Legumes are abundant in soluble fiber, a property that lowers cholesterol and
triglyceride levels. With a low glycemic index, beans contain a remarkable blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish.

Beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability. Weighing in at 5 to 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams (3 ounces), beans are ideal for those who are sensitive to gluten, a natural protein found in products containing wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. Legumes are a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.