What Is the Different Between Legumes, Beans, and Pulses?

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You’ve probably heard each of these phrases at least once in your life, and for good cause! There is ample evidence that early humans ate a variety of plant foods, including legumes, beans, and pulses.

Given that these foods have been a part of human diet for thousands of years, you’d think we’d have a good understanding of what these three phrases mean and how they differ! When it comes to this group of plant meals, however, there is still a lot of misunderstanding over identification and categorization.

While it may seem that legumes, beans, and pulses are all the same, there are some significant variations between them. Stay tuned because we’re learning all there is to know about legumes, beans, and pulses!

What are Legumes?

or edible seed pods in their whole, edibility is not a deciding element in whether a plant is classified as a legume. Legumes are members of the Fabaceae family, which includes almost 16,000 plant species that all share one crucial trait: the formation of a seed-filled pod. The name legume refers to all of the plants in this family, including the other two topics of this article: beans and pulses. Although many legume plants yield edible seeds and pods,

The edible variants, on the other hand, create a name for themselves as staple foods in practically every part of the globe. Their popularity might be attributed to a variety of factors, including their capacity to be highly satisfying (particularly for a dish that isn’t sourced from animal sources! ), to give a variety of nutritional advantages, and to be less expensive than fresh meat or fish.

But, humans are not the only ones that consume legumes on a daily basis! Several legume crops are commonly farmed for animal feed, despite the fact that they are not eaten by humans. Nevertheless, there are several other legume species that grow uncontrollably and are devoured by neither man nor beast, as well as those that are employed as cover crops for nitrogen fixation and general soil health.

Examples of Legumes 

It may be difficult to accept (clover is a legume? Who knew! ), yet each of them is a formidable member of the legume family:

  • Peas
  • Soybeans
  • Clover
  • Peanuts
  • Alfalfa
  • Beans, Broad
  • Lentils

What are Beans?

The first legume that comes to everyone’s mind is probably: beans, beans, beans! As previously stated, beans are included in the broader group of legumes, but this does not imply that all legumes are beans. Black beans, lima beans, fresh green beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, fava beans, and navy beans are examples of legumes that are usually referred to as beans. Some beans are eaten fresh from the pod, while others are shelled and eaten fresh or dried.

The most perplexing aspect is establishing what the name “bean” truly refers to. In other circumstances, the whole pod (with seeds within) is referred to as a bean (think fresh green beans, string beans, and wax beans). In other circumstances, such as with black beans and kidney beans, we use the term bean to refer to each individual seed. Beans, on the other hand, differ from both pulses and legumes in that the term bean refers to either the seed pod or individual seeds (as opposed to legume, which refers to the whole plant group), while pulses are a very specialized form of legume seed. (There will be more on it later!)

Beans are well-known for being a very satisfying source of plant-based protein. This is because they are a complex carb, which means they take a long time and effort for your digestive system to breakdown, and as a result, they have a low glycemic index.

Examples of Beans

Whether you consume beans fresh or dry, in their pods or shelled, one or more types of beans are likely to play an important part in your diet in some way:

  • Beans from the Kidney
  • Green Beans, Fresh (also called Haricots Verts)
  • Beans, black
  • Beans, pinto
  • Beans in the Navy
  • Beans with Asparagus
  • The Adzuki Beans

What Are Pulses?

Although the term legume may apply to any of the Fabaceae family’s plants, and the term bean can refer to either (or both!) the pods and seeds of these plants, the term pulse is far more specific.

A pulse is any seed of a legume pod that has been produced and collected for human use, and then it is dried. There are no fresh green beans or green peas in this house! In popular parlance, pulses might be referred to as either peas or beans (as in a bag of split peas or a mound of dried navy beans), which undoubtedly contributes to the confusion. But be assured, if you hold a dried and edible legume seed in your hands, it is a pulse!

Another exception to this pulse rule is for some legumes known as oilseed crops, which have a naturally high oil content and are thus primarily planted for oil production. Although legumes like peanuts and soybeans may be dried in the same way as other pulses, they are not considered pulses since they are oilseed legumes.

Examples of Pulses

There are four major categories of pulses, each of which may include more unique varieties:

  • Dried Beans (black eyed peas, black beans, cannellini beans, etc.)
  • Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans!)
  • Lentils
  • Peas, drained (does not include fresh shelling peas or edible-podded types of peas such as snow peas or sugar snap peas)

Recipes Using Legumes, Beans, & Pulses

So, apart from making a huge pot of baked beans, what else can you do with legumes, beans, and pulses? Thank you very much! Here are a few of our favorite dishes that include fresh peas, black beans, chickpeas, and other legumes.

  • Peas in Cream
  • Lunch Bowl with Mediterranean Flavors
  • Moroccan Lentil Soup for Vegans
  • Sweet Potatoes Loaded with Mexican Quinoa
  • Green Falafels Baked

Legumes vs. Beans vs. Pulses: Summarizing the Differences

We’ve covered a lot of territory here discussing the distinctions between beans, legumes, and pulses, so let’s wrap things up with a fast overview that hits the highlights!

  • All plants in the Fabaceae family are classified as legumes. This plant group is distinguished by the fact that each plant within it produces fruit in the shape of a pod containing any number of separate seeds.
  • Not all legume plants yield edible seeds or pods, and many other legumes are utilized as animal feed or cover crops. Although not all legumes are edible, the words beans and pulses refer to the varieties of legumes produced for food production.
  • Beans are a member of the legume family. The word bean may refer to a seed pod that we eat whole (such as a fresh green bean) or to individual seeds that are plucked from the pod and eaten fresh or dried before consumption.
  • Beans are an essential element of a balanced diet since they are high in plant-based protein and complex carbs.
  • Pulses are solely the collected and dried edible interior seeds of legume seed pods. As a result, fresh legume seeds, such as fresh green peas, are not classified as pulses. Nevertheless, certain dried legume seeds, such as peanuts and soybeans, are classified as oilseed crops, eliminating them from the pulse group.
  • Pulses and beans are both legumes, however not all pulses are called beans!


Are beans and legumes the same thing?

Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are among the most varied and nutritious meals known. Legumes are abundant in fiber, folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium while being low in fat. Beans and other legumes may be a healthy alternative to meat, which is higher in fat and cholesterol.

What are the 4 types of pulses?

Pulses are dried seeds of legumes that come in a variety of forms and sizes. This guide will provide you with a visual reference, description, and popular names for some of the most common pulses: beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas.

Which beans are not legumes?

The fundamental distinction between legumes and beans is that beans are seeds harvested from various plants, while a legume is any plant that produces its fruit within a pod. Legume is an umbrella name for beans and pulses. As a result, all beans are legumes, but not all legumes are beans.

What are the 10 pulses?

Pulses that are often used
Dried beans.
Beans from Faba.
Peas, dried.
Beans from Bambara.
Peas for Pigeons.
More to come…

Which legumes are not pulses?

A legume is any plant from the Fabaceae family, including its leaves, stems, and pods. A legume plant’s edible seed is known as a pulse. Beans, lentils, and peas are examples of pulses. A pea pod, for example, is a legume, but the pea within the pod is a pulse.

What are the 5 legumes?

5 Many Varieties of Legumes
The fava beans. Fava beans, also known as gourganes in Quebec, have a fresh, sweet flavor that is comparable to peas.
The beans are white. White beans are tender, adaptable, and neutral-tasting, making them ideal for purées and soups…. Chickpeas…. Lentils…. Lupini.

What are the 7 major pulses?

Chickpeas (gram), pigeon pea (tur or arhar), moong beans, urad (black matpe), masur (lentil), peas, and different beans are major pulses cultivated.

What are the 8 pulses?

Here are some of the areas:
Radial pulse is a kind of pulse. The radial artery is one of two upper arm arteries that deliver blood to the hand. …
Carotid Pulse, Femoral Pulse, Brachial Pulse, Temporal Pulse, Apical Pulse, Popliteal Pulse, Posterior Tibial Pulse.
Additional details…•September 29, 2022

What are the top 3 pulses?

Gram, Tur, and Urad are the most widely farmed and grown pulses in Madhya Pradesh.

What are the 7 legumes?

What Exactly Are Legumes?
Garbanzo beans, often known as chickpeas.
Beans in black.
Peas in green.
Lima beans are legumes.
Kidney beans are legumes.
Peas with black eyes.
Navy beans are legumes.
More to come…
•Aug 15, 2022

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