Lentils are an annual legume plant, fruit, or seed from the family Fabaceae. The word lentil comes from the Latin word lens culinaris. Lentils are recognized by their lens shaped edible seeds which are highly nutritious and filling. Lentil varieties are classified according to their colour and size. They come in black, brown, green, orange, red and yellow depending on the composition of their seed coats and cotyledons (first leaf.) Furthermore, they can be split or whole, or shelled or unshelled.
Lentils are thought to have originated in the mediterranean. They are relatively tolerant to droughts and grow well in cool environments making them fairly easy to cultivate around the world. Lentils require 80 to 110 days to come to harvest.
Dietary pulses such as lentils have been a part of the human diet and provided sustenance for our ancestors since prehistoric times. Lentils are believed to be among the first crops to be domesticated. Moreover, growing lentils promotes sustainable agriculture as its cultivation increases soil health and decreases greenhouse gases.
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