the more you eat um, the healthier your heart  ;)   and that's as far as i am going with that saying!!!

so, ok, beans, or legumes (their official name), do produce some gas in your intestinal tract....but so does sugar-free gum!!!  and what else does sugar-free gum do for ya???  nothin' honey! 

what do legumes do for ya?....well, a whole heck of a lot!
they are packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which regulates digestion, normalises bowel function, improves blood lipid levels, may reduce the risk of colon cancer, and detoxifies the body.  fiber also decreases the glucose peak you can get when eating certain foods, so legumes are a great addition to lower the glycemic load of a meal, which can help decrease your risk for or improve your control over diabetes!  they are high in protein, and although they are considered an incomplete protein, meaning they do not contain all the amino acids in adequate levels compared to animal proteins, they do make a complete protein when combined with grains, such as rice, barley, wheat, quinoa, and corn.   they are low in fat.  they are loaded with folic acid and iron, and are a good source of magnesium and most of the B vitamins. 
ALSO, here is an interesting fact to ponder over...it takes far less energy to produce 1000 calories of legumes compared to the same amount of calories of meat.   several pounds of legumes are required to produce one pound of meat!   meat is more expensive from an economical standpoint and environmental standpoint!  by consuming legumes in place of meat, you are being a very responsible consumer and should be proud because you are conserving energy, not contributing to the world hunger problem, and you are making the world more sustainable for your future and the future of your children! 
recent research also shows that legumes, especially those with colorful outer coatings, like black beans and kidney beans, are high in flavonoids, another phytochemical, and may reduce your risk for cancer and chronic disease!
my favorite legume is BLACK BEANS. they have a great texture and a bolder taste than some other beans, kind of "mushroomy" (and i don't really like mushrooms!)  i use them all the time!  i am also fond of lentils, which have an "earthier" flavor, garbonzo beans, which are used to make hummus, and white northern beans, which are a great addition to soups and salads.
100 grams of cooked black beans (about 3/4 cup)  is only 130 calories, 1 gram fat, 24 grams carbs, which is really only 15 grams digestible carbs after you take into consideration the 9 grams fiber, and 9 grams of protein.

there is so much you can do with legumes!  soups, salads, dips/hummus/spreads, PB&J (yes, peanuts are a legume!), salsas, chili, wraps, put them in desserts...i will be providing more info on this later! 
yesterday for dinner, i made black bean crepes!  this past weekend, we ate at my favorite restaurant in athens, The Last Resort, and had black bean crepes for an appetizer, so i recreated them last night!  i made the crepes by combining 6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, and about 2 T milk in a blender, then poured it onto a large non-stick skillet and made a very thin pancake.  i made to large ones.  then i pureed one can black beans, drained and rinsed, in a food processor with a little taco seasoning and filled and wrapped up the crepes.  i also made my own salsa, which is super simple, just put one can tomatoes, 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves, lemon or lime juice, cilantro, one jalapeno (with or without the seeds, depending on how HOT you want it), salt and pepper in food processor and blend to desired consistency!  easy as pie!  what a cool vegetarian dinner! 
i also topped it with some fat-free sour cream and black olives.  yum yum!
tonight i am making lentil soup!