Difference Between Nuts and Legumes

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 28, 2023


Difference Between Nuts and Legumes

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Two organic food categories widely recognised for their nutrient quality and beneficial compounds are nuts and legumes. Legumes, which include peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are species within the family Leguminosae, whereas nuts are indeed the seeds of specific species of plants or trees. Nuts and legumes both contain high levels of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and good fats. They are the perfect food for sticking to a nutritious diet because they are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. The different ways that nuts can be prepared include whole, chopped, roasted, and ground into nut butter. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews are some of the more well-liked varieties. They are suitable for use as a topping, as an ingredient in salads or trail mix, or as a standalone snack.

Nuts vs Legumes

Everyday foods like nuts and legumes are rich in the vitamins and minerals the body needs. Because of their similarities, it can be challenging to tell nuts from legumes. Even though both nuts and legumes contain a dry fruit enclosed in a pod, closer inspection reveals that the two are distinct from one another. The quantity of seedlings existing inside the shell of nuts and legumes is one of the key distinctions that can be made. Typically, nuts contain one or two seeds. Legumes, on the other hand, have numerous seeds. Nuts typically cannot be cracked open, unlike legumes, which are dehiscent and naturally burst open. Although nut seeds are not included in this family

Legumes are high in nutrients and are considered high-density foods. Legumes are a rich source of dietary fibre and have a protein content of 18 to 25%. They contain little fat as well. Furthermore, the legumes are high in minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium as well as vitamin B complex. They are a fantastic source of phytosterol as well. The crude protein of nuts is almost identical to that of legumes. The nuts have a lot of fat but not much saturated fat. The nuts are an excellent source of copper, magnesium, and potassium. The price is another apparent distinction. Nuts are less expensive than legumes.

Among the more popular nuts are macadamia, Brazil, cashew, hazelnut, almond, pecan, pistachio, pine, and walnut nuts. Black-eyed peas, black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils are some of the more popular legumes.

Difference Between Nuts and Legumes in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparisonNutsLegumes
DefinitionNuts are a specific type of dry fruit with a single seed, a tough shell, and a covering called a husk.Legumes are nutrient-rich foods. Despite having few calories, their high protein and fibre content helps you feel full.
FamilyJuglandaceae".Leguminosae family,
Scientific nameWalnut: Juglans regiaPecan: Carya illinoinensisAlmond: Prunus dulcisCashew: Anacardium occidentaleHazelnut: Corylus avellanaPistachio: Pistacia veraMacadamia: Macadamia integrifoliaFabaceae or Leguminosae
Nutritionprotein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.fibre, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
CountryChina, India, NigeriaIndia, Brazil and The US
ExamplesWalnut, coconut , cashewnutPeas,  Soybean , Groundnut


Cereals are the most crucial source of human food, followed by legumes. They are comparable in nutritional value to animal meat because they have more protein than any other vegetable. There are also fats and carbohydrates. The presence of tubercles on the origins of many legumes that contain bacteria that fix nitrogen is thought to be the cause of the high protein content. These bacteria can transform nitrates from atmospheric nitrogen. As a result, there is more nitrogenous material available to the plants.

The legumes are members of the family Leguminosae, which is distinguished by having a unique fruit called a legume, which is a pod that splits open along two sutures when the seeds are mature. The number of known species of legumes exceeds 11,000, and many are significant as agricultural, therapeutic, or food plants. Around the world, they have been raised and used as food for centuries. The seeds are the most crucial component. Legumes are incredibly nutrient-dense, quick to mature, and simple to grow. Proteins are not only plentiful, but they also contain minerals and vitamin B.

With more than 20,000 species, the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, also referred to as the legume, pea, or bean family, is the third-largest group of flowering plants. [1] In diets all around the world, legumes are a nutrient-dense staple. They are an affordable source of fibre, complex carbs, protein, and vitamins.

Legumes are valuable as field and forage crops because they contain a lot of protein in every part of the plant. They are a great fertiliser when ploughed under and significantly raise the soil's nitrogen content.

Different types of legumes


Southern Europe is the common pea's native region of origin, and it has been grown there since before the advent of Christianity. The ancient Greeks and Romans were familiar with peas. However, production did not spread more widely in Europe until the middle of the 17th century. Peas were first brought to America by the first colonists. Peas are glaucous, tendril-bearing, annual plants that climb or trail and have pendulous pods and white or coloured flowers. Although they are native to warm climates, they flourish in areas with cool summers and lots of moisture. They flourish in the winter and spring in Mediterranean climates.

Different types of peas include

  • Field peas
  • Garden peas
  • Chick peas (garbanzo)
  • Cowpeas
  • Cajan peas


Phaseolus vulgaris, also known as garden, pinto, or kidney beans, are native to America. Modern society consumes dried ripe seeds, unripe seeds (shell beans), young pods (string or snap beans), and young pods (snap beans). The entire plant can be used as forage. Beans are low, erect, twining, or white or coloured flowers, trifoliate leaves, and slender pods. Over 1,000 different varieties are cultivated, and they can be grown as either bush or pole beans. Both groups have varieties of wax and green pods. The dried bean used in commerce is more recent.

It was first cultivated in New York State in 1836. The bean crop is largely canned. Beans will grow on a variety of soils, but for a good yield, a fertile soil that is rich in lime is necessary. Before adding seasonings like peppers, tomatoes, salt, soy sauce, molasses, and others, dried pinto beans must first be cooked until they are soft without the addition of salt or other additives. The straw is used as forage, and the culls are fed to the animals. These beans are currently grown all over the world.

Lime beans

Lima beans, Phaseolus limensis, are a staple crop in South America and are native to Brazil and Peru. They are typically treated as annuals despite having a perennial origin. Compared to garden beans, lima beans prefer warmer temperatures and higher humidity. Pole beans were the original types; later mutations gave rise to bush limas. Beans are consumed either green or dried, and a significant amount is processed. The Sieva Bean (Phaseolus lunatus), which is also indigenous to tropical America, comes in a smaller version in addition to the large variety. Up until the land was diverted for housing development, Southern California's coastal region produced an excellent crop of Lima beans.

Different types of beans

  • Soya bean
  • Garden bean
  • Pinto bean
  • Kidney bean
  • Black turtle bean
  • Horse bean
  • Velvet bean

The uses of soybean are expanding all over the world. It is a significant agricultural aid, a worthwhile commercial crop, a good livestock food, and the source of many industrial raw materials. An essential drying oil is soybean oil. The foam liquid used to put out oil fires is made in large part from soy protein, which is also the source of a synthetic fibre that resembles casein fibres.

Ancient Indians cultivated mung beans, which are still a significant crop today. The green pods and tiny oval seeds are both eaten, and both are very nutritious. In China and other Asian countries, more than 100 different varieties are grown. In North America, the mung bean is primarily grown as a forage plant.


Arachis hypogaea, also known as groundnuts, are technically legumes so instead of nuts because the Slocum is just a shell-like pod. A bushy or starting to creep annually, the plant has the peculiar habit of ripening its fruit underground. It was brought from Africa to Virginia and is currently one of the most significant crops in the Southeast. There are over 20 different varieties of grown peanuts, each with a unique habit and pod size. It takes a lot of effort to grow peanuts. They can be grown with enough moderately humid air and warm sunshine.

So that the ripening fruit can be buried, the soil needs to be friable and fertilised. With forks, the plants are lifted out of the rows during harvest, shocked, and covered for the cure. The fruits are later taken out, cleaned, and polished. The plants can be used as soil renovators, forage, or as feed for animals. To roast or season, use nuts or seeds. In candies and when making peanut butter. In the latter case, the seed coats and embryo are removed, and the nuts are either dried out or roasted in oil before being ground into a paste. Peanuts are a very wholesome food. While a pound of beef only provides 900 calories, a pound of produce produces 2,700 calories. Food oils like peanut oil are crucial. Animals are fed the oil cake. The protein found in nuts was utilised in the creation of the synthetic fibre Ardil. A method to treat peanut allergies has been developed through research that started in 2019.

What are nuts?

Several connected or unconnected plant structures are collectively referred to as "nuts" in this context. A nut is a dry fruit with one seed and one cell that has a hard pericarp or shell. This description fits some of the so-called nuts of commerce. The acorn, filbert, chestnut, and hazelnut are a few of them. The remaining ones could be seeds, like Brazil nuts, legumes, like peanuts, or dry drupes, like almonds, coconuts, pecans, and walnuts, from which the fruit's skin has been peeled away. Regardless of their morphological makeup, all of these will be combined in the discussion that follows. They will be categorised based on how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates they contain.

Brazil nut

Brazilian Nut In the South American Amazon forests, the giant Brazil nut tree, Bertholletia excelsa, has rough bark. These Brazil nuts, also known as cream nuts, are commercial to today's market . They have long been used as human food. With a fat content of 65–70% and a protein content of 17%, the food has a very high nutritional value. In South America, the collection and export of these nuts is a significant industry. Rarely are trees grown, and the majority of the product comes from wild trees. Similar nuts can also be found that are of higher quality and more delicate.

Cashew nuts

The handsome native Brazilian cashew nut tree is now widely cultivated throughout tropical regions, including southern Florida, the Mediterranean region, Mozambique, India, and the East Indies. This is an enlarged peduncle and disc. The distal end of the "apple" is where the true fruit, a small, curved or kidney-shaped structure, is carried. The cashew "nut" is this. The nutrient-rich oil is delicately flavoured and present in the rich kernel. The shell's greyish-brown coat contains oil that causes skin blisters. The fruit is consumed in many nations due to its distinctive aroma.

Coconut nut

In particular, in the South Pacific and other tropical regions, this is one of the most significant economic plants. The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is thought to have originated in Ecuador and Central America but is most likely a native of the Malay archipelago. It can be found at elevations of 5,000 feet, but it grows best close to the ocean. It is without a doubt one of the most graceful and lovely palms, frequently exhibiting the typical leaning habit. At the top of the stem, they are produced in a cluster. A large compound spadix with a spathe surrounding it is where the flowers are formed. The fruit is a dry, three-sided drupe.

Despite their ability to grow at higher latitudes, coconuts do best in the true tropics. They thrive in rich soils. Coconuts come primarily from wild trees, but there are also many commercial plantations. In a nursery, mature nuts are planted with little to no protection. They take a few months to germinate, and after about a year, the seedlings are transplanted. Growth is enhanced by appropriate spacing, hygienic cultivation, and intercropping. To maintain the yield, cover crops, fertilisation, and irrigation are also helpful. At tropical latitudes, flowering and fruiting are perpetual, and ripe nuts are available every month of the year. Typically, harvest occurs every two months. The spacing and variety planted affect the yield and size of the nuts. For production, between 3,000 and 7,000 nuts are needed.

Differences between nuts and legumes in points

1. A nut typically contains a single or multiple of two seeds. A legume, on the reverse hand, has numerous seeds.

 2. Apart from legume seeds, which are affixed to the shell's walls, nut seeds are not tethered to the wall surfaces of the pod.

 3. Legumes are dehiscent but nuts are indehiscent (need to be cracked open) (bursting open on their own naturally). 

 4. There is little fat in legumes. Nuts, on the other side, have a high-fat content but little saturated fat.

5. Legumes are a little more expensive than nuts.


Overall, we can conclude that both nuts and legumes are important sources of nutrients, components, vitamins proteins, fibres, and other minerals. There are health benefits of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Both nuts and legumes can be a healthy and delicious addition to a balanced diet. Incorporating a variety of nuts and legumes into your meals can help improve your overall health and well-being.


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Nuts and Legumes." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 19 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-nuts-and-legumes>.

Edited by

Share this article