Fruits vs Vegetables – Essay
There have been significant discussions and arguments on the differences between a fruit and a vegetable. Many people are oblivious to the differences between the two and assume that they have exactly the same effect on the human body. Still, some feel that Vegetables are far better for the body than fruits are while on the other hand, others recommend fruits as the better option. First of all, however, let us consider the definition of each of these terms as this would help to give an idea of what separates the two.
By botanical definition, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that is formed from the ovary of a flowering plant. By simple definition, the ovary develops into the fruit and the ovules into the seeds. A vegetable, on the other hand, includes all other parts of the plant, ranging from roots to leaves and stems. By these definitions, seedy structures such as apples, squash and even tomatoes are fruits and roots such as potatoes, leaves such as lettuce and stems like celery are all vegetables.
Fruits are divided into multiple categories including some examples like simple fruit, aggregate fruits and multiple fruits. Simple fruit is generally divided into two categories; fleshy fruit and dry fruit, each with multiple subdivisions.
- Fleshy fruits
- Berry e.g. Grapes, gooseberries and tomatoes
- Drupe e.g. Mangoes, cherries, peaches, plums, almonds, coconuts
- Dry fruit
- Legume is a dry fruit that splits open down the middle e.g. Beans
- Grain usually includes dry fruit which has only one seed and the seed coat is fused with the pericarp e.g. Corn
- A nut is a dry fruit with a thick and hard pericarp and only one seed e.g. Chestnut, hazelnut, acorns.
Vegetables, on the other hand, are derived from plant parts other than the reproductive parts. Vegetables are mostly classified based on the part of the plant they are obtained from.
- Leafy greens e.g. lettuce, spinach, silver beet
- Cruciferous e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- Marrow e.g. pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini
- Root e.g. potato, sweet potato, and yam
- Edible plant stem e.g. celery, asparagus
- Allium e.g. onion, garlic, shallot
These are just some of the few examples that show that even as fruits and vegetables contain many of the same nutrients, vegetables on average contain a far higher concentration of these nutrients. However, fruits generally contain an excess of sugar for example. Therefore, a balanced diet incorporating both fruits and vegetables is advised.