Are Beans Vegetable or Fruits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

At some point in the past, you’ve likely asked yourself – Are beans vegetable? – but the full answer is a bit more complicated.

Are Beans Vegetable, Fruit, Legume or Grain?

Beans are a unique food, and a very important one in our diet. Technically speaking, beans are a mature form of legumes and are closely related to lentils and peas. Legumes are seeds, pods or other edible parts of a member of the pea family (Fabaceae).

Interestingly enough, due to the unique nutrient composition of beans, they also fall into other classifications, particularly when discussing diet and nutrition. For vegetarians, beans often represent a meat-free protein alternative, since beans are famously high in amino acids and protein, as well as zinc and iron.

Close up of spoons with varieties of lentils and beans on a wooden table

Beans, peas, and lentils are all types of legumes. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Beans are also commonly thought of as vegetables, because of their starchy nature and the ease with which they can be combined with other vegetables and greens in many dishes. Beyond that, beans are also rich in nutrients commonly found in vegetables, such as folate and potassium, and are a good source of complex carbohydrates. In some ways, this also makes them similar to grains.

Botanically, however, mature beans in the pod are considered fruits, because they are the seed-bearing organ grown from an ovary. While “fruit” is often the last group in which beans are placed, there is no denying botany!

As you can see, beans have a versatile nutrient profile that has earned it a unique status, and an important place in any healthy diet.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 81 user(s).

Latest Health News:

A young man looking out of a window with a subdued expression

COVID-19 Has Increased Levels Of Anxiety & Stress In University Students

An online psychological test of university students in Italy during the COVID-19 outbreak revealed that all of them were in the clinical range for stress and…

READ MORE
A woman clinician injecting a young girl.

Increase Screening Of Asymptomatic People For COVID Control

With the coronavirus pandemic showing signs of slowing down, there is an increased need for precaution to ensure that it does not flare up again. New research,…

READ MORE
Group of wood figurines huddled together with one figure outside the group.

Pandemics, Epidemics Can Worsen Social Prejudices

A time of crisis can exacerbate our social prejudices, particularly bigotry and xenophobia. A study, published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society,…

READ MORE