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Classifying Fruits and Vegetables

Timeless Nutrition Tip

In addition to being low in calories and fat, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. Best of all, they both taste great. So next time you're picking out your favorites, know precisely which are fruits and which are vegetables.

Classifying Fruits and Vegetables

What actually classifies a fruit as a fruit and a vegetable as a vegetable?

Since fruits and vegetables both come from plants, what's the difference between the two?

According to botanists, a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It is also the part of the plant that contains the seeds. Beans, nuts, tomatoes, and green bell peppers are all, surprisingly, examples of fruits.

Botony definition of a fruit: "The developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato or pineapple."

Botony definition of a vegetable: "Any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves or flower parts are used as food."

The other parts of the plant, including the stem, leaves, and roots, are classified as vegetables - cabbage, turnip, potato, bean, dandelion, etc.

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