The lentil is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 centimetres tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.Lentils have been part of the human diet since the aceramic (pottery nonproducing) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. Archeological evidence shows they were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago.Lentil colors range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. Lentils also vary in size (e.g. Masoor lentils, shown in photos here), and are sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split.
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Lentils are a nutritious food. Lentils are high in dietary fiber, protein and iron.