Beans were once the mainstay of the health cranks, and despite the best efforts of mainstream nutrition, they still retain a little bit of that worthy aura.
Perhaps it's the childhood link between baked beans and gas, or that the word 'legume' itself has comedy potential in some circles. Whatever we call them - beans, pulses or legumes - they are one of the most beneficial additions to the diet for several reasons.
Most importantly they are a good source of fibre, notably soluble fibre, which has repeatedly been shown to reduce levels of total cholesterol. In turn this can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A meta analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 collated data from 67 studies, involving 2,900 people, suggested that it was a 'high intake' of soluble fibre that was needed. Earlier this month the journal of the Canadian Medical Association published the results of another review, this time specifically focused on the intake of pulses concluding that eating pulses can reduce blood lipids, including cholesterol.
They are also a valuable source of protein, and although that protein might not always be considered a complete protein, that can be simply overcome by mixing different types of beans, or eating them with other sources of protein.
Source - Telegraph