What is a Legume?

A legume is, by dictionary definition “a plant that has its seeds in a pod, such as the bean or pea”.

Peanuts, often referred to as nuts, are actually legumes and not tree nuts at all. 

Some people who are allergic to peanuts are only allergic to peanuts. It does not necessarily follow that someone who’s allergic to peanuts is also allergic to other legumes. 

The same applies in reverse: you can be allergic to one legume, or some, or all. Some people can eat peas but not peanuts, beans but not chickpeas, and so on. 

Being allergic to one item in a food group is not necessarily a reason to avoid all foods in that group and every allergy is different – please consult your allergy clinic if you’re unsure.

Here is a list of all the legumes we can possibly think of:

  • Alfafa
  • Asparagus bean/pea (not asparagus itself)
  • Lima bean
  • Black bean
  • Black-eyed pea
  • Black turtle bean
  • Boston (navy) bean
  • Broad bean
  • Cannellini bean
  • Carob bean (locust bean)
  • Chickpea (also ‘gram flour’)
  • Chilli bean
  • Cranberry bean (not cranberries themselves)
  • Dwarf bean
  • Edamame (soya bean)
  • Egyptian (white broad) bean
  • English bean
  • Fava bean
  • Fava coceira
  • Field pea
  • French green bean
  • Frijol bola roja
  • Frijole negro
  • Gram flour (from chickpeas)
  • Great northern bean
  • Green and yellow peas
  • Guar bean gum
  • Houmous (from chickpeas)
  • Kidney bean
  • Lentils
  • Lespedeza
  • Liquorice
  • Lima bean
  • Locust bean (carob bean)
  • Lupin
  • Madagascar bean
  • Mange tout
  • Mexican black bean
  • Mexican red bean
  • Molasses face bean
  • Mung bean
  • Mung pea
  • Navy bean
  • Pea bean
  • Peanut
  • Peruvian bean
  • Pinto bean
  • Red bean
  • Red clover
  • Red eye bean
  • Red kidney bean
  • Rice bean
  • Runner bean
  • Scarlet runner bean
  • Small red bean
  • Snow pea
  • Southern pea
  • Sugar snap pea
  • Soya bean / soy bean (edamame)
  • Wax bean
  • White clover
  • White kidney bean
  • White pea bean

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