The key difference between legumes and beans is that the ‘legumes’ is a general term used to refer to a particular group of plants while the beans are a subcategory of legumes.
In the context of diet, beans, peas and lentils are important. They belong to a family of green vegetables called legumes. Therefore, it is vital to consume these legumes to stay fit and healthy. Legumes are rich in fibres, carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals (potassium and magnesium). They are extremely low in fat and could be consumed as an inexpensive food item. Beans are a type of legumes. However, all legumes are not necessarily beans, but all beans are legumes.
What are Legumes?
Legume is a general term that uses to identify a specific family of green vegetables which are used for feed, food and as a soil improving the crop. They also name as pod; the fruit of plants in the family Fabaceae (Pea). Most types of legumes possess dehiscent fruits. They release their seeds naturally by splitting open along two lines. But some legume fruits such as peanuts and carobos show no such mechanism. Legume fruits are of different sizes. They vary in shape too. Once mature, the fruits are hard and woody or dry and papery. But in legume crops such as snow peas (Pisum sativum), edmame (Glycine max) and green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are harvesting while still green. Monkey ladder (Entadagigas) is the largest legume present with a reach of more than 6 feet.
Moreover, legumes have root nodules, and inside those nodules, a bacterium called Rhizobium resides. Rhizobium is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium. Hence, it can fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil; which is a very good characteristic concerning soil fertility. Because of this ability, farmers prefer legumes over other types of plants as they are less dependent upon fertilizers.
What are Beans?
Beans are the edible, nutritious seeds of different legume plants; mainly genus Phaseolus. They are kidney-shaped seeds. Beans grow in long pods. They are of two types, red beans and white beans. White beans include chick peas, navy beans, white kidney beans, etc. Red beans include red kidney beans, pink beans, red beans, pinto and pea beans, etc.
Likewise, beans provide an excellent source of food for diet. It is highly nutritious. Moreover, they are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, folate and irons. Most importantly, beans are rich in soluble fibres that keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy.
What are the Similarities Between Legumes and Beans?
- Both legumes and beans are commonly found around the world.
- They are inexpensive and easy to obtain.
- Both legumes and beans possess high nutrient contents.
What is the Difference Between Legumes and Beans?
A legume is the overall category name of a particular type of plants, while beans are a subcategory of legumes. Hence, beans belong to legume family of plants, and all beans are legumes. However, all legumes are not necessarily beans. Therefore, this is the key difference between legumes and beans.
Summary – Legumes vs Beans
Legumes is a general term that is used to identify a specific green vegetable family that uses to feed, as a food and as a soil improving the crop. It includes different types of plants such as alfalfa, clover, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts and tamarind, etc. On the other hand, beans are edible, nutritious seeds of certain group of plants and they are a subcategory of legumes. Most types of legumes possess dehiscent fruits while beans grow in long pods. Beans are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, folate, irons and soluble fibres. They are of two types, red beans and white beans. Though all beans are legumes, all legumes are not necessarily beans. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between legumes and beans.
1. “Legume.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Dec. 2018. Available here
2. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Bean.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Oct. 2018. Available here