What is the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables?

I have found that most people don't actually know the difference between fruits and vegetables. Many foods are considered vegetables when they are actually fruit. When I found this out I realized that I eat mostly fruits and very few vegetables. This can be a problem when trying to get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat. Knowing what is truly a vegetable and what is really a fruit will help.

A fruit is the mature ovary of a flowering plant. So this means that tomatoes, eggplants, sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, and peas are all fruits. And here I thought I was doing pretty well at eating my vegetables. Did you know that nuts are hard, dry fruit as well? The fruit category also includes okra, beans, sunflower seeds, wheat and the ones you are well aware of like plums, peaches, apples, bananas, avocado, berries, etc.

When people think of pumpkins and zucchini I believe they think they are eating vegetables. Pumpkin and zucchini are part of the squash family though, which means they are truly fruits. Many foods are tricking us every day. The grocery stores and food books out there don't help us any either. Most people automatically refer to foods such as squash, beans and peas as vegetables. I know I always thought of wheat as a grain. It can be very confusing.

Vegetables though are any edible herbaceous plant part. This includes the stalks, roots, tubers, buds and flowers. Which means that carrots, radishes, rhubarb, celery, potatoes, yams, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli are all vegetables. Other vegetables include garlic, onions, asparagus, and lettuce.

How do you handle all the fruits that you have always thought of as vegetables? I know when I make a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sunflower seeds I think I am doing pretty good eating my veggies. How about vegetable soup? My vegetable soup is loaded with tomatoes and beans which are actually fruits. Thanks goodness it also has carrots, potatoes and onions or I would have to start calling it fruit soup.

So now that you know the true difference between a fruit and a vegetable, are you going to do better about eating your five a day? If it is 5 fruits I will be just fine, if it is 5 veggies, then I am definitely lacking. How about you? I think that all of these foods, whether they are fruits or vegetables are very good for us and the more we eat the healthier we will be.

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Comments 35 comments

mother of three profile image

mother of three 8 years ago from Small town Kentucky

Nice hub!! I think most people don't realize all the different fruits there is available to them. I'm just happy my kids eat vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

dotchianni profile image

dotchianni 8 years ago from San Diego, CA

I knew tomato is a fruit, but I didn't know all the others! Wow! Thank you so much for this article! I am happy my kids love vegetables!

dotchianni profile image

dotchianni 8 years ago from San Diego, CA

It just dawmed on me... you put wheat isn't a grain... really? What is it?

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Fooled me on this hub. I'm glad I stoped by to read.

super rasengan 8 years ago

Thanks for the article.

wow i guess my vegetable salad is really fruit salad

Lizzy 8 years ago

This HUB is awsome!!!

YOU helped my kids with there homework


msms profile image

msms 8 years ago

Great Hub, very different but great information


Kate 8 years ago

But, you "veggie" salad is not any less healthful than it was when you thought it was all vegetables. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxident, for example, whether they are a fruit or a vegetable. Instead, look up the vegetables (or fruits) you eat to look at their specific benefits and decide if you want to include them in your diet that way. The FDA has a good site (www.mypyramid.gov -- go to my pyramid tracker) that lets you type in what you eat, and it will tell you what vitamins, minerals, etc. you are missing or need more of. Then, you don't have to worry so much about catagorization.

1 world embraced 7 years ago from southern kentucky

Great read, and very infomative thanks.

yourdietanalysis profile image

yourdietanalysis 7 years ago from Denver, CO

Very interesting and informative article.


mother 7 years ago

i am so happy because my child eat all tipes of food i am so praud

ocki 7 years ago

I majored in horticulture at university. That's strange. I learned the fruits like tomatoes, berries, melons that you think they are fruits are actually vegetables.........

Bailey 7 years ago

A carrot is actually a fruit as well.

meme 7 years ago

i still don't get it!!!

basically a fruit is something that has seeds or is a seed, right??

but what about a banana, which is a fruit!!!!

Jennifer profile image

Jennifer 7 years ago Author

Meme - Bananas are a fruit, there are seeds in them.

NANCY 7 years ago


Nikita Saunders 7 years ago

thankyou for that useful information i will look at all my fruits vegetables differantly from now on .This information will also help me in school.

Freckleface 7 years ago

Great! thanks for this - i am now assured that i do eat enough fruit every day!

joe 7 years ago

cool article

joe 7 years ago

wut about a Pomegranite?


joe 7 years ago

wut about a Pomegranite?


billybobjoe 6 years ago

To joe:

A Pomegranate is definetly a fruit.(Most definitions of the Pomegranate say so)

Aida  6 years ago

I know some elementary school teachers that should read this information.

Jack 6 years ago

The information is probably useful for some folks,and it's good of you to make it available.But please don't be offended when I suggest that you drop the cliché "most people" There are 6 billion people on this planet,they likelyhood of knowing what most of them think seems slim. For example, though its easy to assume otherwise,most people don't speak English,most people don't have a car. The distortions this sort of assumption can lead to can cause all sorts of misunderstandings and trouble.

minesgm profile image

minesgm 6 years ago from Texas

Wow! Great! This is the information we always neglect.

I voted up and i find it awesome.


shairene joy 5 years ago

it's very useful for children

solitario 5 years ago

hello, BAILEY, ATTENTION friend, never, never carrots must be considered a fruit, because carrots grow up underground, not aerial, look at this rule: vegetables might be found over land or someones underground BUT no any fruit grows underground.

Mairrey 5 years ago

@Solitario: Peanuts are a fruit and they grow underground. :0)

Paula 5 years ago

Great info,thanks!

@Jack, I cant speak for anyone else,but in my opinion using a phrase such as "most people" isn't taken (again by me) to be offensive. Infact, it is used widely, by many people. Not that the people using really know what anyone else thinks or knows.

In this case for example, it is more commonly known that a tomatoe is a fruit, but not everyone knows. So, targeting more my immediate friends & associates, I can honestly say most people(I know) know the difference.

This just goes to just show, that not everyone gets the message that is being sent. The focus on a commonly used(whether used well or not) phrase is really not the point. The purpose of the hub, is merely to differentiate fruits from veggies.

Life is full of cliches. Just don't turn into one, that's when, as you put it, distortions this sort of assumption can lead to can cause all sorts of misunderstandings and trouble. Have a Happy Day :)

Ruth 5 years ago

Hmm! I knew about tomatoes but the rest is good news to me. Thanx for the enlightment

willcy 5 years ago

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Doaa 5 years ago

hehe thanks this information is very precious no one even knew anything about that before im glad i got to know that thanks again ,peace everyone hehe

Stephanie 5 years ago

Just a note: a peanut is actually a legume, not a fruit, as Mairrey noted.

meetali 4 years ago

i like it

Harry Styles 9 months ago

Niall tried eating a tomato and said it was a vegetable.I fooled him

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