomatillo benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Tomatillo Benefits And Side Effects


Tomatillo health benefits may include:

Additionally, tomatillos are…

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Water footprint: likely low, it takes 214 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of tomatoes / 26 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of tomatoes

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.1 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tomatoes, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers

Destruction: low, tomatillo production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Tomatillos are…


Kills: none, tomatillo production does not require any animals

Harms: none, tomatillo production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from tomatillo production, buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Tomatillos are…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits


Where do most tomatillos come from? 📍

The world’s top tomatillos exporting country is China, followed by Spain, Mexico, Belgium, Ecuador, Netherlands, Poland, USA, Portugal and Guatemala.

Are tomatillos nutritious? 🥗

Yes! Tomatillos are high potassium and contain vitamins A and C.

Other names for tomatillos? 🗣️

Other names for tomatillos are Mexican husk tomato, husk cherries and tomato verde.

Are tomatillos gluten free?

Are tomatillos gluten free?

Yes, tomatillos are gluten free. Tomatillos do not contain gluten. Tomatillos are a type of fruit, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

Are tomatillos a common food allergen?

Are tomatillos a common food allergen?

No, tomatillos are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to tomatillos but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

Are tomatillos a nightshade food?

Are tomatillos a nightshade food?

Yes, tomatillos are a nightshade food.

Common nightshade foods include:

Check out this Nightshade Foods List to see them all.

Foods commonly mistaken as nightshades (but are not) include:

Nightshade allergy reactions include:

Nightshade vegetables provide excellent nutrition, so there is no need to stop eating them unless you suspect you are sensitive to nightshade foods. If so, eliminate them from your diet to see if symptoms disappear. 

Here’s an excellent resource for further information on food intolerances: The Elimination Diet: Discover the Foods That Are Making You Sick and Tired by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten, MS, CN 

Are tomatillos low fodmap?

Are tomatillos low fodmap?

No, tomatillos are high fodmap, a food you should eliminate if on a low fodmap diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High FODMAP and Low FODMAP List of Foods

Water footprint of tomatillos?

Water footprint of tomatillos?

Tomatillos have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

It takes 214 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of tomatoes / 26 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of tomatoes

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Carbon footprint of tomatillos?

Carbon footprint of tomatillos?

Tomatillos has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around, 1.1 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tomatoes, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Are tomatillos sustainable?

Are tomatillos sustainable?

Tomatillo production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Are tomatillos vegan?

Are tomatillos vegan?

Yes, tomatillos are vegan. Tomatillos are a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

Do tomatillos have human rights issues?

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

At this time there are no major concerns with tomatillo production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks.

In fact, mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

Finally, can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 


Tomatillo pros include:

Tomatillo cons include:

This post was all about tomatillo benefits and side effects.


SNAP-Ed Connection

Tomatillos Inspection Instructions – Agricultural Marketing

National Center for Home Food Preservation

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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