Fruit: Definition, Types, Benefits & Examples

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  • 0:10 Definition of Fruit
  • 0:35 Types of Fruit
  • 1:40 Examples of Fruit
  • 2:23 Benefits of Fruit
  • 3:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donna Ricketts

Donna Ricketts is a health educator with 15 years of professional experience designing health and wellness programs for adults and children.

In this lesson, you will learn about what properties make a fruit a fruit and its many types and varieties. You will also learn about the possible health benefits of including fruit in your daily diet.

Definition of Fruit

Fruit make up a large portion of our diets. Did you know many foods that we consider to be vegetables are actually fruits? The botanical definition of fruit is a seed-bearing part of a flowering plant or tree that can be eaten as food. By those standards, foods such as avocados, cucumbers, squash, and yes, even tomatoes are all fruits. From a culinary viewpoint, a fruit is usually thought of as any sweet-tasting plant product with seeds, whereas a vegetable is any savory or less sweet-tasting plant.

Types of Fruit

Fruits can be eaten raw, frozen, stewed, cooked, or dried. All fruits may be classified into three major groups: simple, aggregate, or multiple.

Simple Fruits = one fruit that has developed from the ovary of a single flower. Simple fruits may either be fleshy, like plums and peaches, or dry, such as walnuts and hazelnuts.

Aggregate Fruits = a fruit formed from several ovaries of one flower that produces many tiny fruits clustered tightly together.

Multiple Fruits = a fruit formed from the fusion of the ovaries of many different flowers which develop closely together to form one bigger fruit.

Note: False fruits or accessory fruits are another kind of fruit that is not formed from the ovary, but from a different part of the flower. These fruits may be simple, aggregate, or multiple fruits. For example, strawberries would be considered an aggregate fruit, as well as an accessory fruit since much of the fleshy fruit part does not come from the ovary.

Examples of Fruit

Fruits can be fleshy like tomatoes or peaches, or they can be dry like coconuts or peanuts. They can have many seeds in them like cantaloupe and watermelon, or they can have one single seed in them like avocados, almonds, and cherries. Fruits may be very large, like pumpkins, or very small, like blueberries. Here are some examples of each type of fruit.

Simple fruits can include fruits like apples, pears, plums, tomatoes, peaches.

Apple Tree
Apple Tree

Aggregate fruits can include fruits like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries.

Strawberry Flower
Strawberry Plant

Multiple fruits can include fruits like pineapples, figs, breadfruit, mulberries.

Pineapple Plant
Pineapple Plant

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