Pop quiz: identify the fruit from the vegetable. Tomato and Pineapple. Seems easy, huh? What’s your answer? Before you even take a guess, a crash course about fruits and vegetables. Fruits are formed from the flowering part of the plant, whereas the rest of the plants form vegetables. Got it? Fruits and vegetables have a lot of similarities in terms of nutrition, and most often we tend to confuse ourselves with which is which. Dear friends, it doesn’t matter whether you opt for fruit or veggie salad, there are healthy nutritional benefits of fruits versus vegetables. Answer* is at the end of the article.
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Fruits Vs Vegetables
As you know, fruits have a naturally sweet taste which gives them a higher amount of sugar and calories as compared with vegetables. Kinda! For instance, a cup of an apple contains 65 calories and 13 grams of sugar, whereas a cup of broccoli has 32 calories and just 2 grams of sugar.
Furthermore, some fruits also contain more fiber per gram compared. Fruits contain roughly 2 to 15 grams of fiber per 100 grams, whereas leafy vegetables supply 1.2 to 4 grams of fiber for the same weight. Their water content is highly variable, too. Leafy vegetables contain 84 to 95 percent water, whereas fruits contain slightly less water, within 61 to 89 percent.
Truth is, fruits are high in sugar and calories than vegetables, but both are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Different types of fruits and vegetables provide different forms of nutrients. So including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet ensures you’re getting a diverse amount of nutrients.
Both fruits and vegetables have some nutritional differences among different types and categories as well. Here are a few nutritional highlights:
Citrus fruits: are high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, and antioxidants. These could offer protection against degenerative diseases.
Tubers: are rich in fiber, plus a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and B vitamins.
What Does Science Say?
There’s much research documented on the topic, and most of these studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables is linked with a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. One study even found that eating more than three servings per day slashed the risk of heart disease by 70 percent. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber, thus they help keep your body mass index under control.
A mass study that followed up on 133,000 people over 24 years showed that their increased intake of fruits and non-starchy vegetables significantly reduced their weight. Nutritionists claim that as you increase your fiber intake through fruits and vegetables, you may reduce your risk of cancer. More studies have shown that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables correlates with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. One study found that an increase in fruit and vegetable intake actually reduces the development of diabetes.
Take note that these benefits apply to eating the fiber fruits and vegetables, but not the juices. Juices provide a highly concentrated amount of vitamins, minerals, and sugars in fruits, but there are no fibers, and their health benefits alongside. Last but not least, fruits and vegetables regulate your blood sugar as these foods lower the absorption of sugar which keeps your blood sugar levels steady.
In summary, fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk of heart disease, and cancer, while you control your weight and blood sugar. Both come with an impressive set of nutrients and health benefits, so keep on enjoying them regularly. It’s even recommended that you take at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily — 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits.
*Tomato is a fruit, and pineapple is a vegetable.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Thu, Jun 03, 2022.