What are mung beans? A mung bean is a green legume that is similar to lentils or peas. Another name for mung beans is the moong bean or the green gram, and the scientific name of mung bean is Vigna radiate.1For those wondering where do mung beans come from, the mung bean plant is most commonly found in India, China, and Southeast Asia.1 This legume is available in two different varieties – a whole green mung bean, which is how the bean is typically enjoyed, or yellow mung beans, which are spilt mung beans that have already been hulled and spilt for easy cooking and convenience. Another variety is the mung bean sprout, which is typically known as a bean sprout, and is popular in many Asian dishes.
In this article, the Better Health Organization will look at the various benefits of mung beans, their nutritional value, along with other facts about mung beans and how to properly cook them.
Mung Beans Benefits
Are mung beans good for you? Are mung beans healthy? The simple answer is yes, there are various mung bean health benefits.
The top health benefits of mung beans include:
- Source of Protein and Amino Acids
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
- High in Dietary Fiber
- Anti-Inflammatory Activity
- Antioxidant Activity
Mung beans and mung bean sprouts are nutrient rich and are often enjoyed as a common vegetable dish or salad topping. Organic mung beans have been used since ancient times for detoxification and to increase mental clarity, among many other things.1 Scientific evidence has shown that eating a diet rich in legumes like mung beans can lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.3
- Source of protein and amino acids
Mung beans are considered a high source of protein, making them an excellent option for vegetarians. One mung bean is made up of approximately 20-24% protein, and a regular 100 gram serving of mung beans can contain 14.6 – 33 grams of protein.2 Protein is essential to the human diet as it helps the body repair and build new cells. These beans also contain essential amino acids, and are known to be easily digested.1
- Rich in Vitamins and minerals
Mung beans are rich in many vitamins and minerals that are essential for the maintenance of good health. Mung beans are a good source of vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and calcium. In fact, a 100 gram serving can contain 5.9 – 7.6 grams of iron.2
- High in Dietary Fiber
Mung beans are also considered to be high in dietary fiber, with 16 grams in a 100 gram serving. Eating food high in fiber is important for a balanced diet and to improve overall digestion. Fiber is also bulky and helps you to feel full, helping to increase satiety without increasing calorie intake.
- Anti-inflammatory activity
Besides being nutrient dense, mung bean benefits also include soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. These beans have traditionally been used in Asia to prevent heat stroke, fever and reduce swelling during the hot summer months.1
- Antioxidant activity
This type of bean is also said to have high antioxidant properties that come from not only the mung bean, but the seeds and sprouts as well.1 Antioxidants are an important part of the human diet as they protect the body from free radicals and oxidative damage.
Mung Beans Nutrition
For those still wondering about mung bean nutrition, these tiny beans are packed with many nutrients our bodies need. When consuming mung beans, calories per serving are high enough to form the base of a vegetarian meal, and are high in protein, vitamins and minerals. The combination of mung beans fiber content, protein, and fats make them very filling and satiating.
Per serving of mung beans (100 grams) there are approximately 347 calories, 1.2 grams of fat, and 63 grams of carbohydrates. There are 16 grams of fiber in mung beans and 24 grams of protein. Mung bean sprouts nutrition is similar in content to the bean, but lower in the amounts. There are approximately 30 calories per serving of bean sprouts, 3 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of fiber, 5.9 grams of carbohydrates and less than one gram of fat.
How To Cook Mung Beans
Cooking mung beans is actually quite easy and can be done in a variety of different ways. The bean can be boiled, sautéed in a fry pan, or even put in the microwave.
While this bean can be easily added to various dishes, the seeds can also be dried and ground into a mung bean powder. You can use this mung bean flour in recipes to replace typical wheat flour. Ground mung beans can be used to create pancake batter, or even pizza dough. Mung bean soup is made by soaking the beans for 6 to 12 hours and then grinding into a paste. The mung bean is also used to make a traditional Chinese dessert called mooncake or mung bean cake.
A popular question many ask is how to cook mung beans sprouts? These sprouts can be cooked or enjoyed raw on top of a salad, soup, or stir-fry.
How to Stir Fry Mung Bean Sprouts:
- Put one tablespoon of oil into a pan.
- Heat over medium heat until the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, but not smoking.
- Fry for one to two minutes, stirring constantly. Use as a topping for various dishes.
For those wondering how to keep mung bean sprouts fresh, they are best kept in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Do not wash the bean sprouts until you are ready to use.
How To Cook Mung Mean Noodles
Mung bean noodles are a type of Asian noodle that is used in a variety of stir-fry dishes and soups. The mung bean noodle is made by dehydrating mung bean starch into long strands. To cook this type of noodle, simply boil a pot of water on the stove top and drop the noodles into the boiling water. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the noodles look translucent. Drain the noodles and add to the dish of your choice.
Where to Buy Mung Beans
For those wondering where to purchase dried mung beans, cooked mung beans or mung bean seeds, they can all be purchased at most supermarkets or health food stores. The beans can also be purchased online at Amazon or Walmart.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Tang, D., Dong, Y., Ren, H., Li, L., & He, C. (2014). A review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common food mung bean and its sprouts (Vigna radiata). Chemistry Central Journal, 8, 4. http://doi.org/10.1186/1752-153X-8-4
- Dahiya, P. K., Linnemann, A. R., Khetarpaul, N., Grewal, R. B., Nout, M. J. R., Van Boekel, M. A. J. S., (2015). Mung Bean: Technological and Nutritional Potential. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 670-688. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2012.671202
- Polak, R., Phillips, E. M., & Campbell, A. (2015). Legumes: Health Benefits and Culinary Approaches to Increase Intake. Clinical Diabetes : A Publication of the American Diabetes Association, 33(4), 198–205. http://doi.org/10.2337/diaclin.33.4.198