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Lupins vs Pigeon Peas: What’s The Difference?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between lupins and pigeon peas, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the lupins vs pigeon peas comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 18, 2023.

Lupins and pigeon peas belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

This article will thoroughly compare lupins and pigeon peas and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Lupins (Lupinus) are a type of legume native to the Mediterranean region and the Americas.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content, as well as their nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

Actually, lupins are the legume highest in protein and healthy, unsaturated fats.

Lupins are also a good source of several important nutrients, including potassium, iron, and B vitamins.

They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as lupin flour bread, pancakes, and pasta. Lupins are also often consumed as a cold appetizer, similar to olives.

In addition to being a nutritious food, lupins have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control, and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Lupins are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) are a legume widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

They are a staple food in many countries, including India, Africa, and South America.

Pigeon peas are known for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their rich flavor and versatility in cooking.

Pigeon peas can be used in various dishes such as dals, curries, soups, and stews. They can also be used to make flour and snacks.

They peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are a good source of minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium.

They are also rich in antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation and protect against certain types of cancer.

Pigeon peas are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them a great option for a healthy diet.

Pigeon Peas is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing lupins vs pigeon peas.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of lupins and pigeon peas and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

LupinsPigeon Peas
Energy371 kcal343 kcal
Carbs40.4 g62.78 g
Fiber18.9 g15 g
Protein36.2 g21.7 g
Fat9.74 g1.49 g
Saturated Fat1.16 g0.33 g

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Calories

Most calories in raw legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing pigeon peas vs lupins for weight loss, pigeon peas is slightly lower in calories, with 343 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of lupins.

However, both lupins and pigeon peas can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including lupins and pigeon peas, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Lupins offer around 40% more protein than pigeon peas.

Lupins have 36.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while pigeon peas has 21.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in lupins and pigeon peas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 36% higher in pigeon peas than in lupins. It have 62.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 40.4 grams in lupins.


There’s less sugar in pigeon peas than in lupins, 100% precisely.

One handful of pigeon peas (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lupins contains 0.6 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in lupins and pigeon peas.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 5.3 grams of fiber per portion, lupins are a better source of fiber than pigeon peas which lupins offer 4.2 grams per portion.

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Fats

Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, lupins and pigeon peas are low in fat.

Fats in lupins and pigeon peas are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in lupins and pigeon peas:

  • Lupins: 9.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Pigeon Peas: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pigeon peas is 75% lower in saturated fats.

Pigeon Peas and lupins contain 0.3 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of lupins and pigeon peas.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Lupins have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, pigeon peas has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Lupins and pigeon peas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins lupins and pigeon peas contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

LupinsPigeon Peas
Vitamin A028 IU
Vitamin C4.8 mg0
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.64 mg0.643 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.22 mg0.187 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)2.19 mg2.965 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.75 mg1.266 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.357 mg0.283 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)355 µg456 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.49 mg0
Vitamin K5 µg0

Lupins vs Pigeon Peas Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the lupins and pigeon peas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Lupins are a better source of copper, iron, potassium, and sodium than pigeon peas.

On the other hand, pigeon peas is a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Lupins and pigeon peas contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how lupins and pigeon peas compare when it comes to mineral content.

LupinsPigeon Peas
Calcium176 mg130 mg
Copper1.02 mg1.057 mg
Iron4.36 mg5.23 mg
Magnesium198 mg183 mg
Manganese2.38 mg1.791 mg
Phosphorus440 mg367 mg
Potassium1010 mg1392 mg
Selenium8.2 µg8.2 µg
Sodium15 mg17 mg
Zinc4.75 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

Lupins and pigeon peas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both lupins and pigeon peas are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in beans and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes are versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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