17 Types of Beans and Legumes (With Nutritional Values)

Last Updated on October 22, 2021 by Michael Joseph

Legumes are among the most nutritious foods, and they are a staple around many parts of the world.

Technically, legumes are any food that comes from the Fabaceae family of plants. There are many different types of beans and legumes, and they all vary nutritionally.

In this article, we examine the most common varieties of legumes and their nutritional values.

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

Additionally, the three vitamins or minerals that they contain in the most significant amount are listed.

1) Adzuki Beans

Pile of Red Adzuki Beans.

Adzuki beans are small beans that mainly grow 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.

One cup (230g) serving of cooked adzuki beans provides the following nutritional values (1):

  • Calories: 294 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 57 grams
  • Fiber: 16.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 17.3 grams
  • Copper: 77% of the daily value (DV)
  • Folate: 70% DV
  • Zinc: 37% DV

See this guide to the nutritional benefits of adzuki beans for more information.

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.

Per cup (172g) serving, cooked black beans offer the following nutrient values (2):

  • Calories: 227 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 40.8 grams
  • Fiber: 15.0 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Protein: 15.2 grams
  • Folate: 64% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 35% DV
  • Manganese: 33% DV

The most concentrated nutrient present in black soybeans is folate.

3) Black Turtle Beans

Pile of Raw Black Turtle Beans.

Despite looking very similar to black soybeans, the black turtle bean is a different species of legume which is native to the American continent.

It is slightly different nutritionally too. The nutritional values for one cup (185g) of cooked black turtle beans are as shown below (3):

  • Calories: 240 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 45.1 grams
  • Fiber: 15.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Protein: 15.1 grams
  • Copper: 55% DV
  • Folate: 40% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 35% DV

As we can see, black turtle beans offer a significant amount of dietary copper.

4) Black-Eyed Peas

A Pile of Raw Black-Eyed Peas.

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

This popular legume has a white skin with a small black “eye” area.

Regarding their nutritional values, a cup (171g) of cooked black-eyed peas supplies (5):

  • Calories: 198 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 35.5 grams
  • Fiber: 11.1 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Protein: 13.2 grams
  • Folate: 89% DV
  • Manganese: 35% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 29% DV

As shown in the nutritional values, one cup of cooked black-eyed peas provides nearly the full recommended daily value for folate.

5) Chickpeas

Pile of Chickpeas In a Bowl.

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

These legumes are otherwise known as garbanzo beans, and they are thought to have originated in the Middle East (6).

Chickpeas still enjoy popularity in their place of origin too, and they feature in a wide range of curries. Additionally, they are the primary ingredient in the famous condiment hummus.

Nutritionally, a cup (164g) serving of cooked chickpeas provides the following nutrients (7):

  • Calories: 269 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 45.0 grams
  • Fiber: 12.5 grams
  • Fat: 4.3 grams
  • Protein: 14.5 grams
  • Manganese: 73% DV
  • Folate: 71% DV
  • Copper: 64% DV

Chickpeas are a significant source of manganese, folate, and copper.

6) Edamame

Edamame in Pod and Fresh Soybeans.

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

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

Edamame is available around the world, but it is particularly prevalent in Japanese cuisine.

A cup of cooked edamame provides the following nutritional values (8):

  • Calories: 188 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 13.8 grams
  • Fiber: 8.1 grams
  • Fat: 8.1 grams
  • Protein: 18.5 grams
  • Folate: 121% DV
  • Copper: 59% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 26% DV

Edamame offers a large amount of folate – more than 100% of the daily recommended intake.

7) 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 too. Per typical cup (170g) serving of cooked (from dried) fava beans they offer (9):

  • Calories: 187 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 33.4 grams
  • Fiber: 9.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Protein: 12.9 grams
  • Copper: 49% DV
  • Folate: 44% DV
  • Manganese: 31% DV

8) Green Peas

Green Peas In a Brown Bowl.

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

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

Per cup (160g) serving, cooked green peas provide the following nutritional values (10):

  • Calories: 133 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 24.8 grams
  • Fiber: 8.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Protein: 8.5 grams
  • Vitamin K: 35% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 34% DV
  • Vitamin C: 25% DV

9) 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 get their name through their shape and color and resemblance to a real kidney.

Kidney beans are among the most nutritious legumes, and a cup (177g) serving of cooked beans contains (11):

  • Calories: 219 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 39.7 grams
  • Fiber: 16.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 16.2 grams
  • Copper: 51% DV
  • Folate: 33% DV
  • Iron: 27% DV

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

10) Lentils

A Pile of Raw Orange Lentils.

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

These legumes commonly feature in dishes around the world, such as lentil soup and various curries.

Nutritionally, cooked lentils provide the following nutrients per cup (198g) serving (12):

  • Calories: 230 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 39.9 grams
  • Fiber: 11.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Folate: 90% DV
  • Manganese: 43% DV
  • Copper: 56% DV

11) Lima Beans

Bowl Full of Lima Beans.

Lima beans are large white beans, and it is easy to find them for sale in either dried or canned form.

In many areas of the world, this legume is more commonly referred to by the name ‘butter beans.’

Lima beans are a good source of nutritional value, and they offer the following nutrients per cup (188g) serving (13):

  • Calories: 216 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 39.3 grams
  • Fiber: 13.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Protein: 14.7 grams
  • Copper: 49% DV
  • Folate: 39% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 25% DV

12) 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 arguably the most nutritionally unique legumes.

One reason for this is that they have a very low carbohydrate content compared to other legume varieties.

Per typical cup (166g) serving, cooked lupin beans provide (14):

  • Calories: 198 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 16.4 grams
  • Fiber: 4.7 grams
  • Fat: 4.9 grams
  • Protein: 25.8 grams
  • Manganese: 49% DV
  • Copper: 43% DV
  • Folate: 25% DV

Although lupin beans are one of the lowest carb legume options, they offer higher amounts of protein than most beans.

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

13) Mung Beans

A Pile of Raw Dried Mung Beans.

Mung beans are small green legumes that slightly resemble green peas in visual appearance.

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

Per cup (202g) serving, cooked mung beans have the following nutritional values (15):

  • Calories: 147 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 38.7 grams
  • Fiber: 15.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Protein: 14.2 grams
  • Folate: 80% DV
  • Copper: 35% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 28% DV

See this nutritional guide to mung beans for more information.

14) Navy Beans

Pile of Navy (Haricot) Beans In a Bowl.

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

Navy beans are a little higher in carbohydrates (and fiber) than most other legumes, and they are an excellent source of folate.

Per cup (182g) serving, here are the nutritional values for cooked navy beans (16):

  • Calories: 255 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 47.4 grams
  • Fiber: 19.1 grams
  • Fat: 1.1 grams
  • Protein: 15.0 grams
  • Folate: 64% DV
  • Manganese: 42% DV
  • Copper: 42% DV

15) 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, where they are known locally as ‘frijol pinto’ (17).

Per cup (171g) serving, cooked pinto beans provide (18):

  • Calories: 245 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 44.9 grams
  • Fiber: 15.4 grams
  • Fat: 1.1 grams
  • Protein: 15.4 grams
  • Folate: 74% DV
  • Copper: 41% DV
  • Manganese: 33% DV

16) 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 (19).

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 cooked soybeans, their nutritional values per cup (172g) are as follows (20):

  • Calories: 296 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 14.4 grams
  • Fiber: 10.3 grams
  • Fat: 15.4 grams
  • Protein: 31.3 grams
  • Copper: 78% DV
  • Manganese: 62% DV
  • Iron: 49% DV

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

17) Split Peas

Dried Green Split Peas.

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

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

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

In terms of nutritional value, split peas provide the following nutrients per cup (196g) serving (21):

  • Calories: 231 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 41.4 grams
  • Fiber: 16.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Protein: 16.3 grams
  • Copper: 39% DV
  • Manganese: 34% DV
  • Folate: 32% DV

How Do the Nutritional Values of Legumes Compare?

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

As a result, it is possible to see which legumes offer the most fiber/protein/calories.

Comparison of Legume Nutritional Values (Per Cup)
Legume name Calories Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Fat (g) Protein (g)
Adzuki beans 294 kcal 57.0 16.8 0.2 17.3
Black beans 227 kcal 40.8 15.0 0.9 15.2
Black turtle beans 240 kcal 45.1 15.4 0.7 15.1
Black-eyed peas 198 kcal 35.5 11.1 0.9 13.2
Chickpeas 269 kcal 45.0 12.5 4.3 14.5
Edamame 188 kcal 13.8 8.1 8.1 18.5
Fava beans 187 kcal 33.4 9.2 0.7 12.9
Green peas 133 kcal 24.8 8.8 0.4 8.5
Kidney beans 219 kcal 39.7 16.5 0.2 16.2
Lentils 230 kcal 39.9 11.6 0.8 17.9
Lima beans 216 kcal 39.3 13.2 0.7 14.7
Lupin beans 198 kcal 16.4 4.7 4.9 25.8
Mung beans 147 kcal 38.7 15.4 0.8 14.2
Navy beans 255 kcal 47.4 19.1 1.1 15.0
Pinto beans 245 kcal 44.9 15.4 1.1 15.4
Soybeans 296 kcal 14.4 10.3 15.4 31.3
Split peas 231 kcal 41.4 16.3 0.8 16.3

Final Thoughts

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

While these foods often have similar nutrient profiles, soybeans and lupin beans tend to offer the most protein (and least carbohydrate).

In contrast, the most significant legume sources of fiber are adzuki beans, kidney beans, and navy beans.

All of these options offer their own unique nutritional profile, and they can all play a part in a nutritious diet.

Related Articles

Fermented Soy Products: A Guide To 12 Traditional Foods

Lupin Beans: Nutrition Facts, Benefits, and Drawbacks

The Benefits of Adzuki Beans (and Full Nutrition Facts)

Mung Beans: Nutritional Values and Potential Benefits

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