Written by Ryan Raman, MS, RD top top November 20, 2019 — median reviewed through Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice)

Nuts are among the most renowned snack foods. They’re not just tasty yet also an excellent for you, particularly when it comes to heart health.

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However, you might wonder which food group nuts belong come — fruit or vegetables?

This article digs right into the details.

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To recognize whether nuts space vegetables or fruits, it’s essential to recognize the differences in between these 2 food groups.

Fruits and vegetables are divided into botanical and culinary classifications.

Botanical group is based upon the structure and functions of plants. While fruits prosper from the flower of plants and have seeds for reproduction, vegetables are all other parts that the plant, consisting of the roots, stems, and leaves (1).

On the other hand, culinary category depends top top taste. In this case, fruits tend to be sweet or tart and work best in desserts, snacks, smoothies, pastries, or juices. Whereas vegetables space mild, savory, or bitter and also work much better in sides, stews, soups, salads, and also casseroles.


Botanically, fruits flourish from the flower of plants and also contain seeds, when vegetables space the plant’s various other parts. Yet, from a cooking perspective, fruits are sweet or tart, when vegetables space mild, savory, or bitter.

Are nuts fruits or vegetables?

Botanically, nuts room classified as a fruit that has a solitary edible seed with a hard, inedible external shell. They’re thought about indehiscent, which means that their covering doesn’t open as soon as ripe (2).

However, a lot of foodstuffs that civilization consider nuts room really the seed of drupes — fruit whose flesh surrounds a solitary shell v a seed inside (3).

For example, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and most other nuts room botanically the seeds of drupes.

Meanwhile, true nuts incorporate chestnuts, acorns, and also hazelnuts.

Interestingly, peanuts — one of the most famous nuts in the people — space technically a legume and also thus botanically a vegetable. However, peanuts’ nutrient profile and characteristics are closer to the of various other nuts.

Nutritionally, most nuts’ nutrient composition resembles legumes rather than fruit as result of their high protein content.

From a cook perspective, the hatchet “nuts” is an ext relaxed and also in line through what most human being think room nuts — large, oily kernels discovered within a shell.


Botanically, most nuts space the seeds of a fruit, if true nuts — such together chestnuts, acorns, and also hazelnuts — space fruits in and also of themselves. Peanuts are the exception, together they’re legumes — and also thus technically vegetables.

Although many nuts space botanically thought about seeds, castle still really healthy.

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Nuts are fantastic source the plant-based protein, fat, fiber, antioxidants, and an essential vitamins and minerals, consisting of vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and also selenium (4).

In addition, they have been connected to plenty of health benefits, together as lessened inflammation and also improved love health, blood sugar control, and also digestion (5, 6, 7, 8).

Current dietary guidelines in the United claims treat nuts together a protein source rather than fruits or vegetables due to their high protein content (9).

However, as nuts are also high in calories, 0.5 ounces (14 grams) of nuts or seeds is taken into consideration equivalent come 1 ounce (28 grams) of other protein sources, such as meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood.

As such, you should eat nuts in small portions and in location of various other protein-rich foods items (9).

Nuts are versatile and can be took pleasure in whole, chopped, or together nut butters. Castle widely available and have the right to be bought roasted, raw, salted, unsalted, and flavored.

That said, part packaged varieties harbor additives, consisting of salt, sugar, and preservatives. Thus, it’s ideal to check the ingredient list and also choose raw or dry-roasted alternatives when possible.


Nuts space a scrumptious food loaded with protein, healthy and balanced fat, fiber, and several vitamins and also minerals. They’re ideal consumed in moderation as result of their high calorie count.