If there’s one edible item everyone is most likely to have in their kitchen, it’s definitely going to be a potato. As a matter of fact, potatoes are the fourth most consumed food in the world, just behind wheat, corn and rice.
Filled with starch and fibre, their neutral taste profile allows them to blend with practically any kind of meal you throw them in.
But the question is: Are potatoes fruits or vegetables? Keep on reading to find out!
Are Potatoes Fruits Or Vegetables?
Anything that is harvested for seeds, roots and leaves can be termed as a vegetable in most cases and potatoes are no different. These tuber veggies are grown on short terms and plucked in a similar manner to a root vegetable.
Their composition is mainly water (79%), 17% carbohydrates and 2% protein.
It is also worth noting that the plant which produces potatoes, also gives berries and flowers. However, they are highly toxic and not safe for consumption.
What differentiates potatoes from fruits is that they do not contain any seeds and are not derivatives of flowers of a plant. Furthermore, fruits usually have a sweet taste unlike the mild flavors which are predominant in vegetables.
Fun fact: Sweet potatoes are not originally any kind of potatoes but instead just the swollen roots. This leads to a higher starch composition which slightly alters their taste.
Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables are staples in all cuisines, but if we were to categorize them, what would the differences be? Vegetables can be divided into six broad categories, which are leafy greens, cruciferous, root, marrow, edible plant stem and allium. In the case of fruits, the scenario plays out a bit differently. Scroll down to find out!
|Mostly a sweet part of a plant which contains seeds.||Used as food by the plant, seeds may not be necessarily present.|
|Seeds can be present inside or on the outer surface.||Seeds are absent.|
|Taste profile ranges from sour to sweet.||Taste profile ranges from salty & sore to bitter.|
|Colors can be red, orange, yellow, black, green and purple.||Typically green in color due to the presence of chlorophyll.|
|Rich in proteins, vitamin C, water and fibre.||High fibre content. Also rich in vitamins and trace minerals.|
|Play a key role in sexual reproduction of plants by bearing the seeds.||Vegetables are usually involved in vegetative reproduction.|
All differences aside, fruits such as apples, oranges etc also have some similarities to vegetables like potatoes. They are:
- Both are considered to be the edible parts of a plant.
- These are low-calorie foods which are high in nutrient concentration.
- Both stem from parent plants and can be farmed both naturally and hydroponically.
Bonus: Here are 4 raw protein whole foods that will serve as excellent protein-based additives in your daily diet.
Potatoes: Types, Health Benefits and More
Enough about the distinction between fruits and vegetables. You might be wondering: What good will learning about potatoes do for me? Well, here’s the significance:
- Since you know that potato is a vegetable, you know that its flowers are not crucial for cultivation, and the other parts of the plant are not edible.
- Understanding that potatoes are tubers also helps you comprehend how they are produced and what to keep in mind when handling your own produce.
- Lastly, this is also important if you are cultivating or want to cultivate potatoes in your garden/farm.
Types of Potatoes
Even though most potato varieties taste just about the same, you may find some difference in terms of size, sweetness and inner-texture. As of now, there are more than 200 kinds of potatoes in the United States alone! Here’s how you can classify them:
- Purple: Have an earthy flavor
- White: Firm skin which is also quite thin
- Fingerling: Buttery flavor
- Petite: Smaller size with a greater concentration of taste
- Yellow: Creamy and buttery
- Red: Thick outer surface
- Russet: Fluffy center
Out of the bunch, Russet potatoes are the priciest. They cannot be steamed and are used in preparation of French fries. Furthermore, white potatoes are the ones which can make you gain weight as they are quite nutrient-dense.
Health Benefits of Potatoes
|Serving size||100 grams|
This versatile root vegetable is packed with a multitude of minerals and nutrients. Here are a few reasons that might turn you into a potato-fanatic:
Protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, name a micro-nutrient and potato will likely have it. Furthermore, you can also alter the nutrient content of potatoes by frying or baking them. For example: frying will add more calories as compared to baking.
Antioxidants strengthen our immune system by getting rid of free radicals which are known to increase the risk of chronic ailments like diabetes, cancer and heart-related issues. Potatoes have plenty of carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids which help us combat these diseases.
Keeps Blood Sugar in Check
The presence of resistant starch in potatoes means that it helps reduce insulin resistance. What this essentially means is that this starch is not broken down but instead is converted into a mineral which is imperative to your gut health.
How Much to Eat?
As long as you make potato-based dishes without using too much salt or saturated fat, consuming 1-2 potatoes per is considered completely safe. This also helps keep issues like diabetes, heart stroke and low-body weight in check. Here are some tasty recipes you can try:
- Mashed potatoes
- Potatoes au gratin
- Dum aloo
- Rosemary roasted potatoes
- Hasselback potatoes
Potatoes are vegetables and not fruits. They contain plenty of fiber and starch which makes them an excellent food option for someone looking to gain weight. Given their affordable price, versatility and long shelf-life, they have become highly popular among food enthusiasts.
Including them in your diet help you meet your daily calorie requirement while eating a vegetable that does not taste as terrible as some greens :p
Thanks for reading.