The Mighty Mung Bean – A Nutritional Powerhouse

Shantha Kalia

Mung beans, also called moong beans or green gram, have long been associated with natural healing due to its nutritional and medicinal value.  It is a native of the Indian subcontinent and widely cultivated in the Asian countries of India, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, etc.  It has held its own against other common nutrient-rich legumes due to its affordability and health benefits.

Nutritional Value of Mung Beans

A serving of mung beans contains only 31 calories.  It provides about 2 grams of dietary fiber, which is nearly eight percent of the recommended daily dose.  It is an ideal low-calorie snack as it helps you feel full quickly.  It is ideal for weight management due to its low fat content, only 0.19 gram per serving.  Proteins constitute a vital part of our diet, and essential to renew and replenish cells.  Mung beans contain 3.2 grams of protein per one cup serving.  A single serving also provides 23 percent of the daily value of   vitamin C, and 43 percent of daily value of vitamin K.

Sprouted Mung Beans

The most widely consumed sprouts, mung bean sprouts are baby mung bean plants, and because they are so tiny, they pack a concentrated amount of vital vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and folate.  Enzymes are produced during sprouting, which makes it easier for our bodies to digest and metabolize proteins.  During sprouting, there is a corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content as vitamins, minerals, and protein content increases.  Dried mung beans have a low water content that is increased nearly tenfold when it sprouts.

Sprouted mung beans contain significant amounts of ascorbic acid, which are important in protein metabolism.

Health Benefits of Mung Beans

  • Mung beans are recommended for pregnant and childbearing women due to its high content of folic acid, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
  • Due to its high vitamin C content, mung beans improve the immune system keeping fever, sore throat, cold, etc, away.
  • Mung beans are a rich source of protein and ideal for a vegan diet.
  • Cholesterol levels are maintained at healthy limits with a diet rich in mung beans because of their high fiber content and low fat content.  The soluble fiber in mung beans help lower bad cholesterol or LDL.  This helps to maintain flexibility of arteries and veins, thereby regulating blood pressure at optimal levels.
  • Mung beans are a vital part of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine where it is recommended to detoxify the body to rid of chronic illnesses.
  • Mung beans have a low glycemic index, which renders it a diabetes-friendly dietary source that helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Mung bean soup is an ideal food for sick and convalescing people.
  • Mung beans are cooling in nature, and recommended to prevent heat stroke.

Mung beans are easy to cook and can be easily incorporated into soups and stews.  Cooked with lentils and vegetables, mung beans are an excellent accompaniment with rice or flatbreads.  Mung beans are used to prepare porridge for convalescents, as it is easy to digest.

Sources for this article include:

About the Author: Shantha Kalia is a health care professional at a New York City hospital. She completed her masters in Public Health, and has worked in various capacities in health care for over 15 years. She is a freelancer and contributes articles to various websites on various medical and health-related topics. Her interests include health and wellness, diet and nutrition, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To read more articles by Shantha, please visit
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