Types of legumes

Legumes are the seeds of the Fabaceae family, commonly called legumes . These have been a very important part of the diet of many cultures since ancient times. Among the properties of legumes, their protein and carbohydrate content, as well as lipids, fiber, minerals and vitamins stand out. Cooking with legumes is thus one of the bases of a large number of cuisines that are served both with dried legumes and fresh legumes for countless dishes.

If you want to learn more about the legumes to plant and consume more widely used, join us in this Green Ecology article in which 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
  • Chickpeas
  • Green peas
  • Broad beans
  • Green beans
  • Lentils
  • Soy


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

This is one of the types of legumes that 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 by ingesting it and by using it topically.

Types of legumes - Alfalfa

Lupins, one of the lesser known types of legumes

Its scientific name is Lupinus albus , although it is also known as lupine or, in some areas of Spain, chochos . It is used both in its almost direct consumption, after passing it through salted water, and in the elaboration of flours, and although it has been consumed in the entire Mediterranean area in a traditional way for a long time, it is currently considered a superfood.

Lupins 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 peanuts . Although many believe that it is a dried fruit because of its shell and because we usually consume it in mixed nuts, peanuts are a legume that stands out for the peculiarity that it grows underground.

It was already cultivated in pre-Columbian Peru, where it was used as a bargaining chip. 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 kidney beans

These other types of legumes, depending on the area, are called kidney beans, beans, beans, beans, beans or beans , but they always refer to the Phaseolus genus, of which the most common species is 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 countries in South America and Central America, 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 kidney beans


The chickpea, or Cicer arietinum , is a plant from the Mediterranean area of ​​approximately half a meter in height, with white flowers that develop the 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 , it is a herbaceous that has its origin in the Mediterranean basin. A peas are called also chícharo, petipuás or vetch and has been consumed by humans from almost 10,000 years ago.

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 iron, phosphorus and magnesium.

Types of legumes - Peas

Broad beans

The Vicia faba is another legume that leads being grown for both human and animal consumption since ancient times. It is a plant of up to almost 2 meters in height, especially popular in the Andean countries, although it comes from the Mediterranean area and Central Asia.

Fava beans are one of the types of legumes 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.

Types of legumes - Broad beans

Green beans

Their most common names are green beans, green beans, beans, green beans, kidney beans or green beans , although 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.

Its cultivation and consumption are expanded throughout the world, and in the kitchen they are almost always cooked, usually by boiling them

Types of Legumes - Green Beans

Lentils, one of the most popular types of legumes

The Lens culinaris is another carrying food being consumed by man for at least 8,000 or 9,000 the 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.

Lentils are one of the types of legumes that stand out as a food rich in protein, starches and fiber, as well as low in fat. It also stands out for its content of folic acid, potassium, magnesium and iron, one of its best-known components.

Types of legumes - Lentils, one of the most popular types of legumes


Soy , with the scientific 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 in folic acid and fiber.

Types of legumes - Soy
Types of legumes

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: