A vegetable is an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Therefore the application of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. For example, some people consider mushrooms to be vegetables, while others consider them a separate food category.
However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients such as α-solanine, α-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase, protease, amylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursors, oxalic acid, and more. Depending on the concentration, such compounds may reduce the edibility, nutritional value, and health benefits of dietary vegetables. Cooking and/or other processing may be necessary to eliminate or reduce them.