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Fruit VS Vegetable – The difference
As Botany puts it, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure which develops from the reproductive part of a plant,i.e., a flower. Fruits are the ripened part of an ovary.
Whereas vegetables are outgrowths of the vegetative part of a plant like the roots, stem and leaves.
By these standards, all seed bearing structures, namely: apples, papayas, pomegranates, Dragon Fruit, lemons and even tomatoes are categorized under fruits; while leafy parts like spinach, coriander, roots like ginger and stems such as broccoli and celery are all vegetables.
Fruits are mostly, a sweet treat to our taste buds or maybe, sometimes tart with bitter seeds. Vegetables on the other hand are really mild on taste and hence can rarely be differentiated as sweet, sour, bitter etc.
Fruit or Vegetable?
While in our kitchen we can pretty well differentiate the foods which make a part of the vegetable platter from the ones to be added in a fruit salad, but botanically speaking, many food are misjudged to be vegetables which actually are fruits. That’s where we argue a fruit vs vegetable.
One such debated fruit here is tomato. Its controversial since its a seed bearing structure with mild taste, which usually finds a place in vegetable curry.
Although, structurally fitting in the definition of fruit, the US Supreme Court ruled to classify tomato as a vegetable in 1983, rather than a fruit under US Customs regulation.
Topping our controversial charts are more such Fruits, often mistaken to be vegetables:
Sweet but Vegetable
While most vegetables may seem tasteless without any added spices, a few of them are naturally sweet in taste and find a place in pie, desserts and other baked items.
While these vegetables may not give the same sweet taste like banana or mango, they have a similar effect on our body. They maintain sugar levels in our body, reduce cravings and soothes internal organs and energizes our mind. Taste can never be deceiving on the fruit vs vegetable debate.
These sweet vegetables include:
Since most of these vegetables are grown in the root part of the plant, they are energetically grounding which helps reduce spaciness which people often experience after consuming other kinds of sweet foods.
Nutritional Comparison – Fruits or Vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables are of nutritional equivalence, with high content of vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti oxidants. They have low calorie content and reduced level of sodium in them.
As the tastes suggest, fruits have higher amount of natural sugars and hence relatively more calories when compared to vegetables.
A medium apple has 60 calories, a cup of cherries contain 90 calories, 4 ounces of mango have 75 calories and caloric content of a medium plum maybe close to 40. Fruits are also juicy in nature, while not many vegetables may be used to extract juice.
When compared to vegetables, fruits are higher in fiber per gram content. A fruit has an approximately 2-15 grams of fiber in every 100 grams. A vegetable will contain only 1.2 to 4 grams of fiber for the same quantity.
The water content in vegetables is higher, somewhere between 84 to 95%, while in fruits its lesser, 61-89%.
Hence a right proportional blend of the two, works best for the body.
Why Vegetables or Why Not?
The Nutrients in vegetables are important for maintenance of body. They are the cleansers, energizers and boosters of systems in our body. Eating a diet rich in vegetables reduces the risk of a heart stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Infact, vegetables form an important component for a diet plan of people with diabetes.
Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
Health Benefits of some commonly consumed fruits and vegetables are:
- Onions: an excellent source of vitamin C and B6. They are loaded with manganese and gives protection against cough and cold. They also have high cancer fighting properties.
- Tomatoes: they are an excellent source of carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene, which protects our eyes from damage. Tomatoes also regulate blood pressure and reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes.
- Cucumber: they contain multiple B Vitamin and helps in reducing stress. Cucumbers are made 95% of water and hence are ideal for keeping our body hydrated and cool. It is also an agent in weight loss. Also find easier ways to lose weight.
- Cabbage: Also known as world’s healthiest foods, cabbages are a great source of vitamin K and are a great source of blood antioxidants. Various studies have shown multiple benefits of this simple vegetable.
Hence, Botanically different, these two types of foods can work well and reap great results if taken in perfect combinations. These naturally available (in abundance) food can work well for human heart, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, energy levels, and more.
Their benefits can be as simple as an agent to slimming waist line and can be stretched to cure chronic diseases. Therefore, a variety is not just spice of life, but also, the right way in life.