Vegetables and fruits, two of the main components of food that provide the body minerals and help to build the immunity of the body. What are the differences between vegetables and fruits? Apart from the fact that they both provide the body with multiple essential minerals and nutrients, there are still a few differences between them.
There are a few fruits and vegetables between which people get confused regarding which is what. Carrot is one of them. People tend to get very easily confused and that’s where questions to like is carrot a fruit arise. Whether carrot is a fruit or vegetable can be elaborately described.
Table of Content
Main Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables
According to a culinary point of view, fruits and vegetables are differentiated based on their taste. Fruits are generally sweet to taste. They also give a tart flavor. Fruits are usually used to make juices, snacks, and desserts. On the other hand, vegetables have a more savory taste and are usually taken by someone as a side dish or main course.
From a botanical standpoint, fruit is a food substance that contains seeds. Fruits develop from the ovary of flowering plants. Vegetables are all other parts of the plant except the ones that are produced from the seed. Vegetables are other plant parts such as roots, stems, and leaves.
According to these standards, it can be said that carrot is a vegetable. From the botanical point of view, it is seen that carrot does not have any seeds so it can be categorized as a fruit. Then again, according to culinary standpoint, carrot is not sweet. It is rather savory in taste and is used as a side course in meals and sometimes as a main course as well. So, it can be said that carrot is a vegetable.
Why Fruits Are Often Confused With Vegetables?
Every person has a pretty good idea about which foods are considered fruits and which are considered vegetables based on a culinary point of view. However, many fruits are considered vegetables based on which part they have been derived from and according to their taste. Usually, fruits are considered to be sweet in taste. Sometimes they are eaten as desserts after meals.
Dishes made of fruits or fruit mixes such as fruit tart and fruit salad. Whereas according to taste vegetables are mostly savory. They are used to make curries, salads, and various spicy dishes. Carrots are not sweet when tasted. They are more savory. But then again they are not used in spicy dishes and curries. Rather they are used to make desserts such as halwa and sweets. This results in confusion if the carrot is a fruit or vegetable.
Fruits develop from the flowering part of a plant. So, they contain seeds. It is one of the main identifying and differentiating factors of fruits and vegetables. Carrots don’t contain any seeds. According to its development carrot is a vegetable.
Origin of Carrots
Carrot is a vegetable. To be exact, it is a root vegetable. It originates from a wild plant named Daucus Carota which is found in Southwestern Asia and Europe. Eventually, with time people started to cultivate carrots in their land and gardens due to their pleasing taste.
Carrot is one of the most suitable to taste vegetables which growl throughout the year. It contains nutritional substances such as carotene, vitamins such as vitamin- A, vitamin- B, vitamin C. carrot is a root vegetable so the leaves and stems of this plant are not edible.
Usually, when it comes to vegetables people eat the leaves and the stems. But in the case of root vegetables, it is different. Here the roots are fleshy. As a result,t we consume the roots of the carrot. Roots usually grow slower than other parts of a plant. But in the case of carrots, it grows faster comparatively. Carrots can be refrigerated and preserved for a long period.
Reasons Why Carrot Is Defined as a Vegetable
- According to botany, fruits are derived from plants and they must contain seeds. For example, tomato. Many people think tomato is a vegetable as it is juicy and used to make curry. It is also used in many other recipes. But, tomato is a fruit actually as it contains seeds. If we compare carrot with this criteria then it is evident that carrot is a vegetable as it contains no seed.
- According to culinary terms, fruits are sweet. Vegetables are part of the plant that is not sweet. Carrot is the root of the plant and does not taste sweet. It is used in cooking and adding flavors to various savory dishes. This also shows that carrot is a vegetable.
- Vegetables are a part of the plant that is developed from any part of a plant other than the seed-bearing ovary. That is, vegetables are the leaves, roots, and stems of a plant. As we know, carrots are developed from the roots of a plant. So, they are vegetables, not fruits.
- One of the main reasons why people are confused if the carrot is a fruit or vegetable is because of the color of a carrot. Generally, fruits are known to have vibrant and varied colors. Vegetables are considered to be mostly green in color as they are the stems, leaves, and roots of a plant. Carrot is vividly orange in color which causes people to confuse it with fruits. Were you aware of the fact that carrots can be of colors other than orange too? Yes, it might be red, yellow, purple, white, and black in colors too.
How to Detect a Good Carrot?
Carrots are very easily available as they grow throughout the year. They can be easily found in any grocery store. Even though it is easy to find, the question arises of how to select a healthy and tasty carrot for the daily food supplement? The characteristics of a healthy and excellent carrot are given below:
- The carrot must have smooth skin and it must be solid in structure. These carrots stay fresh for a longer period and are also sweet.
- Carrots that are bright orange are healthy and ripe. Pale, cracked, and saggy carrots are not good for the taste buds and they also rot faster.
- Carrot contains various types of nutrients. It is also an antioxidant.
The color of a carrot can help you to determine which nutrient it contains. For example,
- Huge amount of vitamin A is present in orange-colored carrots.
- Anthocyanin (which is a blue, red, or violet flavonoid pigment found in plants) is present in purple carrots.
- Lycopene (which is an organic pigment called carotenoid) is found in red carrots.
Benefits of Carrots
As carrots contain various types of nutrients, it has a lot of benefits. These benefits are given below:
The best-known benefit of carrot is that it is good for the eye. Carrots contain a huge amount of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a compound that changes into vitamin-A in our body. This helps to keep your eyes healthy. It also helps to protect our eyes from the sun resulting in lowering the chances of cataracts and various other eye problems.
There’s a substance called lutein that is present in the yellow carrot which has a beneficial effect on our eyes. It is seen in multiple studies that carrot also helps to prevent macular degeneration that is age-related which might lead to vision loss.
Carrots can lower a person’s risk of having cancer. We know, carrot is a strong antioxidant. It is proven that antioxidants fight off the harmful free radicals that are present in our bodies. This can decrease the chances of a person to suffer from cancer. Carrot contains two main types of antioxidants namely, carotenoids and anthocyanins. Orange and yellow carrots contain carotenoids whereas red and purple carrots contain anthocyanins.
Carrot contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for a person’s heart. Carrots also contain potassium that helps to keep your blood pressure within normal range. This also helps you to maintain your weight in a normal range and thus reduces the chances of having heart disease.
The nutrients in carrots help to boost the immunity of an individual. Carrot contains a high amount of vitamin C. Vitamin-C helps to build antibodies in your body. These antibodies defend your immune system. Vitamin C is also beneficial as it helps to absorb iron in your body and prevent various types of infections.
Helps With Constipation
Raw carrot contains a huge amount of fibers. So if a person faces problems like constipation then intake of raw carrots can ease constipation and help you to stay regular.
Physicians advise people who have diabetes to intake huge amounts of non-starchy vegetables such as carrots to keep their blood sugar level under control.
Carrots can prevent the unnecessary rise in blood sugar levels. Studies show that the vitamin-A and beta-carotene that are present in carrots can lower the risk of diabetes.
Carrots contain a high amount of calcium and vitamin-K which helps in the growth and development of the bone.
It is normal for confusion to arise when one is asked is carrot a fruit or vegetable. Many people tend to have a misconception due to the unique features of carrots that differ them from all the other vegetables. After this elaborate discussion, we can conclude that carrot is indeed a vegetable.
Carrot contains various nutrients and it is also beneficial for our health. One should try to include carrots in their daily diet. This will help their body gain the necessary immunity and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Can carrots have any harmful effect on our health?
Yes, if too much carrot is taken by an individual then it might have some side effects. The excess intake of beta-carotene will make a person’s skin turn into an orange-yellow color. This condition is known as carotenemia. There is nothing to worry about as this is comparatively harmless and easily treatable.
How can carrots be prepared and stored?
Carrots are a part of most of the common diets such as keto, vegan, paleo, and more. Before preparing carrots they should be washed thoroughly with water after bringing them from the grocery. This will scrub off the dirt and any unwanted germs. Then, they are to be peeled with a vegetable peeler or a knife.
Then they can be sliced into stick-like pieces and can be consumed with yogurt or hummus. Many people like to boil them and have them. They can also be steamed or roasted and served as a side dish. They can also be used in savory dishes such as chicken pot pie and beef stew.
Can carrots cause allergy?
Although this is a very rare case carrots can cause some people’s mouths to itch. This is known as oral allergy syndrome. In this syndrome, the body reacts to the protein content of the vegetables and fruits as if they are the pollens your body is allergic to. This does not happen if the carrots are cooked.