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types of legumes

types of legumes

Legumes are the seeds of the Fabaceae family, commonly called legumes. These have formed a very important part of the diet of many cultures since ancient times. Among the properties of legumes, its content in proteins and carbohydrates stands out, as well as in lipids, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Cooking with legumes is, thus, one of the bases of a large number of cuisines that use both dried and fresh legumes for countless dishes.

If you want to learn more about the most widely used legumes to plant and consume, join us in this EcologíaVerde article where you will see 10 types of legumes, their names, characteristics and photos.

List of legumes

These are some of the most common legumes:

  • Alfalfa
  • lupins
  • peanuts
  • Beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Green peas
  • Broad beans
  • Green beans
  • Lentils
  • Soy


alfalfa encompasses the entire genus Medicago, although the species most consumed by humans is the medicago sativa. It is a very important crop as fodder, which has traditionally been used to feed livestock or other types of domesticated animals.

This is one of the types of legumes which is a perennial herbaceous, which in its consumption for humans stands out in the form of sprouts or shoots. It has a great nutritional value and several medicinal properties, which can be used both ingesting it and giving it a topical use.

If you like to eat sprouts or sprouts, we recommend this other post about Types of sprouts and how to make them.

Types of legumes - Alfalfa

Lupins, one of the least known types of legumes

Its scientific name is Lupinus albusalthough it is also known as lupine or, in some areas of Spain, pussies. It is used both in its almost direct consumption, after passing it through salted water, and in the preparation of flour, and although it has been consumed traditionally throughout the Mediterranean area for a long time, it is currently considered a superfood.

lupins They are especially rich in protein, carbohydrates, iron and potassium, which is why they are recommended for people suffering from anemia.

Types of legumes - Lupins, one of the lesser known types of legumes


Its scientific name is Arachis hypogea and in Latin America it is known more as peanut. Although many believe that it is a dried fruit because of its shell and because we usually consume it in dried fruit mixes, peanuts They are a legume that stands out for the particularity that it grows underground.

It was already cultivated in pre-Columbian Peru, where it was used as currency. It is currently consumed worldwide and is especially appreciated for its source of vitamin B3 and protein. It is also of great caloric value, although its fats are monounsaturated.

Types of legumes - Peanuts

Beans or string beans

This other type of legumes, depending on the area, are called string beans, kidney beans, kidney beans, kidney beans, beansbut always refer to the genus Phaseolus, of which the most common species is the Phaseolus vulgaris.

The beans are currently grown throughout the world, but are native to Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. They form a very important part of the gastronomy of some South American and Central American countries, especially Mexico, where they are cooked in all kinds of recipes. They are rich in carbohydrates and minerals, as well as fiber.

Types of legumes - Beans or string beans

Garbanzo beans

chickpea, or Cicer arietinumis a plant from the Mediterranean area of ​​approximately half a meter in height, with white flowers that develop pods with the seeds that we consume.

This is one of the types of legumes that have been traditionally consumed for their gastronomic and medicinal properties. It is a food very rich in starch, proteins and lipids, which is currently widely spread.

Types of legumes - Chickpeas

Green peas

scientific name Pisum sativum, is a herbaceous that has its origin in the Mediterranean basin. A peas they are also called peas, petipuás or peas and has been consumed by humans for almost 10,000 years.

It is also famous for the experiments of Mendel, one of the fathers of genetics and, as a food, it is rich in vitamins B1, C, K and A, as well as in iron, phosphorus and magnesium.

Types of legumes - Peas

Broad beans

The vicia bean It is another legume that has been cultivated for both human and animal consumption since ancient times. It is a plant up to almost 2 meters high, especially popular in cultivation in the Andean countries, although it comes from the Mediterranean area and Central Asia.

broad beans They are one of the types of legumes that are very rich in calcium, potassium and phosphorus, as well as in vitamin A. In addition, they are known for the flatulence that they usually produce during digestion.

Would you like to have your own beans at home? Here we explain how to plant broad beans step by step to grow them.

Types of legumes - Broad beans

Green beans

Its most common names are green beans, string beans, kidney beans, string beans, kidney beans or green beansalthough the scientist is Phaseolus vulgaris, the same species as in the case of beans. Their difference, however, is that green beans are harvested when the fruit is still immature and the plant has not had time to harden the pod, which is thus edible.

Their cultivation and consumption are widespread throughout the world, and they are almost always cooked in the kitchen, usually by boiling them.

Types of legumes - Green beans

Lentils, one of the best known types of legumes

The Lens culinaris It is another food that has been consumed by man for at least 8,000 or 9,000 years. It has its origin in the Middle East, although it is currently widespread throughout the world, with particular success in countries such as Mexico and Spain.

The lentils They are one of the types of legumes that stand out as a food rich in protein, starch and fiber, as well as low in fat. It also highlights its content of folic acid, potassium, magnesium and iron, one of its best known components.

If you like these legumes, do not miss these guides on How to plant lentils and How to make lentil sprouts.

Types of legumes - Lentils, one of the best known types of legumes


The soyscientific name Glycine max, is currently considered one of the best existing foods. It is a very beneficial crop not only for human consumption but also for the soil, since established in rotation techniques, it helps to fix nitrogen in the soil.

Its origin is in China and its consumption has traditionally been popular in Asia, although in recent years it has spread and become very popular throughout the world. Its seeds are very rich in protein, as well as folic acid and fiber.

Types of legumes - Soy

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