Most of the population understands that both fruits and vegetables are good for the body. However, there are quite a few instances when people are unaware of what fruit is, and a vegetable is.
To make things even confusing, a tomato is a fruit, yet in the infinite wisdom of the United States Supreme Court, it is deemed a vegetable for customs purposes.
Botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit.
If you are struggling with vegetable gardening for beginners, you can carry on reading here to find the difference between a fruit and a vegetable.
What Makes a Fruit a Fruit?
Specialists in the subject will classify a fruit as an edible portion, which develops from flowers and contains seeds.
Examples here are:
There is some contention because groups of individuals tend to go by taste rather than what botany rules apply. One such case is a tomato that delivers a savory flavor.
What Makes a Vegetable a Vegetable?
You will find professionals scattered around there globe who determine the difference between fruits and vegetables.
When you search to find out the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, botanists say that vegetables have an edible part and can comprise leaves, roots, bulbs, and stems.
To give a few examples, you have the following:
Is Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Things can become even more complicated when you compare various plants, fruits, and vegetables. By definition, you can’t get away from any plant that is seed-bearing grows fruits.
All other plants like we saw, such as roots, stems, and other parts, will be vegetables.
Looking at fruits from the orchard as your apples and your pears, these clearly have the pips in the core. Other fruits like peaches contain larger single seeds or stones, as they are often known.
When you begin slicing open lemons, oranges, or other citrus fruits, you can see a jumble of seeds scattered around the insides.
One plant that is neither is that of the banana. Inside, you see the dots, yet these are not seeds. (Read Growing Strawberries From Seed)
Now, we come back to tomatoes, and where it is clearly a fruit because of the number of seeds, it is labeled as a crossover and hence the reason it was changed in the court.
We can now class eggplants, squash, olives, avocados, and many more in the same groups.
While these few are not everyday staples, you can as the question, “are bell peppers a fruit?” They fit all the requirements, yet they, too, are a crossover.
What about the humble cucumber? The cucumber is a fruit because inside, you have reams of seeds sitting right down the middle. Unfortunately, the question of whether a cucumber is a fruit doesn’t also have a straight answer. (Learn What Makes Cucumbers Bitter)
These are classed as vegetables because of taste rather than the way they propagate and grow.
Do Vegetables Have Seeds?
Generally speaking, and following the word of the botanical experts, vegetables don’t have seeds.
However, many are basing what we considered fruits or vegetables based on flavor more than generics.
Sweet Flavored Vegetables
With the number of fruits classed as vegetables, it makes sense that there will be some veggies classed as fruits.
You won’t find any based on what has seeds and what doesn’t. However, once you throw flavor into the mix, and then you will find some.
Some varieties of veggies possess a naturally sweet flavor when compared to most other vegetables. You can see these as they are often used when baking.
Sweet potato pie is a classic dish, and despite its sweet flavor, sweet potato is a root vegetable and not a fruit.
Likewise, yams are another edible tuber, and when you look, you may find other vegetables that are naturally sweet, such as beets, carrots, and turnips.
What is the Difference Between a Fruit and a Vegetable in Nutrition?
One final area that can show a difference rather than muddy the waters can be nutrition.
Both are closer here than you may think. They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, along with plant compounds and antioxidants. Besides this, they are both low in sodium.
Fruits, however, are not like vegetables when it comes to sugar content. They are naturally higher, and in some cases, they contain double the sugars of vegetables.
As a comparison, the same measure of a cup of apples and a cup of broccoli. The broccoli has 2 grams of sugar, while the apples have 13 grams of natural sugars.
You may also find some varieties of fruits contain more fiber than their vegetable counterparts. (Learn How to Grow Lemon Tree from Seed)
Another difference being water content. We often see fruits as juice-filled things; however, they contain between 61 to 89% water. Plants are higher than this, with 84-95% water in green leafy varieties.
Here you can find the highlights of nutrition between some groups of vegetables and fruits.
- Leafy greens: Packed with carotenoids like lutein, and can help reduce risks of cancer, strokes, and heart disease.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Full of glucosinolates that can help reduce cancer risks
- Tubers: Full of fiber and excellent sources of vitamin c, beta-carotene, B-vitamins, and potassium.
- Berries: Packed with useful anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce oxidative stress and helps increase heart health.
- Citrus fruits: Packed full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and antioxidants, as well as folate. Helps reduce the effects of degenerative disease.
You will find a distinct difference between a fruit and a vegetable. However, when you come to grow any type in your garden, the crop specifics matter more than what other groups of individuals call them.
The main thing is either are perfect for growing in your garden as long as you have the right environment to deliver all your crops require.
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