Difference Between Fruits and Nuts -


Fruits vs Nuts

Though many consider fruits and nuts to be different, they are one and the same as far as scientific community is concerned. While the mature ovary of any flower or a plant that contains seeds is called a fruit, it is the outer layer of the nut that fulfills the criteria of this definition and thus classifies as a fruit while the part that we eat for nutritional value is considered as the seed of the plant. Nuts are also confused with legumes and drupes and accordingly refer to peanuts, coconuts and almonds as nut, whereas they are not.

Thus to remove all confusion, here is a simple definition of nuts. A fruit that has a single seed and an outer shell that is hard and does not crack or split when this seed ripens can be classified as a nut. However, there is a common perception that fruits are soft and tender, and of course delicious to eat (at least a vast majority is). So it is easy for people to think of nuts as something different from fruits as it is crispy. However, there is one notable difference between fruits and nuts and that is the capacity to grow into a plant or a tree. While every seed that is found inside a fleshy, tasty fruit is potentially capable of growing into a plant itself, the same cannot be said to hold true for the seeds that we eat from nuts.

The other major difference of course in the way we consume fruits and nuts. While fruits have a soft outer covering that can be peeled or removed with a knife to reveal the inner flesh that can be eaten straight away or pressed to make juices, nuts have a hard outer covering that needs to be broken to get to the fruit inside. Even this fruit has no flesh and has to be eaten by biting into it. There are no juices and nuts have a distinct taste of their own.

One thing that is common in fruits and nuts is the presence of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The only thing missing in nuts is juice. They cannot be crushed and converted into healthy drinks like fruits. Nuts are mostly eaten as snacks, while fruits can be either eaten or taken as juices.

In brief:

• While most think of nuts as being different from fruits, scientists say that they are one and the same.

• However there are major differences in appearance and taste as far as fruits and nuts are concerned.

• While fruits are soft and fleshy inside, nuts have a hard outer cover and a crispy seed inside.

• While seeds inside a fruit can become plants, the same cannot be said about the seeds of the nuts we eat.