Vegetable is a broad term referring to any part of a plant that is consumed as food. The original meaning has been generally applied and still is used today to describe all edible fruit-bearing plant material, which includes the leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, flowers, and even seeds. In most dictionaries, vegetable refers only to these parts of a plant. It has been noted, however, that even vegetable literature sometimes uses the word leafy to refer to the edible parts of a plant even when they are part of the stem. While this is not used in most dictionaries, it is used in some countries in reference to a vegetable plant.
The reason that some refer to vegetables and fruits as the same thing is because of the similarity in form. Both plants are produced with leaves and stems covered by a thin layer of skin. The difference between the two is that fruits have a store of water inside them, while vegetables contain a store of vitamins and nutrients on the exterior. For example, an apple is a vegetable, but an orange is a fruit.
Because of the differences in form, it is easy to confuse one vegetable with another when determining nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables are grouped according to how the elements present in them are stored in the plant. Fruits have more water and fiber content per unit volume than do vegetables. When comparing the nutritional content of fruits to vegetables, remember that fruits contain more fiber and fewer calories than do vegetables. Because of this, the typical fruit diet includes many more fruits than a typical vegetable diet.
Because fruits and vegetables are similar in composition, there is a tendency for people to over-consume both groups of foods. Some people even enjoy eating fruits and vegetable soup and sandwiches. However, a balanced and healthy diet includes more fruits and vegetables and less fruits and vegetable soup and sandwiches. If you do include fruit in your diet, make sure you consume enough to give your body a balanced amount of nutrients. Eating too much fruit is just as bad for you as eating too much vegetable soup!
Most fruits and vegetables consist of water. When mixing fruit and vegetable soups, always add water. Adding water prevents the soups from becoming slimy and retaining much of the nutrients of the fruit. Just like water, most fruits have little or no taste. Vegetables, however, add a subtle but distinct flavor and often include complex carbohydrates which can increase the blood sugar levels and provide energy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that although most fruits and vegetables are edible, others, like potato and tomato, are not. Even though it is unlikely, you may find vegetables in a dessert that you would not eat. If you are watching your blood pressure, try to avoid consuming these vegetable-based desserts. The vegetable cake may look good, but it is also loaded with sugar and will cause a huge surge in your blood sugar.