Nuts vs Peanuts: Difference and Comparison

Although both nuts and peanuts are classified as nuts, they fall under very different categories. This might be quite confusing to someone who is not that familiar with it.

Mostly because people with peanut allergies also tend to have a nut allergy. Even they are grown in different kinds of trees. They require different conditions for their growth and also serve different functions.

To distinguish them, we need to thoroughly learn the characteristics of the two. The first thing we need to know is how they grow.

Key Takeaways

  1. Peanuts are a type of legume, while nuts are a type of fruit.
  2. Nuts grow on trees, while peanuts grow underground.
  3. Nuts are higher in fat than peanuts, which are higher in protein.

Nuts vs Peanuts

A nut is a fruit that consists of a tough outer shell that grows on trees. The shell protects the kernel, which is the edible substance. Nuts are rich in protein, fats, calcium and magnesium. Peanuts are legumes that grow underground. They are rich in protein and phosphorous and low in carbs, which makes them a healthy option for diabetic patients.

Nuts vs Peanuts

Nuts are dry, indehiscent fruit. It develops from more than just a single carpel. It has a hard, woody protective cover known as the kernel. It does not split open at the time of maturity; instead, it remains intact.

Peanuts are also known as groundnuts and are a false fruit. They have a dehiscent nature. They have multiple seeds attached to their ovary wall.

Its pericarp naturally splits open during its maturity, thus releasing the seeds.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNutsPeanuts
CategoryNuts are basically considered fruits. They possess characteristics as that of a fruit.Peanuts are considered legumes. They possess characteristics as that of a legume. It is a false fruit.
GrowthThey grow on trees, just like fruits.They grow underground like potatoes.
PositionTheir seeds are not attached to the ovary wall.Multiple seeds are found to be attached to the ovary wall of their pods.
NatureThey are indehiscent in nature. It means that even when the fruit matures and falls of the plant, the pericarp remains intact.They are dehiscent in nature. It means that the pericarp naturally opens when it gets matured and then releases the seeds.
SeedsNuts are mostly one-seeded or comprise two seeds in maximum.Peanut contains multiple seeds in a single legume.

What is Nuts?

A nut is a true fruit. According to the definition in botany, it is described as a fruit of a plant, covered by a shell. The shell is hard and edible and is termed a kernel. The shell is woody and remains intact even after maturity.

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They are rich in iron. It contains other essential vitamins and minerals, which include calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. They also contain comparatively lower saturated fats and are high in protein value.

Thus possessing a positive effect on cholesterol and excellent natural fuel for unmodified fats.

They play a great role in protecting us from cardiovascular disorders. They also help to regularize blood lipids.

They grow on the plants, which is one of the characteristics of the fruit. However, their seeds are not attached to the ovary wall. They are indehiscent.


What is Peanuts?

Peanuts are considered legumes, but the topic is quite controversial. They are commonly known as groundnuts. A single legume might contain multiple seeds. Their nature is indehiscent.

The scientific name of peanuts is Arachis hypogaea. It originated in South America. They are mainly grown in the tropical and subtropical regions, for their edible seeds which are rich in protein.

They are devoid of iron as compared to nuts but are rich in minerals and vitamins. However, overconsumption of peanuts might lead to critical heart conditions since they contain saturated fats.

Peanuts are low in carbs. This makes it a very good choice for diabetic patients. Also, the presence of phosphorus helps in the growth of body tissues.


Main Differences Between Nuts and Peanuts

  1. The most unique difference between a nut and a peanut is that a nut grows on the trees, whereas a peanut grows underground. This is why nuts are considered as fruits and peanuts as legumes because of their characteristics.
  2. Another important point of difference is their biological structure as well as composition. Also, peanuts are comparatively more bioflavonoid as compared to nuts.Nuts are indehiscent. Their hard pericarp remains intact even when it matures and falls off, whereas peanuts are dehiscent. The pericarp gets opened once the seed matures, and it finally releases them.
  3. Nuts are recognized as a global crop and are grown in the states of the US. Peanuts are grown in the warm climate in the tropical and subtropical regions throughout the year.
  4. Peanuts are cheaper than tree nuts. We might wonder if they are not as healthy. The real reason is their processing. It is easier and cheaper to grow.
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Last but not least, examples are a great way to distinguish them. Normal nuts include almonds, groundnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews. Peanuts include types like a Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia.

Difference Between Nuts and Peanuts

Last Updated : 31 August, 2023

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17 thoughts on “Nuts vs Peanuts: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The discussion on the biological structure and composition of nuts and peanuts is very factual, it’s a learning point for most people.

  2. The in-depth explanation of the nature, growth, and characteristics of nuts and peanuts is commendable. It’s a great resource for understanding their classifications.

  3. This article is very enlightening and gives us a clear understanding of the differences between nuts and peanuts!

    • I completely agree. Understanding the differences between nuts and peanuts is essential, especially for those with allergies.

  4. The article’s focus on the unique differences between nuts and peanuts not only educates but also broadens understanding regarding their biological structures.

  5. The detailed comparison of nuts and peanuts is paramount in dispelling the confusion regarding their categorization. The article handles this expertly.

  6. It’s fascinating to know that peanuts are considered legumes and grow underground, while nuts grow on trees. This information is quite intriguing!

    • Yes, the details about growth and seed structure are very interesting. It helps to dispel the confusion about nuts and peanuts.

  7. The comparative analysis provided in this article offers a clear distinction between peanuts and nuts, making it easier to understand their differences.

  8. This article offers a comprehensive understanding of nuts and peanuts, shedding light on their unique characteristics in a clear and concise manner.


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