Antioxidant Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and Grains

Legumes, nuts, seeds and grains are known in the nutrition world to be providers of a variety of nutrients, mainly protein, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals, while not as widely known as providers of antioxidants.

In many cultures, some of these beans and grains are staple diets.

Of Legumes, Beans, and Seeds

Just a short side note to clarify the above ... although it does not matter in terms of antioxidants, but clarifying some definitions helps in understanding and retaining information pertaining to each.

Different sites has slightly different definition of legumes. Some refer to legumes as the fruits or pods of the plant, while others refer to both the plants as well as the seeds, fruits and pods of the plant.

For the purpose of this site, the term "legumes" will be used to refer :

  • the "fruits or seed" of legume plants (or leguminous plants)
  • the pulses, which are the dried seeds of the legumes.
  • the lupins or lupines, which are names of both the flowering leguminous plants as well as their seeds.

I prefer to use the term "leguminous plants" to refer to the plant itself - the non-flowering species, to add (some) clarity and distinction - please see below.

Back to legumes, the fruits or seeds  ... in simplistic terms :

  • Legumes are fruits that grows as pods, with seeds within the pods. But not all fruits in pods are legumes (example, coffee beans while contained in pods are not legumes), just those that comes from leguminous plants.
  • Legumes (the fruits/seeds) can be beans, peas, lentil, and lupins seeds. In simple terms, they can be defined by the shapes of these seeds - beans are of oval or kidney shape, peas are generally round, and lentils are flat disks shape. However, chickpeas will be an exception, although it can be closer to being classified as "round" shape, compared to the other two options. And lupins seeds will also be another exception.
  • Hence, beans are a type of legumes, but not all legumes are beans - although sometimes, they are referred to interchangeably (this interchangeable use of the word "beans" adds to another confusion)
  • Beans, peas, lentils, and lupins seeds are also one type of seeds - simply because they are the seeds in the pods of the legume fruit or the flowers. (For the purpose of this site, we will classify them as "legumes" and not under "seeds")
  • Examples of other seeds (not of  legume fruits or flowers) are:

                - seeds from flowers (example, sunflower seeds),

               - seeds from vegetables (such as, pumpkin seeds)

               - seeds from fruits (such as, watermelon seeds).

Peanut and Peanut Butter

... and Peanut is not a nut

... it is actually a type of legumes.

Other "Beans"

Having said all of the above, the word "beans" is used for non-legumes seeds, too, such as :

  • castor beans
  • coffee beans
  • cacao beans
  • vanilla beans

Leguminous Plants

Also, leguminous plants are plants where their root nodules or roots system are rich in nitrogen due its ability to support a type of bacteria that aids the production of nitrogen. Some examples of these plants are:

  • acacia (such as wattle)
  • alfalfa
  • clover
  • cassia tree
  • legumes
  • (some) gum trees
  • senna plants

A note of precaution, those allergic to legumes and nuts, should also watch out for these plants and their fruits, as they may cause the same allergy as nuts and legumes.

Examples of Legumes, Nuts and Grains

Examples of legumes (beans):

  • adzuki beans
  • anasazi beans
  • black beans
  • edamame beans
  • fava beans
  • garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • kidney beans
  • lima beans
  • peanuts
  • soybeans
  • tamarind

Examples of legumes (peas):

  • green peas
  • snow peas
  • snap peas
  • whole peas

Examples of legumes (lentils):

  • black lentils
  • green lentils
  • red lentils
  • yellow lentils

Examples of nuts:

  • almonds
  • brazil nuts
  • hazelnut
  • pistachio nuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • walnuts

Examples of seeds:

  • sunflower seeds
  • watermelon seeds

Examples of grains:

  • amaranth
  • rice
  • rye
  • oats
  • sorghum
  • wheat

Of Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Grains, and Their Antioxidants Contents

We hope you have enjoyed browsing through these pages.

We intend to add more "beanies", "nutty", "seedy" and "grainy" stories, in the near future ... we hope you will drop by to visit again.

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