Fruit vs. Vegetables: The“Good”Food War!
One of the most interesting nutritional health questions I've heard these past few weeks was posed to me by my young son. He asked: "What's better for you, fruit or vegetables?" This is not a simple question to answer, and I love how my son’s inquiry has offered me something new and challenging to think about and now share with you.
Because a lively argument is so much fun, let's do this debate style and hear from each side of the table, point by point. We should also clearly identify what’s considered to be a fruit and what’s a vegetable.
Though tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants are technically fruit, they are eaten more as vegetables as part of things like salads, cooked dishes, so we'll just eschew any botanical conventions for now and count them in the vegetable group.
A vegetable refers to any leafy part or root/bulb/stem of the plant which is edible, making vegetables far superior to fruit in terms of price. Seriously, any category which offers membership to entire heads of cabbage will not lose out to the common melons of the same volume. Seasonal prices and tougher growing restrictions make fruit more expensive by the pound .
Fruit doesn't contain as many toxins and anti-nutrients as vegetables do (culprits include enzyme inhibitors and trace amounts of cyanide). However, fruit only holds a tentative lead since there's a growing concern about genetically modified fruit and pesticides, so we can't be sure. Your best bet? Buy organic.
Food acidity is a concern for many people, especially those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or easily get upset or gassy stomachs. Fruit is much more acidic than vegetables, so veg wins this round.
By Antioxidant Content
This category is actually dependent on what kind of fruit or vegetable is being compared, so we shouldn't leap to conclusions. However, it is true that the clear forerunner in antoxidant count nowadays is the blueberry, so fruit wins this round.
By Preparation Time
The rule of thumb is that the longer you cook something, the more nutrients you lose. In this case, unless you're making a jam preserve, fruit often retains most of its nutrients while vegetables suffer from slow-cooking. But then again, it's all up to you. You might even decide to serve your vegetables fresh and at the end of the meal, Italian style.
What do you think about the good food war? There’s no clear winner here, and I think the perfect diet really does need both to achieve balance. Let me know by leaving a comment below.
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.