When it comes to defending yourself against chronic diseases, beans are hard to beat. They’re considered so beneficial that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least one-and-a-half cups of beans each week. Rich in protein (seven to eight grams per half-cup serving), B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and much more, beans are considered one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat. They also contain resistant starch to help boost beneficial bacteria in your GI tract. Beans are also recommended to reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and obesity. Many health benefits associated with beans stem from their fill-you-up fiber and resistant starch that help keep your appetite, cravings and body weight in check. In addition to being a diet ally, beans also have a low glycemic index, so they may help reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes.