Mung beans â a type of small, green legume in the same plant family as peas and lentils â is a high source of protein, fiber, antioxidantsÂ and phytonutrients. Although in most parts of the world theyâre less popular than other bean varieties, like chickpeas or black beans, mung beans have some huge health benefits to offer!
While mung beans may be new to most people in the U.S, theyâve been a part of traditional Ayurvedic diets in India for thousands of years. Mung beans are considered Â âone of the most cherished foodsâ in the ancient Indian practice thatâs been a traditional form of medicine since roughly 1,500 B.C.
These days, mung beans are beginning to pop up in protein powders, canned soups and in restaurant dishes state-side. So hereâs what you need to know about mung beans:
- Mung beans are a high source of nutrients including: manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins.
- They are also a very filling food, high in protein, resistant starch and dietary fiber.
- You can find mung beans in dried powder form, as whole uncooked beans, âsplit-peeledâ form (just like youâd find split green peas), as bean noodles, and also as sprouted seeds (which areÂ the kind youâd see used on sandwiches or salads).
- Their dried seeds may be eaten raw, cooked (whole or split), fermented, or milled and ground into flour.
- Because of their high nutrient density, mung beans are considered useful in defending against several chronic, age-related diseases, includingÂ heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Clinical evidence continues to show that plant-derived foods have various potential health benefits, including lowering inflammation. Health experts recommend that plant-based foodsÂ make up a large portion of every personâs diet, and many worldwide health organizations have recommended an increase in the intake of plant-derived foods to improve health status and to prevent chronic diseases. Among plant-based sources of protein and nutrients, mung beans are one of the foods gathering the most attention.
As youâll come to learn, mung beans are one of the healthiest sources of plant protein there is when you consider how many other nutrients they contain in addition to amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). As the Journal of Chemistry Central puts it, âmung beans have biological activities including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive and antitumor effects.â (1)
Mung Beans Nutrition Facts
One cup of cooked mung beans contains the following (percentages based on the RDAs for the average adult female): (2)
- Â 212 calories
- 14 grams of protein
- 15 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of fat
- 4 grams of sugar
- 321 micrograms ofÂ folate (100%)
- 97 milligrams ofÂ magnesium (36%)
- 0.33 milligrams ofÂ vitamin b1 thiamine (36%)
- 0.6 milligrams of manganese (33%)
- 7 milligrams of zinc (24%)
- 0.8 milligrams ofÂ vitamin B5 pantothenic acid (8%)
- 0.13 milligrams ofÂ vitamin B6 (11%)
- 55 milligrams ofÂ calcium (5%)
If you choose to sprout mung beans and eat them raw, each cup will only have about 31 calories and will provide about three grams of protein and two grams of fiber.