Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are an important part of the Costa Rican diet.
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.