22 Types of Legumes and Their Nutritional Values

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Michael Joseph

Legumes are a nutritious type of food, and they are a staple around many parts of the world.

The word ‘legume’ refers to any plant from the Fabaceae family of plants.

In dietary terms, a legume refers to the edible fruit or seed of the plant, and it includes beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, pods, and more.

Although the terminology can be confusing, legumes and pulses have different meanings. Legumes are the overall group, while pulses are the dried seeds from legume plants (such as kidney beans, lentils, and split peas).

This article examines common varieties of legumes and their nutritional values, using data from the USDA FoodData Central database.

For each legume variety, you can see its basic nutritional profile.

1) Adzuki Beans

Pile of Red Adzuki Beans.

Adzuki beans are small beans mainly grown in the East Asian countries of China, Japan, and South Korea.

While adzuki beans are commonly red, they can come in a wide range of colors.

Nutritionally, adzuki beans are a rich source of fiber and protein.

Per 100-gram serving, dried adzuki beans provide the following nutritional values (1):

  • Calories: 329 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 62.9g
  • Fiber: 12.7g
  • Fat: 0.53g
  • Protein: 19.9g

See this review of the nutritional benefits of adzuki beans for a complete guide.

2) Black Beans

A Pile of Raw Blackbeans (Black Soybeans).

Black beans, also known as black soybeans, are native to East Asia.

Although they have a different taste to yellow soybeans, black beans are used in a similar way.

These beans feature in a wide range of foods, from black bean natto to black bean soy milk.

They are also used to make several fermented soy products, including fermented black bean paste, known as douchi.

Per 100 grams dried, black beans offer the following nutrient values (2):

  • Calories: 341 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 62.4g
  • Fiber: 15.5g
  • Fat: 1.42g
  • Protein: 21.6g

3) Black Turtle Beans

Pile of Raw Black Turtle Beans.

Despite looking very similar to black soybeans, the black turtle bean is native to the American continent and slightly smaller.

It is slightly different nutritionally too. The nutritional values for 100 grams of dried black turtle beans are as shown below (3):

  • Calories: 339 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 63.2g
  • Fiber: 15.5g
  • Fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 21.2g

Black turtle beans are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine.

See this nutritional guide to black turtle beans

4) Black-Eyed Peas

A Pile of Raw Black-Eyed Peas.

Black-eyed peas are also known as cowpeas, and they originated in the African continent (4).

This popular legume has white skin with a small black “eye” area. Despite the ‘pea’ part of the name, black-eyed peas are a bean.

Regarding their nutritional values, 100 grams of dried black-eyed peas supplies (5):

  • Calories: 336 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 60.0g
  • Fiber: 10.6g
  • Fat: 1.26g
  • Protein: 23.5g

See this full guide to black-eyed peas for more information

5) Borlotti Beans

A Pile of Dried Borlotti Beans.

Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are popular beans that originated in Italy.

In their homeland, they are one of the most common legumes.

Borlotti beans have a speckled appearance with a beige base color under streaks of red/pink.

Nutritionally, 100 grams of dried borlotti beans provides (6):

  • Calories: 335 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 58.0g
  • Fiber: 24.0g
  • Fat: 1.0g
  • Protein: 23.0g

6) Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans In a Small Bowl.

Cannellini beans are a widespread variety of white bean. Additionally, they are the largest common white bean.

The above picture shows that cannellini beans are large, oval-shaped, and bright white.

The beans are a variety of kidney beans, and they are relatively similar to red kidney beans nutritionally.

Per 100 grams, dried cannellini beans have the following basic nutritional profile (7):

  • Calories: 333 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 60.3g
  • Fiber: 15.2g
  • Fat: 0.85g
  • Protein: 23.8g

See this complete nutritional guide to cannellini beans for more information on their properties.

7) Chickpeas

Pile of Chickpeas In a Bowl.

Chickpeas have an interesting appearance, and they look somewhat similar to nuts.

These legumes are otherwise known as garbanzo beans, and they are thought to have originated in the Middle East (8).

Chickpeas remain immensely popular in their place of origin, and they feature in a wide range of condiments, curries, and other dishes. Additionally, they are the primary ingredient in the famous condiment hummus.

Nutritionally, 100 grams of dried chickpeas provides the following values (9):

  • Calories: 378 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 63.0g
  • Fiber: 12.2g
  • Fat: 6.04g
  • Protein: 20.5g

In addition, chickpeas are a significant source of manganese, folate, and copper.

See this complete nutritional guide to chickpeas for more information.

8) Edamame

Edamame in Pod and Fresh Soybeans.

Edamame is the name for immature (green) soybeans that grow within their pod.

While edamame is technically a legume, it is often sold or served as a vegetable.

Edamame is available worldwide, but it is particularly prevalent in Japanese cuisine. It also works well within stir-fries.

According to the USDA data entry for frozen edamame, 100 grams provides the following nutritional values (10):

  • Calories: 121 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 8.91g
  • Fiber: 5.2g
  • Fat: 5.2g
  • Protein: 11.9g

Edamame offers a broad range of vitamins and minerals, and it is high in folate.

9) Fava Beans

Pile of Fresh Fava Beans (Broad Beans).

Fava beans are also known as broad beans, and they are available to buy fresh or dried.

These beans are quite nutritious, and they offer a good amount of protein, fiber, copper, folate, and manganese (11).

Per 100 grams, dried fava beans provide (11):

  • Calories: 341 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 58.3g
  • Fiber: 25.0g
  • Fat: 1.53g
  • Protein: 26.1g

10) Green Peas (Garden Peas)

Green Peas In a Brown Bowl.

Despite most people thinking green peas are a vegetable, they are a type of legume.

However, unlike most legumes, peas are usually consumed in their fresh and immature green form.

Per 100-gram (raw) serving, green peas provide the following nutritional values (12):

  • Calories: 81 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 14.4g
  • Fiber: 5.7g
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Protein: 5.42g

11) Great Northern Beans

A Large Pile of Great Northern Beans.

Alongside cannellini beans, Great Northern beans are another popular white bean variety.

Although similar to cannellini beans in taste and nutritional value, Great Northern beans are slightly smaller.

Similar to other white bean varieties, Great Northern beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein.

Here are the nutritional values for 100 grams of dried Great Northern beans (13):

  • Calories: 339 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 62.4g
  • Fiber: 20.2g
  • Fat: 1.14g
  • Protein: 21.9g

12) Kidney Beans

A Pile of Raw Red Kidney Beans.

Kidney beans come in several different colors, from black to red.

However, red kidney beans are by far the most common variety.

Interestingly, kidney beans take their name through their shape, color, and resemblance to a real kidney.

Kidney beans are among the most nutritious legumes, and 100 grams of dried beans contains (14):

  • Calories: 337 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 61.3g
  • Fiber: 15.2g
  • Fat: 1.06g
  • Protein: 22.5g

As the nutritional values show, red kidney beans offer higher protein and fiber proportions than most legumes.

13) Lentils

A Pile of Raw Orange Lentils.

Lentils are one of the most popular legumes, and they come in colors ranging from green and black to orange and yellow.

These legumes commonly feature in dishes worldwide, including lentil soup and various curries.

Nutritionally, dried lentils provide the following nutrients per 100 grams (15):

  • Calories: 352 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 63.4g
  • Fiber: 10.7g
  • Fat: 1.06g
  • Protein: 24.6g

14) Lima Beans

Bowl Full of Lima Beans.

Lima beans are large white beans but smaller than cannellini and Great Northern beans.

It is relatively easy to find them for sale in either dried or canned form.

In some parts of the world, this legume is more commonly referred to by ‘butter beans.’

Lima beans are a good source of nutritional value, and they are high in copper, folate, and thiamin (16).

The beans offer the following nutrition profile per 100 grams dried (16):

  • Calories: 338 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 63.4g
  • Fiber: 19.0g
  • Fat: 0.69g
  • Protein: 21.5g

15) Lupin Beans

A Pile of Raw Lupin Beans.

Lupin beans, also known as lupini beans, have been part of the human diet for thousands of years.

These beans are also the most nutritionally unique legumes.

This uniqueness is because they have a relatively low carbohydrate content compared to other dried legume varieties. However, despite this, they are incredibly high in fiber and protein.

Per 100 grams, dried lupin beans provide (17):

  • Calories: 371 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 40.4g
  • Fiber: 18.9g
  • Fat: 9.74g
  • Protein: 36.2g

See this complete guide to lupin beans and their nutritional benefits for more information.

16) Mung Beans

A Pile of Raw Dried Mung Beans.

Mung beans are small green legumes that visually resemble green peas.

These small green beans are particularly rich in folate, and they supply a good range of nutrients.

Per 100 grams, dried mung beans have the following nutritional values (18):

  • Calories: 347 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 62.6g
  • Fiber: 16.3g
  • Fat: 1.15g
  • Protein: 23.9g

See this nutritional guide to mung beans for more information.

17) Navy Beans

Pile of Navy (Haricot) Beans In a Bowl.

Also commonly known as haricot beans, the navy bean is a small, white-colored legume.

Navy beans are fiber-rich, a good protein source, and an excellent source of folate.

Notably, many tinned legume products use navy beans, such as Baked Beans.

Per 100 grams, here are the nutritional values for dried navy beans (19):

  • Calories: 337 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 60.8g
  • Fiber: 15.3g
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 22.3g

18) Peanuts

Peanuts Without Their Shell Next To Large Peanut Shell.

Peanuts are mostly thought of as a variety of nut.

However, botanically peanuts are classed as a type of legume.

That said, peanuts’ nutritional profile is slightly different from most legumes.

For one thing, peanuts are relatively low in carbohydrates and contain high amounts of dietary fat (and calories).

Per 100 grams, the basic nutritional profile of peanuts is as follows (20):

  • Calories: 570 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 15.8g
  • Fiber: 9.5g
  • Fat: 49.6g
  • Protein: 26.2g

19) Pinto Beans

Pile of Raw Pinto Beans.

Pinto beans are small legumes with a beige color speckled with brown bits.

These beans are particularly popular in Spanish cuisine, known locally as ‘frijol pinto’ (21).

Per 100 grams, dried pinto beans provide the following nutritional values (22):

  • Calories: 347 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 62.6g
  • Fiber: 15.5g
  • Fat: 1.23g
  • Protein: 21.4g

20) Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas - Three Pods.

Snap peas are also widely known as sugar snap peas.

These peas are slightly different from regular garden peas as they have edible pods.

Thus, people can eat the whole pea-containing pod, which contains several peas, as one.

Snap peas are a fresh legume, and per-100 gram raw weight, they provide (23):

  • Calories: 42 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7.55g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 2.8g

21) Soybeans

Pile of Raw Soybeans Falling Out of a Bag.

Soybeans are one of the world’s staple foods, and they are the most common plant-based protein source (24).

There are a wide variety of soybean-based foods consumed around the world. Some of the most popular include:

  • Cheonggukjang
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Soy milk
  • Soybeans
  • Soy protein
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu

Some of these foods are traditional fermented soy dishes, while others are more modern processed options.

As for regular soybeans, their nutritional values per 100 grams (dried) are as follows (25):

  • Calories: 446 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 30.2g
  • Fiber: 9.3g
  • Fat: 19.9g
  • Protein: 36.5g

As shown above, soybeans are a rich source of protein, and they also provide a moderately high amount of dietary fat.

22) Split Peas

Dried Green Split Peas.

Split peas look slightly like lentils, but they are an entirely different type of legume.

Split peas are simply mature green peas that have been dried and had their skin peeled. After this, they are “split” into two halves.

There are also two different colors of split pea: green and yellow.

In terms of nutritional value, split peas provide the following profile per 100 grams (26):

  • Calories: 364 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 61.6g
  • Fiber: 22.2g
  • Fat: 3.89g
  • Protein: 23.1g

Nutritional Comparison Table

The table below shows an at-a-glance comparison of how each legume compares nutritionally per 100 grams.

Legume NameCaloriesCarbohydratesFiberFatProtein
Adzuki beans329 kcal62.9g12.7g0.53g19.9g
Black beans341 kcal62.4g15.5g1.42g21.6g
Black turtle beans339 kcal63.2g15.5g0.9g21.2g
Black-eyed peas336 kcal60.0g10.6g1.26g23.5g
Borlotti beans335 kcal58.0g24.0g1.0g23.0g
Cannellini beans333 kcal60.3g15.2g0.85g23.8g
Chickpeas378 kcal63.0g12.2g6.04g20.5g
Edamame121 kcal8.91g5.2g5.2g11.9g
Fava beans341 kcal58.3g25.0g1.53g26.1g
Green peas81 kcal14.4g5.7g0.4g5.42g
Great northern beans339 kcal62.4g20.2g1.14g21.9g
Kidney beans (red)337 kcal61.3g15.2g1.06g22.5g
Lentils352 kcal63.4g10.7g1.06g24.6g
Lima beans338 kcal63.4g19.0g6.69g21.5g
Lupin beans371 kcal40.4g18.9g9.74g36.2g
Mung beans347 kcal62.6g16.3g1.15g23.9g
Navy beans337 kcal60.8g15.3g1.5g22.3g
Peanuts570 kcal15.8g9.5g49.6g26.2g
Pinto beans347 kcal62.6g15.5g1.23g21.4g
Sugar snap peas42 kcal7.55g2.6g0.2g2.8g
Soybeans446 kcal30.2g9.3g19.9g36.5g
Split peas364 kcal61.6g22.2g3.89g23.1g
Nutritional comparison for the different types of legumes, per 100 grams (raw weight)

What Benefits Do Legumes Have?

Firstly, all legumes tend to be a good source of protein and fiber.

However, specific legumes may provide certain nutrients in higher amounts than others, depending on their unique nutritional profile.

Here are some guides to popular legumes that show their complete nutritional profile, as well as a summary of scientific research findings:

Common Questions About Legumes

What is the difference between beans, legumes, and pulses?

Understanding the difference between beans, legumes, and pulses can be confusing. First of all, pulses are the edible seeds of legume plants, including beans, lentils, and peas. A bean is one type of edible seed and a type of legume, but not all legumes are beans. Finally, legumes are all beans, pulses, leaves, and pods from plants in the legume (Fabaceae) family.

Which legume is the best for me?

Which legume is “the best” depends on what someone is looking for and personal preference. It is best to look at the nutritional values of each legume and see which one offers the desired characteristics.

Which legume has the highest protein?

According to the USDA FoodData Central database, fava beans, lupin beans, and soybeans contain the most protein.

Which legumes have the most fiber?

According to the USDA FoodData Central database, the three legumes with the highest fiber content are borlotti beans, (dried) fava beans, and split peas.

Which legumes have the lowest calories?

Gram for gram, fresh legumes such as green peas, edamame, and fresh fava beans contain significantly fewer calories than dried legumes. These fresh legumes also have a lower carbohydrate content.

Final Thoughts

This guide covered a broad range of the different varieties of legumes.

These legume options are nutrient-rich, offer unique nutritional profiles, and can benefit most people’s diets.

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