What Is the Difference Between Pulses & Legumes?

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The difference between pulses and legumes are: pulses are edible seeds that grow on a legume. Pulses and legumes are part of the pea, bean and lentil families.



Pulses are the seeds of a legume and are a main food staple in the human diet. Various kinds of pulses are able to survive in different types of soil and atmosphere.


Legumes are shrubs, herbs and trees that grow multi-leaf stalks and reproductive flowers that produce pod-shaped fruit. The pods typically house the pulses, such as pea pods.



Legumes are used as fertilizer and food for livestock. Pulses are used mainly in human food sources, such as cereal and are also eaten in whole form, such as beans and peas.


Pulses provide dietary protein, fiber and energy for humans. Folic acid, potassium, iron and magnesium are also provided by pulses.


Archaeological sites have proof of pulse crops dating back to approximately 10,000 B.C. Pulses have been and continue to be grown, harvested and eaten in all parts of the world.



Kelli Coats

Kelli Coats holds a B.A. degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Central Florida, with a minor in creative writing. She has two years of technical writing experience. Coats launched her freelance writing career with a published article on eHow in October 2009 and has since been writing for Demand Studios.