Chile – Fruit or Vegetable?
Chile, or chile pepper, is a common ingredient used in both Mexican and Latin American cuisine. But does it qualify as a fruit or a vegetable?
What exactly is a Chile?
Chiles are the fruit of the capsicum plant, and typically range in size and heat. The word “chile” is sometimes used interchangeably with “pepper,” although there is a slight difference in the meanings of the two words:
- Chile: A fruit that is usually dried, with a low to moderate level of spiciness.
- Pepper: A fruit or vegetable that is usually fresh, with high to very high levels of spiciness.
So is it a Fruit or Vegetable?
The answer is both! Botanically speaking, chiles are fruits because they are the part of the plant that contain the seeds; however, they are often used in cooking as a vegetable.
What are the Health Benefits?
Chiles are a great source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and free radical damage. Plus, they are considered a low-calorie food and are rich in dietary fiber, which can help keep you feeling full for longer.
Therefore, chiles can be used as both a fruit and a vegetable, making them a great addition to anyone’s diet. So the next time you are trying something new in the kitchen, consider adding some chiles!