15 Mung Bean Facts About Their Health Benefits | Kidadl


15 Mung Bean Facts About Their Health Benefits

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Mung beans, also known as green grams, are tiny, dull green or light green beans that belong to the family of legumes, which also include peas, lentils, peanuts, and tamarind.

Mung beans are native to India, but they have spread all over the world and are now widely grown in Asia, South America, and Africa. They are commonly used in Asian cuisines and are loved by the masses due to the exquisite flavor they bring to their dishes.

Mung beans, aside from their mild flavor, are extremely adaptable and can be used in soups, salads, stews, and curries. Additionally, they are a good source of plant-based protein with a high nutritional value and a variety of health benefits. Read on to learn fascinating facts about mung beans.

Classification Of Mung Bean Plants

The term 'mung' originated from the Hindi word 'moong,' which comes from the Sanskrit term 'mudga'. You may also know mung beans by other names like green grams, monggo, maash, and munggo. Mung beans have been cultivated in India for centuries and are still grown in South Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America. Every year, 15-20 million pounds of mung beans are consumed in the United States, with over 75% of this being imported.

  • Mung beans are said to have been cultivated during the Harappan Civilization, one of the earliest civilizations in the world.
  • The mung bean is a warm-season crop that belongs to the legume family, also called the Fabaceae family.
  • The scientific name of mung bean is 'Vigna radiata'. There are three subgroups of Vigna Radiata, namely radiata, sublobata, and glabra. Out of these only radiata is cultivated.
  • The mung bean plant is a slightly hairy and branched dicotyledonous plant that grows up to a height of 23-25 in (60-75 cm).
  • Mung beans can be grown throughout the year and are known to be heat and drought-tolerant.
  • The mung bean plant can be identified from its yellow flowers and brown hairy pods that sprout from a vine base.
  • Mung beans best grow in fertile, sandy, loam soil with excellent drainage and a pH of 6.2-7.2.
  • The yellow flowers grow in clusters and gradually develop into thin cylindrical pods. The length of the pods can vary from 2.3-2.7 in (6-10 cm), and each of them contains around 10 to 15 seeds.
  • Mung beans are fast-growing plants taking 70-80 days to mature.
  • As mung beans belong to the legume family, they are present in a symbiotic relationship with a bacteria called Rhizobia that helps in atmospheric nitrogen fixation.
  • Mung beans require less amount of fertilizers in comparison to other warm-season crops.
  • The colors of mung bean seeds may vary from being yellow-brown to mooted black and sometimes greenish-yellow.
  • The different types of mung beans are green grams, golden grams, lutou, look dou, moyashimamae, oorud, and chop suey beans.
  • The color of the seeds and the presence or absence of a rough layer helps in differentiating between different types of mung bean.
  • The texture layer determines whether the mung beans will be dull or shiny.
  • Golden gram is characterized by yellow seeds, low seed yield, and pods that shatter when matured.
  • Green gram has bright green seeds and a lower tendency for pods to shatter.
  • In comparison to black grams, mung beans are cultivated on lighter soils and are less hairy.
  • The seeds, leaves, and tubers of the mung bean plants are edible, provided that they are cooked thoroughly before eating.
  • While you can buy mung beans from a nearby store, you can also grow them in your home, both indoors and outdoors.
  • It is critical to dry the mung bean seeds after they have been picked. Moisture present at the time of storage can cause the beans to spoil.
  • Once dried, mung beans can be eaten cooked or raw and be stored for years.
  • Mung Bean sprouts are known as 'Sabut Moon' in Hindi, Moyashi in Japan, Ngar Choy in Cantonese, Sukjunamul in Korean, and Yar Tsai in Mandarin.
  • Mung Bean sprouts are used in the Kathmandu Valley to make 'kwati' (meaning hot soup), a traditional soup prepared with nine different sprouted legumes. The dish is traditionally eaten during the Guni Punhi festival, which celebrates the full moon.
  • In China, mung bean sprouts are used in the preparation of 'tangshui,' a type of dessert that can be served hot or cold. Mung beans are also frequently combined with rice to make congee.
  • Mung beans are also used in the form of a paste. Mung bean paste is used in making ice creams and frozen ice pops in Hong Kong.
  • During the Dragon Boat Festival of China, mung beans are used to prepare rice dumplings.
  • In Korea, mung bean sprouts are used to make the base of Korean pancakes called 'Bindae-tteok.'
  • In the Philippines, mung bean stew is prepared and served with prawns and fish. Catholic Filipinos usually consume it during the Fridays of Lent, when they have to abstain from meat.
  • In Indonesia, mung beans are used in making pastries.
  • The staple diet in various regions of the Middle East is rice and mung beans.

Alternative Beans To Mung Beans

Mung beans are considered to be a common ingredient in many traditional Asian recipes. However, there may be times when you are unable to get your hands on mung bean sprouts. In such cases, you can replace it with snow peas, pigeon peas, soybeans, sunflower sprouts, and a variety of other foods.

  • Snow peas, like mung beans, are high in nutrients such as proteins, carbs, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also accessible all year and can serve as an excellent substitute for mung beans.
  • Pigeon peas are also highly versatile and are used in numerous tropical dishes. They have health benefits and nutritional content similar to mung beans and can be used in their place.
  • Sunflower sprouts, which have a bean flavor, can also be used in place of mung beans. They have a crispy texture and are commonly utilized in the making of stir-fries.
  • The Enoki mushroom, a native to Japan, is also a fine replacement for mung beans due to their similar size, shape, and color. It also has the mild flavor and crisp texture of mung beans. However, enoki cannot be cooked because it is not heat resistant.
  • Soybeans are widely accessible in the market and can be used in place of mung beans. They, too, are members of the legume family and have the same structure and crunchiness as mung beans but have a stronger flavor. As a result, it may not go well with all recipes.
  • Bamboo shoots, which have a similar flavor, color, and crunchy texture to mung beans, are another option. They go nicely with most Asian dishes.
Mung bean sprouts are native to India but are cultivated all over the world, including Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.

Health Benefits Of Mung Beans

Apart from being delicious, nutrient-rich, and versatile, adding mung beans to your diet, whether raw or cooked, can serve you many health benefits. Mung bean sprouts are not really toxic, but it is recommended to cook them thoroughly before adding them to your dishes.

  • Mung bean sprouts are rich in antioxidants like phenolic acids, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, flavonoids, and more.
  • Mung bean antioxidants counteract the effects of free radicals, which are frequently linked to heart disease, chronic inflammation, and cancer.
  • In comparison to regular mung beans, sprout mung beans have six times more antioxidants.
  • Asians usually consume mung bean soup during the summers as mung beans have anti-inflammatory properties that protect against heat strokes by keeping the body hydrated.
  • Antioxidants like vitexin and isovitexin are also present in mung beans which also help cells in defending against free radicals that arise during heat strokes.
  • Mung beans can also reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering the dangerous LDL cholesterol.
  • A diet rich in legumes can lower blood LDL cholesterol levels by 5%.
  • According to studies, one in every three Americans has excessive blood pressure, which can lead to a serious cardiac disease. Mung beans contain potassium, dietary fiber, and magnesium, all of which assist in reducing blood pressure in adults with or without high blood pressure.
  • Mung beans also improve your digestive health. They are rich in dietary fiber, which maintains healthy bowel movements. It also contains resistant starch that helps in the digestion of fatty acids. Mung beans also contain butyrate that nourishes the colon cells and lowers the risk of colon cancer.
  • Mung bean carbs are less likely to produce flatulence than other legume carbs.
  • Mung beans help people lose weight since they are high in protein and fiber. Protein and fiber, both suppress hunger hormones while also releasing hormones that help you feel full. By curbing the appetite, they reduce calorie intake and thus, result in weight loss.
  • Pregnant women are frequently recommended to eat folate-rich foods to promote the healthy growth and development of the baby. Mung beans are high in folate and also contain protein, fiber, and iron, all of which are essential nutrients for pregnant women.
  • Pregnant women should however eat only cooked mung beans as raw mung bean sprouts are more prone to attract bacteria and cause infection.
  • Mung beans also contain anti-cancer properties.

Nutritional Value Of Mung Beans

Mung beans are believed to be one of the richest sources of protein among plant-based foods, making them especially beneficial for vegans or those who live in areas where protein-rich foods are scarce. They include a considerable quantity of folate, fiber, complex carbs, and different vitamins and minerals, in addition to protein.

  • One cup of boiled mung beans contains around 212 calories, 0.02 oz (0.8 g) fat, 0.5 oz (14.2 g) protein, 1.36 oz (38.7 g) carbohydrates, and 0.54 oz (15.4 g) of fiber.
  • It also contains significant amounts of folate, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, potassium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.
  • Mung beans are among the richest plant-based sources of protein and essential amino acids (acids that the human body cannot manufacture on its own), including phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, arginine, lysine, and others.
  • Mung beans contain several antioxidants like phenolic acids, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, and flavonoids.
  • Sprouted mung beans contain more antioxidants and amino acids but fewer calories compared to regular mung beans.
  • Sprouted mung beans reduce the level of phytic acid, an antinutrient that reduces the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
  • Mung beans contain low amounts of fat. Hence, they are not a good source of healthy fats but can be cooked with oils, seeds, and nuts, which are considered to be rich in fats.
  • One cup of cooked mung beans can supply up to 80% of the daily required amount of vitamins and minerals.
  • Mung beans are gluten-free and a fantastic alternative for people who are allergic to gluten or suffering from celiac disease.
  • While dried mung beans contain 8% of vitamin C, sprouted beans include many more amounts of vitamin C. This particular vitamin acts as an antioxidant and helps in boosting immunity and fighting against the oxygen-induced free radicals present in the human body.
  • Mung beans include copper and iron, which aid in the synthesis of blood cells in the body.
  • The potassium included in mung beans helps in decreasing blood pressure.
  • Mung beans contain phosphorus that protects bones and teeth and manganese that helps in the development of connective tissues.
  • The magnesium present in mung beans ensures healthy nerve functioning.
Written By
Akshita Rana

<p>With a Master's in Management from the University of Manchester and a degree in Business Management from St. Xavier's, Jaipur, India, Akshita has worked as a content writer in the education sector. She previously collaborated with a school and an education company to improve their content, showcasing her skills in writing and education. Akshita is multilingual and enjoys photography, poetry, and art in her free time, which allows her to bring a creative touch to her work as a writer at Kidadl.</p>

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