At some point in the past, you’ve likely asked yourself – Are beans? – 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 lentils and peas. Legumes are seeds, pods or other edible parts of a member of the pea family (Fabaceae).and are closely related to
Interestingly enough, due to the unique nutrient composition of beans, they also fall into other classifications, particularly when discussing diet and nutrition. For , beans often represent a meat-free protein alternative, since beans are famously high in acids and , as well as zinc and iron.
Beans are also commonly thought of as vegetables, because of their 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 commonly found in vegetables, such as and potassium, and are a good source of complex carbohydrates. In some ways, this also makes them similar to .
Botanically, however, mature beans in the pod are considered , 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.