Mung beans, also known as green gram, moong dal, or just mung, are small, green beans that are packed with nutrients and have been consumed for thousands of years.
These beans originated in India but are now grown and eaten all over the world.
Mung beans have long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for their wide range of health benefits.
Modern science is now confirming many of the traditional health claims about mung beans. Keep reading to learn more about what makes mung beans so nutritious and all the ways they can improve your health.
What Are Mung Beans?
Mung beans (Vigna radiata) are in the legume family along with beans, peas, and lentils. The mung bean plant is a vine with yellow flowers and long, thin pods.
Inside the pods are green mung beans that are eaten whole or split. When split, mung beans are called moong dal. Mung beans can be eaten cooked or sprouted.
Sprouted mung beans are often added to salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, and other dishes.
Cooked mung beans are soft and easy to digest. They have a mild, nutty flavor. Mung bean noodles and mung bean powders are also made from ground, cooked mung beans.
Mung bean flour is used to make noodles or breads.
10 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Mung Beans
High in Antioxidants
Mung beans contain lots of antioxidants, including phenolic acids, flavonoids, and vitamins C and E. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
This may lower inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers.
The antioxidants in mung beans give them anti-aging effects to keep your skin looking youthful.
The high fiber content of mung beans improves digestion in several ways. Fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food move through the intestines more easily.
This can relieve constipation. Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which supports the growth of healthy gut flora.
The manganese in mung beans also helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol.
Promote Heart Health
The nutrients in mung beans help protect cardiovascular health. Fiber scrapes cholesterol out of the blood vessels and antioxidants prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
The folate, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6 in mung beans also support heart health.
Iron improves red blood cell production and circulation.
Regulate Blood Sugar
Mung beans have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause big spikes in blood sugar. The protein and fiber in mung beans slow the absorption of carbohydrates to prevent insulin spikes.
For people with diabetes, mung beans can help stabilize blood sugar levels. The magnesium in mung beans also increases insulin sensitivity.
Provide Plant-Based Protein
Mung beans are considered a great source of plant-based protein. A one-cup serving of cooked mung beans contains about 15 grams of protein.
The protein in mung beans contains essential amino acids like phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, arginine,
and more. For vegetarians and vegans, mung beans provide high-quality protein.
Help Lose Weight
The combination of protein, fiber, and slow-digesting carbs make mung beans excellent for weight loss. Protein and fiber improve satiety to curb appetite and reduce calorie intake throughout the day.
By stabilizing blood sugar, mung beans also prevent energy crashes and sugar cravings.
May Prevent Cancer
Some studies have found that mung bean extracts may have anticancer effects against colorectal cancer, liver cancer, and cervical cancer cells.
This is likely due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in mung beans. More research is needed to confirm these potential anti-cancer benefits.
Reduce Bad Cholesterol
The soluble fiber in mung beans has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
One study found that eating 75 grams of mung bean powder daily for three months significantly reduced LDL cholesterol in overweight people.
The antioxidants in mung beans also prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized.
Improve Immune Function
Mung beans are packed with nutrients that support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants create a strong defense against pathogens and toxins.
The iron in mung beans prevents anemia and low energy. Overall, these nutrients keep your immune system strong to fight disease.
Promote Bone Health
Mung beans provide several nutrients that are important for maintaining healthy bones. This includes magnesium, iron, zinc copper, vitamin K, and calcium.
One study on rats found that mung bean extract strengthened bones and prevented bone loss from oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory effects of mung beans also help reduce bone damage.
Mung beans have clearly earned their place as a prized food in traditional medicine. Modern science has now confirmed many of the touted health benefits.
With their stellar nutritional profile, mung beans can improve digestion, heart health, immunity, blood sugar regulation, weight management, and more.
Mung beans are readily available and easy to incorporate into many dishes.
Try sprouting them, adding them to soups, making mung bean noodles, or simply boiling them until soft for a healthy plant-based protein. With so many advantages, mung beans are a smart addition to any diet.
Yes, mung beans are very healthy. They are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Mung beans provide many benefits for digestion, heart health, blood sugar regulation, weight loss, immunity, and more
Mung beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. They also contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and phenolic acids.
Yes, mung bean noodles (also called cellophane noodles or glass noodles) are very healthy. They are made from ground mung beans so they retain all the fiber, protein, and nutrients found in whole mung beans. Mung bean noodles are gluten-free and low-carb but packed with nutrition.
Yes, mung bean sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. Mung bean sprouts are crunchy with a fresh, mild taste. They often used raw in salads, sandwiches, spring rolls and on top of noodle or stir fry dishes. Sprouting makes the antioxidants in mung beans more bioavailable