Fruits vs. Vegetables

Difference between fruits and vegetables

Both fruits and vegetables are parts of plants. Botanically speaking, the matured ovary of a flowering plant or angiosperms is known as fruit. It has seeds whereas edible plant parts are known as vegetables. These edible parts could be stalks, roots, bulbs, tubers or flowers as well.  One can easily differentiate these two terms by telling that sweet, juicy and edible part of a plant is called fruit whereas rest of it is called vegetable. But botany suggests lot more differences between them. According to a botanist, since pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers have seeds, they are fruits.

Both of these are natural source of fibers and vitamins. These ensure the proper functioning and nutrition of body. In broader terms, fruits are fleshy parts and sweet in taste.  They are eaten raw. In plants, a mature ovary protects the seeds which are dispersed by humans, birds or animals which create growth opportunities for these plants. In biological sense, true fruits like peas, eggplant, tomato and cucumber are not sweet and rather used as vegetables. Some are termed as culinary fruits as well. For instance, cereal seeds are known as edible seeds but in reality, these are fruits. The botanists have divided fruits into categories like aggregate fruits, multiple fruits and simple fruits.

Fruit has an exact botanical definition but vegetable doesn’t have any. These are just defined as edible plant parts. The remaining portion of a plant other than seed or fruit is known as vegetable.

In case of spinach, it is leaves, roots in the case of radish and flower in cauliflower which are edible parts of plant. Some vegetables like carrots and radish are used in raw forms whereas ladyfinger and bitter gourd needs cooking. It is mainly the tradition and culture of a country that decides the stats of vegetables. In some countries, avocado is treated as vegetables whereas in other, it is a fruit. Mushroom is considered vegetable in some but some countries classify it as different food class.

Fruits can also be considered vegetables or vice versa. The seeds are the basis of differentiation between these two. Fruits should have seeds but vegetables may or may not have seeds. That is why tomatoes and cucumbers are classified as fruits. Fruits generally have fructose sugar giving them sweet taste. On the other hand, vegetables have savory taste. Fruits are used raw but some vegetables need cooking prior to eating.