The mung bean (scientific name – Vigna radiata) has been consumed as a common food in China for over 2,000 years.
In the present day, it is extensively grown in subtropical and tropical Asia due to its wider range of adaptability.
Its dried seeds may be eaten cooked (split or whole), raw, fermented, or milled and ground into flour.
1 cup (202g) of cooked mung beans contains:
- 212 calories;
- 15.4g Fiber – 61% daily value;
- 14.2g Protein – 28%;
- 54.1IU Vitamin A – 1%;
- 2mg Vitamin C – 1%;
- 0.3mg Vitamin E – 3%;
- 5.5mcg Vitamin K – 7%;
- 0.3mg Thiamine – 22%;
- 0.1mg Riboflavin – 7%;
- 1.2mg Niacin – 6%;
- 0.1mg Vitamin B6 – 7%;
- 321mcg Folate – 80%;
- 0.8mg Pantothenic Acid – 8%;
- 54.5mg Calcium – 5%;
- 2.8mg Iron – 16%;
- 97mg Magnesium – 24%;
- 200mg Phosphorus – 20%;
- 537mg Potassium – 15%;
- 1.7mg Zinc – 11%;
- 0.3mg Copper – 16%;
- 0.6mg Manganese – 30%;
- 5.1mcg Selenium – 7%.
In addition, these beans contain isoflavone, flavone, isoflavonoids, and flavonoids.
These beans have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiproliferative, hepatoprotective, topical anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, and hypoglycemic properties.
Below is a full list of their benefits:
Folate is a B-complex vitamin that is needed to make new cells in the human body, including red blood cells.
Lack of folate in the regular diet of a pregnant woman will negatively influence the process of fetal development, possibly leading to health risks to infants, like – neural tube defects and underweight.
Folate is vital for the formation of DNA within every body cell. In addition, folate along with other B vitamins is important for nerve function.
According to recent research, low folate levels in semen is linked with poor sperm DNA stability.
Signs and symptoms of a deficiency in folate include:
- premature hair graying;
- poor immune function;
- pale skin;
- changes in mood, including irritability;
- canker sores in the mouth and a swollen tongue;
- developmental problems during pregnancy and infancy;
- poor digestion;
- chronic low energy.
1 cup of these beans has 321 mcg of folate that is about 80 percent of the daily recommended intake.
Proteins are a group of biological compounds that are present in every organ, live cell, and tissue of the human body.
Health benefits of proteins include smooth functioning and production of enzymes and hormones and proper muscular and cellular health.
Moreover, protein plays an important role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in the human body.
A severe protein deficiency can lead to poor growth in childhood and adolescence and muscle loss.
1 cup of these beans has 14.2 g of protein that is about 28% of the daily recommended intake.
Thiamine, also referred to as vitamin B1, aids in the functioning of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the brain, and helps the body convert food into energy.
Thiamine is also important for metabolizing carbohydrates. Other benefits of thiamine include:
- alleviates dental pain if taken before a dental procedure;
- enables the human body to use oxygen for energy storage;
- reduces constipation;
- alleviates the feeling of nausea from airsickness;
- acts as an antioxidant, stopping the damage caused by free radicals;
- aids with hydrochloric acid production that helps in the digestive process;
- keeps mucous membranes healthy;
- aids with red blood cell production;
- helps achieve a healthy mental attitude.
1 cup of these beans has 0.3 mg thiamine which is about 22 percent of the daily recommended intake.
It is one of several naturally occurring minerals required to promote optimum health.
For example, zinc stimulates the body to replicate DNA as well as it is required for healthy growth and a strong immune system.
Without adequate levels of this mineral, it is possible to experience negative reactions such as:
- hair thinning/loss;
- solid white dots on your nails;
- poor wound healing;
- stunted growth;
- poor concentration;
- feeling like you are always tired and run down;
- frequently getting sick.
The RDA for zinc is 8 mg per day for women and 11 mg per day for men. 1 cup of these beans has 1.7 mg zinc which is approximately 11 percent of the daily recommended intake.
The body contains 1.4 mg to 2.1 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight, mainly in the muscles and bones.
Copper has potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and can inhibit the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Adenovirus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium difficile, fungi, and Esecheria Coli.
The minimum daily requirement of this mineral is 3 mg a day. Inadequate copper intake can lead to a deficiency of white blood cells.
1 cup of these beans has 0.3 mg copper that is approximately 16% of the daily recommended intake.
Manganese is an essential trace mineral that the body requires to function properly.
It is used for rebuilding connective tissue and regulating your blood sugar. A deficiency in manganese can affect metabolism in adipose cells and glucose transport.
1 cup of these beans has 0.6 mg manganese that is approximately 30 percent of the daily recommended intake.
Fiber is an indigestible type of carbohydrate found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains.
The main advantage of a diet high in dietary fiber is the improvement of the digestive system’s health.
In addition, increasing your daily intake with 10g of fiber per day reduces your LDL and total cholesterol levels by about 10%.
1 cup of these beans has 15.4 g of fiber that is approximately 61% of the daily recommended intake.
Recipe (beans + rice)
- 1 15–15½-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained;
- 1 cup chopped onion;
- 4 cups water;
- ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper;
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt;
- 4 garlic cloves, minced;
- 1 tablespoon hot Spanish smoked paprika;
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin;
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste;
- 3 bay leaves;
- 3 cups long-grain white rice.
In a medium saucepan, add bell pepper, onion, tomato paste, and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Season with salt. Add cumin, rice, bay leaves, and hot Spanish smoked paprika; stir, and cook for 1m. Add beans and stir. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25m.
Side Effects of Mung Beans (Vigna radiata)
Some people can experience increased flatulence. However, according to a study done by the Arizona State University in Phoenix, increasing beans in the diet may result in more flatulence only initially. This is most likely due to the increase in dietary fiber in one’s diet.
These beans also have lectins, a class of proteins that plants produce partially in order to protect themselves against pests, microorganisms, and insects. But, soaking the beans overnight and changing the water often reduces their lectin content by about 90 percent.
Image credit – Shutterstock
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