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Beans are a rich super-food with a myriad of nutritional and financial benefits. A typical serving of cooked beans (1/2 cup) will have no cholesterol, little fat and about 80 calories. All beans are a great source of vitamin B and this vitamin is one of the most essential for the human body. Vitamin B will help to maintain a healthy nervous system, assist in growth and hormone production and also lower the body's cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

Consumption of legumes (green beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, garbanzos) will promote healthy digestion, relieve constipation and reduce blood cholesterol. All of these issues could be concerns in an emergency situation where water is limited and stress levels are high.

Beans make a great substitute for meat and do not contain the saturated fat and calorie content associated with even the leanest of meats, but beans do not contain the complete proteins that are present in meat, so they should always be consumed with grains or dairy products. When eaten with these products, you will meet your nutritional requirements. Most beans are already eaten and prepared this way, think of the bean burrito or beans and rice.

When you eat a diet that is high in beans, you will be increasing the amount of dietary fiber you consume. To help your body adapt to this increase in fiber, you should keep up on your water intake and drink the recommended amount of fluids.

One last tip, dry beans will swell when they are cooked, in fact they will swell up to three times their original size. So make sure you do not place too many in your cooking pot, or they could boil over and go to waste.

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