In botany, a fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world’s agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.
In common language usage, “fruit” normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and lemons. On the other hand, the botanical sense of “fruit” includes many structures that are not commonly called “fruits”, such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes.
The section of a fungus that produces spores is also called a fruiting body.
Fruits are generally high in fiber, water, vitamin C and sugars, although this latter varies widely from traces as in lime, to 61% of the fresh weight of the date. Fruits also contain various phytochemicals that do not yet have an RDA/RDI listing under most nutritional factsheets, and which research indicates are required for proper long-term cellular health and disease prevention. Regular consumption of fruit is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease (especially coronary heart disease), stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging.
Diets that include a sufficient amount of potassium from fruits and vegetables also help reduce the chance of developing kidney stones and may help reduce the effects of bone-loss. Fruits are also low in calories which would help lower one’s calorie intake as part of a weight-loss diet.
Most fruit is produced using traditional farming practices. However, the yield of fruit from organic farming is growing.