Like most beans, kidney beans are rich in the best sort of fiber - soluble fiber - which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body. They are a good source of folate, potassium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc. As a high-potassium, low-sodium food they help reduce blood pressure. Not only are they low in fat, but when combined with grains, beans supply high quality protein which provides a healthy alternative to meat or other animal protein. Kidney beans also contain protease inhibitors which frustrate the development of cancerous cells. Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, and we'd probably eat more of them if they weren't also loaded with flatulence-producing enzymes. There are ways to enjoy beans without having to forego social appointments, however. One is to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork. Most bean aficionados prefer dried beans, but canned beans are also available. These don't need to be cooked, but they tend to be saltier and less flavorful than reconstituted dried beans.