Nevertheless, the amount and the frequency

of its consumption has been decreasing over time, especially

in the urban areas1 This tendency is a concern to those

involved in health and nutrition since beans are a source of

protein, non-heme iron, fiber, folic acid, thiamin, potassium,

magnesium and zinc2. The nutritional contribution of beans

lo the Costa Rican diet is important in spite of the reduction

in consumption. Beans are important because of their nutrient

content and the presence of phytochemicals that have been

recognized as part of the prevention and treatment of health

problems affecting the Costa Rican population3. This review

documents the positive effects of some of the nutrients and

elements present in beans related lo the prevention and control

of some chronic diseases of importance in public health.

lt includes information on fiber, folic acid and magnesium.

Additionally, it considers the presence of phytochemicais that

make beans a “functional food”. Finally, some practicar recommendations

are offered in order lo improve digestibility.

Thus, our purpose is to educate the Costa Rican population lo

maintain and lo increase the consumption of beans.

Keywords: beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), nutritional value, diet, chronic diseases, digestibility.