How Do Fruits and Vegetables Compare Nutritionally
Fruits and vegetables have a lot of similarities in terms of nutrition. Both are high in fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds. Fruits and vegetables are also naturally low in sodium and fat.
As you might expect given their sweet taste, fruits tend to have a higher amount of natural sugar and calories compared to most varieties of vegetables.
One cup of apples, for example, contains 65 calories and 13 grams of sugar, while one cup of broccoli has just 31 calories and 2 grams of sugar.
Compared to vegetables, some types of fruits may also contain more fiber per gram. The fiber content per 100 grams for fruit ranges from 2–15 grams, while leafy vegetables supply 1.2–4 grams of fiber for the same weight.
The water content is also highly variable. Leafy vegetables may be composed of 84–95% water, while fruits contain slightly less, with between 61–89%.
There are some nutrient differences among different categories of fruits and vegetables, as well. Here are few nutrition highlights:
• Tubers: Rich in fiber, plus a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and B vitamins.
• Citrus fruits: High in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and antioxidants that could offer protection against degenerative disease.
• Cruciferous vegetables: Contain glucosinolates, a group of compounds that have been linked to the prevention of cancer.
• Berries: Full of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory compounds that have been studied for their ability to reduce oxidative stress and promote heart health.
• Leafy greens: A good source of carotenoids like lutein, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Including a good mix of fruits and vegetables in your diet can ensure you’re getting a diverse range of nutrients.
Fruit is higher in sugar and calories than vegetables, but both fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Specific types of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients.
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