An Essential List of Legumes

To start incorporating healthier foods in your diet, look no further than this list of legumes. Legumes are low in fat, high in fiber, and are an excellent source of protein. One serving, which is about three tablespoons, can actually provide you with about half the folate you need for an entire day. They're also high in vitamin B and rich in antioxidants.

Beans and grains are considered legumes, as are seed pods. Legumes are edible seeds that come in two types: immature, which we eat straight from the garden when we eat items such as green beans and peas, and mature, which we eat when we eat dried or fresh beans.

List of Commonly Used Legumes

  • asparagus bean or snake bean
  • asparagus pea
  • baby lima bean
  • black bean
  • black turtle bean
  • Boston bean
  • Boston navy bean
  • broad bean
  • cannellini bean
  • chickpeas
  • chili bean
  • coco bean
  • cranberry bean
  • Egyptian bean
  • Egyptian white broad bean
  • English bean
  • fava bean
  • fava-coceira
  • field pea
  • French green beans
  • frijo bola roja
  • frijole negro
  • great Northern bean
  • green beans
  • green and yellow peas
  • kidney beans
  • lima bean
  • Madagascar bean
  • Mexican black bean
  • Mexican red bean
  • molasses face bean
  • mung bean
  • mung pea
  • mungo bean
  • navy bean
  • pea bean
  • Peruvian bean
  • pinto bean
  • red bean
  • red eye bean
  • red kidney bean
  • rice bean
  • runner bean
  • scarlet runner bean
  • small red bean
  • small white bean
  • soy bean or soybean
  • wax bean
  • white kidney bean
  • white pea bean

Tips for Using Legumes

The list is not complete, but you can use it to start making substitutions so that your diet reflects more legumes and less fatty, less-nutritious food sources. Consider adding or substituting legumes in spaghetti sauce, chili or rice dishes, and add more beans to the table as side dishes.

While beans that have been canned tend to raise blood pressure faster than beans that have been processed fresh or taken straight from the garden, there is always a way to get around all the salt. Always purchase canned legumes that have had no salt added, and always rinse canned legumes before using them.

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