Difference between Lentils, Pulses and Legumes


Legumes is a broad term, which includes all the lentils, pulses, beans and peas found in the family Fabaceae or Leguminosae. A legume consists of the leaves, stems or pods of the plants in the Fabaceae family. It is rich in dietary fibres and proteins.


Pulses are the dried seeds of legumes plants. It is the source of fibers and protein in daily diet.


Lentils are lens shaped dried seeds of legumes. They are the variants of legumes rich in fiber and proteins. It also contains amino acids important for human diet.

Let us look at the differences between legumes, pulses and lentils.





Lentils are lens shaped legumes.

Pulses are dried seeds of the legumes plants.

Legumes are the plants belonging to the Fabaceae family.


Brown, green, yellow, red lentils.

Chickpea, cow pea.

Chickpea, lentils, beans.


They are lens shapes, and come with or without husks.

They grow in pods, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.

They are the leaf, stem, pods or seeds of the legume plant.


Staple food in countries such as Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Turkey.

  • Staple food in a variety of countries.
  • It increases soil health, and reduces the effect of greenhouse gases.
  • They form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen fixing bacteria at their root nodules and help in nitrogen fixation.
  • Used for human and animal consumption and production of oils.

Nutritional value

They contain proteins, vitamin B, zinc, potassium, iron and magnesium.

They are fat and cholesterol free, rich in proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals.

They contain fibers, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals.

Find out more at BYJU’S Biology.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are lentils pulses or legumes?

Lentils are legumes.

Are legumes and lentils the same thing?

Lentils are a part of the legume family rich in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.

Are all pulses legumes?

Yes, all pulses are legumes.

Are chickpeas legumes or pulses?

Chickpeas are pulses.

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