Is a Pickle a Fruit or Vegetable?
When referring to what type of food a pickle is, questions tend to arise over whether it is a fruit or vegetable. In truth, the answer is a little more complex than that.
What is a Pickle?
A pickle is a cucumber that has been preserved in a brine, vinegar, or other liquid mixture and tends to be salty and tart.
Which Category Does it Fall Under?
Technically, a pickle is classified as a fruit, because it is a part of the cucurbitaceae family, which is also home to melons, squash, and cucumbers.
Conversely, they are sometimes classified as vegetables, since they are not sweet like a typical fruit, and are prepared, served, and eaten in the same manner as vegetables.
The Impressive Health Benefits of Pickles
No matter how you categorize pickles, there are numerous health benefits to eating them. Some of the most impressive health benefits include:
- Loaded with Nutrients: Pickles are a great source of vitamin K and also contain small amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and iron.
- High in Antioxidants: The vinegar used in pickling helps to reduce the risk of disease and is high in antioxidants.
- Good for Weight Loss: Pickles are low in calories, making them a great choice for those who are looking to lose weight.
- Improves Digestion: Pickles contain probiotics that can help to improve digestion and overall gut health.
The Main Takeaway
At the end of the day, a pickle is classified as a fruit both botanically and nutritionally. However, it is also often viewed as a vegetable since it is used in many dishes like any other vegetable. Regardless, pickles are a healthy and delicious part of any meal and should be enjoyed in moderation.