In this era of health consciousness, everybody seems to have become very much concerned about his or her diet. Doctors, Nutritionists and self-proclaimed experts all have come up with their own diet plans! People might differ on how many times you should eat or about your choice of food. However, all of them have something in common and that is” you must eat a lot of fruits and vegetables”. These days, many profess adopting a totally fruit based diet plan and it is catching up very fast. Needless to say, that fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients! However, have you ever wondered, what is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? Read on to get more insights on this.
Difference Between Fruits And Vegetables
Let us start our discussion by talking about Tomato, which is widely consumed throughout the world. It is used in numerous recipes, salads and preparation of many sauces. Some apply tomato juice on their body to get rid of tanning. If we start talking about its benefits, we can go on and on and on! But what if, someone asks you, whether Tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Well, it is eaten raw so it is a fruit, but it is used in cooking as well so maybe it is a vegetable. Basically, you find yourself in a state of dilemma, not knowing the answer. It was the same dilemma that the American merchants were facing back in 1893 and eventually took it to the court. Some authorities wanted to put more taxes on tomato import as they thought it to be a vegetable, rather than a fruit. The Supreme Court declared that Tomato should be regarded as a vegetable under US customs law, even though botanically it is a fruit. So what is it that differentiates a fruit from a vegetable?
A fruit is a part of a flower. The ovary or tissues in the ovary develops into a fruit. The main purpose behind developing a fruit is disseminating seeds for the propagation of that particular plant species. Many fruits have fleshy pulp and hence attract animals and human beings alike. Every fruit contains seeds. In common parlance a fruit is something that can be eaten raw and tastes sweet or sour. Apples and bananas are known to be the most widely consumed fruit throughout the world. There are many kinds of fruits out there, such as, oranges, grapes, figs, dates, cranberry, guava, jackfruit, lemon, lime , kiwi fruit, peach, pineapple, apricot and many more.
Fruits can be categorized in many categories. Nuts such as hazel nut, walnut and chestnut are one seeded fruit with a hard pericrap. Fruits, which are formed from two or more carpel ovary containing many seeds and a fleshy inner part, are known as berries. Tomato is a perfect example of this kind of fruit. Mulberry, jackfruit and fig are known as multiple fruit as ovaries of many different flowers clustered together form them. Whereas strawberry, blackberry and raspberry are formed by a carpels from a single flower. Apple and pears are known as Pome fruits and the fleshy part of these fruits are ripened tissue surrounding the ovary. Fruits like cherry, peach, and plum come under the rose family. Cucumber, watermelon, squash and pumpkin are known as Pepo group of fruits.
Certain parts of a plant, such as the stem, leaves or root can develop into an edible thing and those are the ones that are referred to as vegetables. For instance, the bulbs of ginger plant develop into ginger, which we consume. The leaves and bulbs from onion, which has numerous verities. In case of carrot and parsnip, it is the root tubers, which is transformed into vegetable. Potato is also formed from root tubers. Leaf seethes develop into leeks, whereas spinach is nothing but the leaves of the plant. Some of the most widely used vegetables are beet, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, kale, kuka, turnip etc.
Vegetables can be divided in many categories as well. Aromatic vegetables, which are used to add flavor to our foods, are known as bulb vegetables. They all are formed from the bulbs of plants. Some of them are chives, garlic, onion, leeks, scallions, shallots etc. Inflorescent vegetables are the ones that are formed from flowers, flower buds, stems and leaves. These are used in many recipes and also served in salads. Some of them are broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes etc. We are often advised to increase the intake of herbs and leafy vegetables, as they are full of vitamins and minerals. Examples of leafy vegetables include spinach, sorrel, savoy, sea kale, endive, chicory, cress, argula, lamb’s lettuce, purslane etc. Root vegetables form a major chunk of all the vegetables that we consume. The roots of the certain plants develop into a fleshy vegetable. Some of them are potato, chard, jicama, sweet potato, taro, yam, fennel, turnips, cardoon, malanga, carrots and many more.
There are many fruits which we consider to be vegetables . None of us will choose to consume raw chili but it is used in every kitchen throughout the world to add taste to the food. It is considered to be very good for skin as well. However, not many would be aware of the fact that chili is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. Okra is also a vegetable for us as no one consumes it raw, however in reality it is a fruit. Eggplant is also referred to as a vegetable whereas it is a fruit. The case is the same with pepper, squash, cucumber, avocado, olive, pumpkin and many other fruits!