The lentil or daal or dal (Lens culinaris), considered a type of pulse, is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches (38 cm) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. 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.