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Pigeon Peas vs Tofu: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between pigeon peas and tofu, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the pigeon peas vs tofu comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 20, 2023.

Pigeon Peas and tofu 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 pigeon peas and tofu and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

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).


Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy products that is made from soybeans.

Tofu is native to China and has been used as a dietary staple for thousands of years. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and stir-fries.

One of the main health benefits of tofu is its high protein content. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a good source of plant-based protein, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Tofu is also low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those looking to manage their weight.

It is also rich in nutrients important for vegans such as iron, calcium, and manganese, and it contains many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

In terms of health benefits, tofu has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the body.

It is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help balance the gut microbiome.

Tofu may also help to reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, due to its high content of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu Nutrition

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

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

Pigeon PeasTofu
Energy343 kcal76 kcal
Carbs62.78 g1.87 g
Sugar0.62 g
Fiber15 g0.3 g
Protein21.7 g8.08 g
Fat1.49 g4.78 g
Saturated Fat0.33 g0.691 g

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu 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 tofu vs pigeon peas for weight loss, tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 76 calories per 100 grams, compared to 343 calories per 100 grams of pigeon peas.

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

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu Protein

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

Pigeon Peas offers around 63% more protein than tofu.

Pigeon Peas has 21.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while tofu has 8.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu 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 pigeon peas and tofu.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 97% higher in pigeon peas than in tofu. It have 62.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 1.9 grams in tofu.

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

One handful of pigeon peas (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tofu contains 0.2 grams.

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

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

With 4.2 grams of fiber per portion, pigeon peas is a better source of fiber than tofu which pigeon peas offers 0.1 grams per portion.

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu Fats

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

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

Total fat in pigeon peas and tofu:

  • Pigeon Peas: 1.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Tofu: 4.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pigeon peas is 57% lower in saturated fats.

Pigeon Peas and tofu contain 0.3 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu Vitamins Content

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

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

Pigeon Peas has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tofu has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Pigeon Peas and tofu contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Pigeon PeasTofu
Vitamin A28 IU85 IU
Vitamin C00.1 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.643 mg0.081 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.187 mg0.052 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)2.965 mg0.195 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.266 mg0.068 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.283 mg0.047 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)456 µg15 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.01 mg
Vitamin K02.4 µg

Pigeon Peas vs Tofu 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 pigeon peas and tofu comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Pigeon Peas is a better source of calcium, iron, and selenium than tofu.

On the other hand, tofu is a higher amount of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Pigeon Peas and tofu contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Pigeon PeasTofu
Calcium130 mg350 mg
Copper1.057 mg0.193 mg
Iron5.23 mg5.36 mg
Magnesium183 mg30 mg
Manganese1.791 mg0.605 mg
Phosphorus367 mg97 mg
Potassium1392 mg121 mg
Selenium8.2 µg8.9 µg
Sodium17 mg7 mg
Zinc2.76 mg0.8 mg

The Final Word

Pigeon Peas and tofu are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both pigeon peas and tofu 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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