Plant foods are usually divided into seeds (including cereals), nuts, and a third combined group of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits are the fleshy seed-bearing parts of plants, while stems, roots, shoots, leaves, some seeds (including peas, beans, and lentils), tubers (underground storage organs such as potato, Jerusalem artichoke, sweet potato, yam), underground stems (taro, onion), and flower buds and flowers (cauliflower, broccoli) are all classed as vegetables.

However, through popular usage some fruits such as tomato and cucumber are classed as vegetables, and rhubarb, a stem, as fruit. So the group includes a large number of very diverse foods which differ considerably in nutritional value.

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