Vegetables are major parts of organic plants which are eaten by people as food or supplement. The original sense of it is still widely used today and is often applied to whole plants together with other plants to label all edible vegetable plant material, such as the leaves, fruits, flowers, stems, and roots. In general, vegetable refers to any green plant that has been cultivated and has produced edible fruit or vegetable material. However, the word is also used to refer to the plants or parts of a plant that are used to make products for consumption.
There are two classifications of vegetables, green vegetables and fruit vegetables. Green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, and collard greens are mainly used as a source of protein while other fruits, like tomatoes, are rich in vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, fruit vegetables include apples, oranges, grapefruit, pears, and some other fruits with various kinds of flavors. While there are similarities in the production of both classes of vegetables, there are notable differences. Green vegetables are usually grown in soil where they need less water while fruit vegetables grow better in soil where the nutrients are rich.
One example of a fruit vegetable is the potato. Aside from being rich in nutrients, potatoes are also healthy since they contain a lot of water. This is because potatoes contain a type of soluble fiber known as phytate. Phytate helps in preventing formation of fats in the arteries, which may eventually cause heart attacks. Another vegetable class is fruits. Fruits have different nutritional needs than vegetables, thus they should be eaten in moderation.
The vegetable kingdom is further divided into several subkingdoms. Among these is the dessert family, which includes such familiar fruits as banana, orange, and pineapple. Carrot tops, sweet potatoes, sweet carrots, squash and yams are other subkingdoms of the desert realm. Sweet potatoes belong to the root category, while yams, carrots, bananas, and pineapples are hybrids. In this way, it can be seen that there is a lot of difference among the fruits and vegetables.
A third subkingdom is the root vegetable kingdom. As mentioned earlier, sweet potatoes, bananas, pineapple, and sweet carrots are from the root category. A subkingdom of this is the bulb vegetable kingdom, which includes such familiar fruits as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cantaloupe. Some bulbs are even produced in the form of vegetable seeds like flax seed, which has long been a staple of the vegetarian diet. Sunflower seeds are another example of a seed vegetable.
The plant itself is described by the botanical definition as having roots and flowering stems. The stems and roots of vegetables differ from those of fruits because they supply the sugars and other nutrients to the plant, while the fruits provide the food to the animal and human inhabitants. The process of photosynthesis differs between fruits and vegetables, too. Some of their metabolic processes are very much alike.