Difference Between Nuts and Legumes (With Table)

he world runs in a cycle keeping the need for food in the center. All the efforts a person does in his life is to satisfy their hunger needs. Every day people get up and go to their work just for the need of all the nutrients, minerals, etc. These minerals and nutrients are essential for the well-being of a person.

Edible seeds are a way to get all the essential nutrients. They are a dominant source of protein and calories. Generally, the edible seed plants and angiosperms, while some of them are angiosperms too. As a global food, nuts, legumes, cereals and spices are the most important edible seeds.

Nuts vs Legumes

The difference between Nuts and Legumes is that a nut is a fruit with a hard pod usually having one seed inside it and it is rare to find more than one seed in them on the other hand legumes are the members of the Leguminosae or Fabaceae family, having more than one seeds attached to the inner wall of the pod and generally are dehiscent.

A nut is usually a dry fruit identified by its hard-woody covering with a single seed inside it and occasionally two seeds, nuts are needed to be cracked open due to its hardcover. Legumes are the fruits that have multiple seeds in a pod, attached to the inner wall of it.


Comparison Table Between Nuts and Legumes

Parameter of ComparisonNutsLegumes
Number of seedsA nut usually contains one seed in a hard covering, it is rare to find more than one seed in a nut and the seeds are not attached to the inner wall of the cover.Legumes contain many seeds in a single covering, the seeds are generally attached to the inner wall of the cover.
Type of pod or coveringThe pod of the nut is usually a hard-wooden covering.Legumes have a soft cover that on maturity breaks itself to reveal the seeds.
Property of dehiscentNuts are indehiscent, which means they needed to be cracked open.Legumes are descent, that is, they break naturally without any external force.
Nutritional valueNuts are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They also contain vegetable oils and saturated fats in a good quantity and therefore give more calories even if eaten in a small quantity.Legumes are rich in proteins and carbohydrates that means they provide a higher amount of energy.
ExamplesSome of the nuts are Chestnut, Acorns, Hazelnuts, Almond, Cashew, Walnuts, etc.Examples of legumes are Pea, Chickpeas, Lentils, Soybeans, Peanuts, etc.


What are Nuts?

The botanical definition of nuts assumes it to be a particular type of fruit with a hard cover. They contain a single seed inside them that besides being tasty is also packed with essential nutrients. The pod or the cover of a nut is woody and therefore is difficult to break. They need to be cracked open due to the hardness of the pod. The seed of a nut is not attached to the inner wall. Consuming nuts is really good for the heart and is beneficial in diabetes.

When it comes to nutrition, they are a rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, some of the nuts are also rich in iron content. Apart from the essential nutrients, they are rich in vegetable oils and saturated fats and therefore provide more calories even if consumed in a small proportion. The vegetable oils extracted from them are used for several other purposes.

Nuts are generally consumed roasted or raw in snacks. They are used to add taste in puddings, custards, cakes, ice creams, etc. Some of the examples of nuts are Cashew, Almond, Walnut, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Chestnuts, etc.


What are Legumes?

Legumes are the edible seeds of the Fabaceae family. They are the fruits that contain multiple seeds in a single covering. The pod of the legume is soft and easy to open. They sometimes break itself to reveal the seeds. The seeds in the covering are attached to the inner wall of it. Legumes have a special quality of nitrogen-fixing.  The seeds of legumes when dried are known as pulses.

Talking of the nutritional term, legumes have a high content of protein and carbohydrates, they are a great source of energy. Legumes are categorized on the basis of their property to split, the legumes that split into halves are generally termed as pulses and the legumes that do not split are termed as grams. Legumes may provide high protein content but they sometimes act as allergens.

Legumes such as grams are consumed as breakfast and legumes such as pulses are consumed in meals after cooking. Legumes provide even more nutrients when sprouted. Some of the examples of Legumes are peas, peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.

Main Differences Between Nuts and Legumes

  1. A nut is a fruit with a single seed while legume contains multiple seeds.
  2. The pod of a nut is hard and woody while the pod of the legume is soft.
  3. The cover of a nut is indehiscent, they are, they need to be cracked open to reveal and consume the seed while the cover of a legume opens up naturally which means it is dehiscent.
  4. The seed of a nut is not attached to the inner wall of the pod while the seeds of legume are attached to the inner wall of the pod.
  5. Nuts are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals while legumes are a good source of protein and carbohydrates.
  6. Nuts are rich in vegetable oils, therefore, they increase the calorie intake while legumes do not contain vegetable oils, therefore, they have a low content of fat.
  7. Nuts are costlier than the legumes.



Nuts and legumes may be different from one another but adding both of them in our diet promises a better health for everyone. Including a handful of them in breakfast is a great way to start a day. Before consuming nuts and legumes it is really important to know what you are allergic to.


  1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/100/1/278/4576571
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969702006113
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