The bean, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris, belongs to the Fabaceae family. The seeds of the plant, contained in the pods, are edible and are a good alternative to meat and cheeses because they are a good source of proteins. Beans contain also mineral salts, especially potassium, useful to regulate the blood pressure, but also iron, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, vitamins of group B and folic acid. There are different varieties of beans, here we are speaking about the most common, the borlotti bean, also known as cranberry bean, that you can find in the form of dried legume or canned and cooked. It has a red color and can be used, for example, in soups. Borlotti beans are also a high fiber food and for this reason they result helpful in case of constipation, are poor in fats and, the most important thing, they are able to lower the cholesterol levels by protecting in this way the heath of the cardiovascular system. As a proof of this statement we can mention a lot of scientific studies, for example the research published in the American Journal of clinical nutrition (Jenkins et al., 1983) or a more recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Winham et al., 2007), that show that borlotti beans, if inserted in the diet of men with high cholesterol levels, are able to reduce the total cholesterol, an average reduction of 19% has been registered, and the LDL cholesterol, the bad one, with an average reduction of 14%. Finally these beans, like all the legumes, are able to balance the blood sugar levels and, for this reason, can be helpful for those people who have to keep under control the glycaemia.
Proteins, mineral salts especially potassium, but also iron and magnesium, vitamins and folic acid, source of fibers for the proper functioning of the intestine, able to lower the levels of cholesterol LDL according to scientific studies, useful to stabilize the blood sugar levels.