Beans are edible seeds that come from a variety of leguminous plants belonging to the genus Phaseolus. The highly nutritious seeds, which are produced in pods, are widely cultivated all over the world and sold dried, canned or frozen.
There are various types of beans, all of which are excellent sources of plant protein as well as other nutrients, such as zinc and iron. They include kidney, pinto, lima, garbanzo, French, string, snap, butter, fava, adzuki and soya beans. The pods of immature beans are sometimes eaten as vegetables because they contain large amounts of dietary fiber, folate and potassium.