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19 Of The Legumes Highest In Protein

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Protein is an essential nutrient for human health. This list of legumes high in protein can certainly help you reach your daily goals.

Protein is used, among other things, to build and repair muscle and other tissues. You literally can’t survive if you don’t consume enough of this nutrient. Besides other nutrients, legumes also generally contain a nice amount of protein.

Are legumes a good source of protein?

The amounts of protein in legumes per 100 grams vary a lot from type of legume to type of legume. In general, legumes, which include beans, are more known as a source of carbs but they contain a decent amount of protein for a plant-based food source.

Certain other plant-based food groups like nuts and other food sources like meat generally contain more protein per 100 grams than legumes. Depending on your goals with eating more protein other protein sources may be better food choices.

You also have to keep in mind that plant-based protein is generally not as easy to absorb as animal-based protein (1, 2).

Something else is that not all protein is the same, it can be made of different amino acids. These are smaller building blocks of protein with varying effects. In general it is a good idea to get nutrients like protein from a variety of food groups.

Below you can find a list of legumes ranked from highest to lowest in protein per 100 grams. These nutritional values are mostly for the cooked legumes. This ranking does not take into account total calories. If you are interested in a ranking like that you can check out the list of the best legumes for weight loss.

Keep in mind that overdoing with protein isn’t optimal either.

1. Peanuts

Peanuts being an option on a list of legumes is often a surprise to people since peanuts are often considered to be nuts. Botanically speaking they do belong on this list of legumes.

The nutritional values in peanuts do look like most nuts. That means a lot of protein, a lot of fiber but also a lot of calories.

Interestingly enough, a relatively high amount of the fat from nuts, this includes peanuts, does not actually get absorbed into your body. A part goes through your gut undigested.

The exact amount varies but some studies find that 5%-20% of the fat from nuts may go through indigested (3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Chances are this varies from individual to individual and from situation to situation.

100 grams of raw peanuts contains (8):

  • Protein: 25.8 grams
  • Calories: 567
  • Carbs: 16.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 49.2 grams
  • Manganese: 97% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 60% of the DV
  • Folate: 60% of the DV
  • Copper: 57% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 43% of the DV

And many more vitamins and minerals in relatively high amounts.

An extremely popular way to implement more peanuts into a diet is peanut butter. In theory, peanut butter is just crushed peanuts with perhaps some salt but many brands add sugar and other sweeteners.

If you are interested in things like weight loss and health regular peanut butter can be helpful in some cases. You generally want to avoid the ones with sugar and other sweeteners.

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2. Soybeans

Soybeans, also called edamame when the soybean is still young, are a type of legume that stands out because of their higher fat content compared to the other options on this list.

This is not necessarily something bad but it does add to the calorie count of this legume. On the upside, the amount of net carbs makes soybeans the best option for low-carb diets on this list.

In any case, soybeans can provide you with a nice amount of protein.

100 grams of cooked soybeans contains (9):

  • Protein: 16.6 grams
  • Calories: 173
  • Carbs: 9.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.0 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Manganese: 41% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 21% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Soybeans are also the main ingredient of the popular meat replacement tofu. Tofu is mostly popular in the Eastern kitchen but available all around the world.

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3. Lupins

Even though lupins are sometimes called lupini beans, they are not part of the beans category in terms of botanical guidelines. In any case, these legumes can be helpful for increasing your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked lupins contains (10):

  • Protein: 15.6 grams
  • Calories: 119
  • Carbs: 9.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Manganese: 34% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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4. Cranberry beans (roman)

Cranberry beans, also often called Roman beans, stand out with their impressive nutrient profile. With the fiber in this legume you can definitely reduce hunger and cravings a lot.

100 grams of cooked cranberry beans contains (11):

  • Protein: 9.3 grams
  • Calories: 136
  • Carbs: 24.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.0 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 18% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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5. Pink beans

This next option, pink beans, is another great source of folate and manganese. If you struggle a lot with hunger there may be better legume for you than pink beans but they are still a great source of protein.

100 grams of cooked pink beans contains (12):

  • Protein: 9.1 grams
  • Calories: 149
  • Carbs: 27.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 42% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 27% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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6. Lentils

Lentils are a type of gluten-free legume that has been rising in popularity, and for a good reason. They are relatively low-calorie, have a nice amount of protein, and a big amount of fiber.

100 grams of cooked lentils contains (13):

  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Calories: 116
  • Carbs: 20.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 45% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 25% of the DV
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 18% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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7. Pinto beans

Pinto beans are a popular type of legume in Mexico. This legume is another option with an impressive amount of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

100 grams of cooked pinto beans contains (14):

  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Calories: 143
  • Carbs: 26.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 9 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Folate: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 15% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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8. Black beans

Black beans are mostly popular in South and Central America. Even if they are less popular where you live they might deserve a spot in your diet if you are trying to increase your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked black beans contains (15):

  • Protein: 8.9 grams
  • Calories: 132
  • Carbs: 23.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 37% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 22% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 17% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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9. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the next type of legume on this list. Besides protein chickpeas can also provide you with a lot of fiber and other valuable nutrients.

100 grams of cooked chickpeas contains (16):

  • Protein: 8.9 grams
  • Calories: 164
  • Carbs: 27.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.6 grams
  • Fat: 2.6 grams
  • Manganese: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 43% of the DV
  • Copper: 18% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Iron: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

There is a wide variety of popular ways that are used to implement more chickpeas into the daily diet. Some examples include hummus, salads, and chickpea soup. You can also ground down this legume into chickpea flour but this way of preparing chickpeas removes some of the valuable fiber.

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10. Kidney beans

Kidney beans are one of the most commonly consumed types of legumes. They have a distinct dark red color. Chili is a popular dish that often uses kidney beans.

100 grams of cooked kidney beans contains (17):

  • Protein: 8.7 grams
  • Calories: 127
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 33% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 22% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Potassium: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Another popular food combination is kidney beans with rice. There are better foods than rice if you’re trying to increase your protein intake. If you want to give this combination a shot anyway you can add other foods high in protein like for example chicken.

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11. Split peas

You get split peas from removing the outer layer of dried regular peas and splitting the result. This leads to a different nutritional composition compared to regular peas.

100 grams of cooked split peas contains (18):

  • Protein: 8.3 grams
  • Calories: 118
  • Carbs: 21.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Manganese: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 16% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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12. Great northern beans

Many people think they are the same but great northern beans are not the same as navy beans. Both make a great food option when trying to increase protein intake but great northern beans are a tiny amount better for increasing your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked great northern beans contains (19):

  • Protein: 8.3 grams
  • Calories: 118
  • Carbs: 21.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 25% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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13. Navy beans

Navy beans are the highest-fiber option on this list of legumes which is very helpful for feeling fuller and having fewer cravings. This can be helpful for something like losing weight and unhelpful if you have trouble eating enough calories throughout the day.

The name of this legume comes from its past popularity in the US navy.

100 grams of cooked navy beans contains (20):

  • Protein: 8.2 grams
  • Calories: 140
  • Carbs: 26.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Folate: 35% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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14. Lima beans

Lima beans are slightly lower on this list but they still contain a good amount of protein per 100 grams. On top of that they are relatively low in calories, contain a good amount of fiber, and a good source of important nutrients. Lima beans can definitely be part of a healthy diet.

100 grams of cooked lima beans contains (21):

  • Protein: 7.8 grams
  • Calories: 115
  • Carbs: 20.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 21% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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15. Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are a type of cowpea with an easy-to distinguish look because of the colored spot, often black, in the middle of a white bean. This type of legume is an especially great source of folate.

100 grams of cooked black-eye peas contains (22):

  • Protein: 7.7 grams
  • Calories: 116
  • Carbs: 20.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Folate: 52% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the DV
  • Iron: 14% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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16. Fava beans (broad beans)

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a type of legume mostly eaten when it’s still young. They play a part in recipes all around the world.

100 grams of cooked flava beans contains (23):

  • Protein: 7.6 grams
  • Calories: 110
  • Carbs: 19.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 21% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 11% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

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17. Adzuki beans

Adzuki beans are a type of legume that is mainly popular in the east but a good food option to consume more protein no matter where you live.

100 grams of cooked adzuki beans contains (24):

  • Protein: 7.5 grams
  • Calories: 128
  • Carbs: 24.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Folate: 30% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 29% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Potassium: 15% of the DV
  • Copper: 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Adzuki beans regularly play a role in dessert recipes with a lot of sugar. Depending on your goals with your diet you want to avoid these.

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18. Mung beans

The next option on this list is the low-calorie mung bean. This type of legume has a distinct, more round shape. Mung beans are mostly popular in the East but available all around the world.

100 grams of cooked mung beans contains (25):

  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Calories: 105
  • Carbs: 19.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Folate: 40% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 11% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. These are not very high levels of vitamins and minerals so keep in mind to eat enough other nutritious foods too.

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19. Green peas

Green peas really stand out in this list of high protein legumes. Both because many people don’t know they are actually legumes and because they have an especially distinct nutrient composition compared to other legumes.

Green peas are by far the lowest-calorie per 100 grams legume on this list.

100 grams of cooked green peas contains (26):

  • Protein: 5.2 grams
  • Calories: 78
  • Carbs: 14.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 42% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 30% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
  • Folate: 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

You can eat boiled green peas as a regular vegetable side dish, combined with for example carrots. Another popular way to eat this legume is pea soup.

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