Can you imagine a world without fruits? Without apples and oranges and blueberries? There wouldn’t be any strawberry flavored cakes, cherry pie, or mango juice. And we wouldn’t be very healthy as we get a lot of important vitamins from eating fruit.
What Is a Fruit?
We think of fruit primarily as something to eat. But fruits have a purpose quite apart from our needs. Fruit is part of a flowering plant. It’s the part that carries the seeds. The purpose of a fruit is to protect a plant’s seeds and help them get spread about. Wind and water spread seeds. Animals do so when they eat fruit and drop the seeds. The seeds grow into new plants.
There are two main types of fruit:
- fleshy and dry. Fleshy fruits are soft and juicy, the way we usually think of fruits. Peaches, plums, and apples are all fleshy fruits.
- Dry fruits are thin and hard. Grains like wheat and rice, or nuts like chestnuts or almonds, are dry fruits.
I’m sure you’ve eaten oranges and grapes without seeds. So, how can they be fruits? It’s because people have changed the way they grow fruit. They can now grow seedless fruit.
Seedless fruit comes from special hybrid plants. A hybrid is made by combining two varieties of a fruit to form a new variety. This hybrid grows and produces seeds. But the plants grown from these seeds are seedless. These plants cannot reproduce themselves. They can make fruit, but the fruit has no seeds.
READ ALSO: Steps on Effective Storage of Your Fruits
Fun Fact: A tomato is a vegetable, right? No, it’s actually a fruit. Other foods we think of as vegetables—such as squash, peppers, and eggplant—also are fruit. They’re fruit because they carry seeds and develop from flowers.
Good for Your Health
Fruits are a source of nourishing substances that keep us alive and healthy. For example, they contain many vitamins, especially vitamins A and C, and many minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and zinc. They also provide fiber for a healthy digestive system and carbohydrates that the body needs to make energy. They don’t have a lot of calories to make us fat.
People use fruits for many things. We make juices from them. We cook bread and pie with them. We make jams and jellies and sweets. We freeze them to eat later. We even make alcohol from fruit. Beer comes from grains, wine comes from grapes, and some brandies are made from plums, apricots, or other fruits.
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