Advertisement
The mung bean is a member of the Leguminosae family, the third largest family of flowering plants. These green-colored, oval beans are widely grown and consumed in India, China, Japan, Bangladesh, as well as certain regions in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. The completely dried, peeled, and split, yellow-colored form is widely known as mung dal (or moong dal). Mung beans are commonly referred to, as 'nutritional powerhouses' and can be included in our daily meals through a variety of easy ways.

Reading Food Labels
(Evaluate your nutrient intake per serving)
  • Low-carb: Total carbohydrates less than 10 g
  • Sugar-free: Less than 0.5 g
  • Low-fat: Less than 3 g
  • Low-saturated fat: Less than 1 g
  • Fat-free: Less than 0.5 g
  • Low-cholesterol: Less than 20 mg
  • Cholesterol-free: Less than 2 mg
  • Low-salt: Less than 140 mg
  • Salt-free: Less than 5 mg
  • High-fiber: More than 5 g


Overview

Mung beans have a high protein content, and hence are quite popular among vegetarians. Along with protein, they are also rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and absorption of food. They play a vital role in cholesterol metabolism, and thus control blood cholesterol levels. As compared to whole mung beans, the carbohydrate content in mung bean sprouts is much less (4-6 g). Hence they are always included in low-carb diets. This, coupled with a low sugar content, makes it a good choice for people with diabetes.

The following charts give an overview of the nutrient contents, as well as a detailed account of the vitamins, minerals, and lipid profile of 100g whole green mung beans and 100g green mung sprouts. The health benefits offered by them have also been explained.

*All the nutrient values given are as per the National Nutrient Database maintained by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

Whole Beans (Cooked/Boiled)
Nutrient Amount
Carbohydrates 19.15 g
Proteins 7.02 g
Fats (Lipids) 0.38 g
Sugar 2.00 g
Dietary Fiber 7.60 g
Water 72.66 g
Energy 105 kcal
Bean Sprouts (Raw)
Nutrient Amount
Carbohydrates 5.94 g
Proteins 3.04 g
Fats (Lipids) 0.18 g
Sugar 4.13 g
Dietary Fiber 1.80 g
Water 90.40 g
Energy 30 kcal
Vitamins

Mung beans are a rich source of vitamin A, B, C, E, and K. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy vision, and also aids in bone development. It also helps strengthen the immune system. Thiamine or vitamin B1 ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system, and is also involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates to release energy. Riboflavin and Niacin (vitamins B2 and B3 respectively) are important regulators of metabolic processes and various cellular functions. Folate or folic acid helps in the formation and maturation of red blood cells, and also assists in protein metabolism. Vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, an important component of connective tissues. Moreover, vitamins A, C, and E act as antioxidants and protect cells or cellular components from free radicals. Vitamin K plays a major role in the formation of proteins required for blood clotting.

Whole Beans (Cooked/Boiled)
Vitamin Amount
Vitamin A (Retinol) 1 mcg_RAE*
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.16 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.06 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.58 mg
Vitamin B6 0.07 mg
Folate 159 mcg_DFE#
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 1.00 mcg
Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol) 0.15 mg
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone) 2.70 mcg
*RAE = Retinol Activity Equivalent
Bean Sprouts (Raw)
Vitamin Amount
Vitamin A (Retinol) 1 mcg_RAE*
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.08 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.12 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.75 mg
Vitamin B6 0.09 mg
Folate 61 mcg_DFE#
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 13.20 mcg
Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol) 0.10 mg
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone) 33.00 mcg
#DFE = Dietary Folate Equivalent
Minerals

Mung beans contain a host of minerals. Potassium is required for the proper functioning of cardiac muscles, whereas magnesium relaxes the arteries and veins resulting in an increased flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Calcium is necessary for teeth and bone health, whereas iron is crucial for the formation of hemoglobin, and plays an important role in the various metabolic processes. Zinc aids in the growth and repair of tissues, boosts the immune system, and plays an important role in sperm survival. In addition to these, copper and selenium are also present in trace amounts.

Whole Beans (Cooked/Boiled)
Mineral Amount
Potassium 266 mg
Phosphorus 99 mg
Magnesium 48 mg
Calcium 27 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Iron 1.40 mg
Zinc 0.84 mg
Bean Sprouts (Raw)
Mineral Amount
Potassium 149 mg
Phosphorus 54 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Calcium 13 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Iron 0.91 mg
Zinc 0.41 mg
Lipid Profile

Mung beans are not only low in fat but are also cholesterol-free. Hence they are recommended for people who want to lose weight. Sprouted beans have lower fat content compared to whole bean preparations. Therefore, salads prepared from sprouted beans are generally preferred over the whole bean ones, as far as weight loss is concerned.

Whole Beans (Cooked/Boiled)
Fatty Acid Amount
Monounsaturated 0.05 g
Polyunsaturated 0.13 g
Saturated 0.12 g
Total Fat 0.38 g
Bean Sprouts (Raw)
Fatty Acid Amount
Monounsaturated 0.02 g
Polyunsaturated 0.06 g
Saturated 0.05 g
Total Fat 0.18 g
Health Benefits

In Ayurveda mung beans have special importance, and are known to enhance the immune system.
Mung beans are easily digestible, and hence are recommended for people with a weak digestive system.
These beans have anti-carcinogenic properties, and hence form a common ingredient in many Chinese recipes.
Modern studies have helped to verify these traditional remedies. For example, studies at the University of Milan, Italy, revealed that some of the proteins present in their cotyledons, become active upon digestion and have anti-carcinogenic potential.
A detailed study of the compounds present in mung bean sprouts, revealed that certain proteins present in their cotyledons, have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Their ability to neutralize toxicity makes them an important ingredient of several detox diets.
Due to a high nutritive quotient, they are an important ingredient in various nutraceutical formulations and protein supplements.
Mung bean powder serves as an effective facial scrub, and is used in various homemade as well as commercially available herbal scrubs and face packs intended for acne treatment.
The above benefits of mung beans can be gained by including them in soups, pastas, curries, cereals, etc. Even a simple sprout salad, using raw sprouts or stir-fried sprouts, will help to enrich your regular meal. Delicacies involving mung bean noodles can also serve as a healthy addition. Pancakes, made out of ground mung beans (or a mixture of legumes of your choice), is another tasty preparation that will cater to your nutrient as well as taste requirements. Whichever way, a regular consumption of mung beans is a definite way to balance your diet, and ensure a healthy life.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.