Mung bean or more commonly known as “moong dal” in Hindi is a type of small, green legume belonging to the bean family similar to black bean or chickpeas. Although it is a bit less popular compared to its other family members, it is extremely nutritious and contains a plethora of proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Mung beans have been used as an ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicines for thousands of years and their benefits are still unquestioned. However, the magical ingredient has now lost its place in the kitchen shelves and is found mostly in boxes of protein shakes and supplements, canned soups and in restaurant side dishes etc. Mung beans can be found in dried powder form as well as uncooked beans, split and peeled form, as bean noodles and also as sprouted seeds normally used in salads and sandwiches.
How to Eat
Mung beans can be consumed raw (sprouted) or cooked. It can also be served as a main dish, soup, stew or dessert. They could be consumed whole or made as flour, bread, snacks, soups, noodles, porridge and ice cream. Similar to black grams and lentils, split mung beans can be cooked and served with rice or chappati. The extract of starch from mung beans is used in the preparation of jellies.
Mung beans are packed with a plethora of nutrients, fibres and antioxidants. They contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres and a large amount of copper. Talking about vitamins, mung beans possess Vitamin K, B2, B9, B3, B5, B1 and B6. mung beans also contain a significant amount of copper, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium. It is also rich in a variety of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, A, selenium and Beta carotene.
BENEFITS OF MUNG BEANS
Mung beans are a storehouse of nutrients and proteins and have numerous health benefits to offer. They not only prevent diseases like diabetes but also make our bodies stronger and healthier. Some of the prominent health benefits of mung beans are listed below.
Benefits of mung beans for the skin
Signs of aging are a serious concern for women who are the most concerned about their health and skin. Although eventually wrinkles and blemishes are inevitable, early signs of aging can be prevented by adopting healthy eating habits by including food items such as mung beans as a regular ingredient of a person’s diet. Mung beans contain copper, which effectively reduces fine lines and wrinkles appearing on the skin and thus, makes one looks younger. So, to have a youthful refreshing look on your face, switch to a healthy breakfast containing mung beans such as sandwiches or salads.
- Gives a radiant glow to your face
Just like removing wrinkles, the presence of copper in mung beans makes it an ideal ingredient that brings glow and radiance to the face. Mung beans are known for their properties to make human skin shine. This is why mung beans are used in a variety of face packs and face masks. One can also use mung beans facial scrub.
- Reduces acne and clears skin
Mung beans have been characterized as a cooling agent in traditional Chinese texts. Mung beans clear the heart channel and cool down the heat in the blood by removing toxins. This helps in reducing acne and other skin problems, such as mouth ulcers, cold sores, common skin rash, pimples and boils. The phytoestrogen present in mung beans also contributes to nourishing our skin and providing it with a youthful glow.
Benefits of mung beans for hair
- Strengthens hair
Hair problems such as hair fall or thin hair arise due to lack of nutrients in the diet resulting in vitamins’ and minerals’ deficiencies in the body. Mung beans contain a host of vitamins, minerals and proteins which strengthen the core of hair follicles and give one much stronger and thicker hair.
Benefits of mung beans for health
- Regulates metabolism
Digestive problems such as indigestion or acidity occur mainly due to poor metabolism. The dietary fibres present in mung are effective in reducing indigestion and increasing the rate of digestion in the body. The fibres present in mung beans make the faeces soft and enhance the digestion process. They also increase the body’s metabolism which speeds up the processes in the body leading to better health.
- Regulates Cholesterol level in the blood
Cholesterol has become a very common problem these days. It arises due to poor eating habits or lack of exercise. Most heart diseases are caused due to increased cholesterol in the blood. Mung beans increase the digestive and metabolic rate in the body which prevents the formation and accumulation of cholesterol in the capillaries and arteries. Enhanced metabolism and digestion will make your body healthier and keep heart diseases far away.
- Enhances weight loss
Mung beans are rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals but contain very less amounts of both fat and carbohydrates. In fact, one bowl (approximately 100 grams) of mung beans contains only 330 calories. Thus for those looking for a slimmer body, mung beans make a perfect breakfast as it is filling and nutritious but do not make you fat. In fact, increasing the body’s metabolism ensures that the calories burn faster and thus, reduces body fat.
- Regulates blood pressure
It is known that mung beans regulate body fat and cholesterol. Mung beans are a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium eases the blood vessels and lowers hypertension thus keeping blood pressure under control.
- Increases mental focus and alertness
People suffering from problems in concentrating should definitely consume mung beans. Mung beans contain iron, which is responsible for the production of red blood cells. These red blood cells are a major constituent of haemoglobin present in the blood responsible for transporting oxygen to all the parts of the body. With the intake of iron through mung beans, the supply of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body will be enhanced leading to better concentration and memory.
- Detoxes the body
Toxins present in the body are very harmful in the short run as well as in a long run and can lead to chronic diseases like cancer and ulcers. Consumption of mung beans helps in detoxifying your body. Mung beans contain essential nutrients which maintain circulatory health. They flush out the toxins out of the body and restrict the formation of free radicals in the body.
HOME REMEDIES FOR MUNG BEANS
Mung beans natural face mask
Mung beans are a great way to get rid of skin impurities, remove tan, excessive oil, blackheads etc. It deeply exfoliates your skin and leaves you with cleared unclogged pores. To prepare a natural face mask using mung beans, follow the steps given.
- Take one cup of mung beans and grind them to get mung beans powder.
- Add lukewarm water to the powder and mix to form a paste with having thick consistency.
- Apply the mask on your face and let it dry for about 10 mins.
- Thereafter, scrub for another 10 minutes and wash off with plain water.
You can apply this pack once or twice a week. You will feel a difference in your skin soon. This pack will unclog your pores and give you cleaner, healthier skin.
Mung beans natural hair mask
To prepare a hair mask to give that nourishing glowing look to your hair, follow the steps given below.
- Grind dry mung beans to make powder.
- Add green tea water to the powder to make a paste of thick consistency.
- Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil and almond oil.
- Add about a two-third spoon of curd and mix well.
The paste is now ready. You can apply this pack on your hair once a week before shampooing your hair to get rid of dry, frizzy, rough or damaged hair. This pack regulates the pH level of the scalp and reduces dandruff or flaky scalp.
Mung beans mask for acne
Mung beans have deep exfoliating and cleansing properties which make them an effective remedy against acne. This paste can be used for people suffering from acne or blackheads and other skin problems. The anti-inflammatory properties of yogurt reduce the redness of acne and turmeric adds glow to the face.
- Grind dry mung beans to make powder.
- Take about one teaspoon mung bean powder and add one and a half spoon of yogurt and half a spoon of turmeric. Do not add too much turmeric as it can stain the skin.
- Mix the ingredients well to make a thick, soft and creamy paste.
- Apply the mixture on your face and leave for about 5 mins to dry.
- Then wash off with cold or normal water.
Mung beans facial mask
This paste is prepared in a similar way to the other ones mentioned before.
- Take a cup of mung beans in a blender and blend them to get a fine powder. Empty the powder into a bowl.
- Add 2 spoonfuls of yogurt to make a smooth, thick paste.
- Apply the paste on your face and let it stay for 20-30 minutes till it dries.
- Wash off the mask with cold water.
Mung beans are undoubtedly one of the most nutritious food items to include in your daily diet. However, as the old saying goes anything in excess is a poison. The same goes for mung beans too…
- Mung beans are cold in nature and so, they must be consumed in limited quantities.
- Excess quantities of mung beans lead to extremities such as abdominal pain, cold pain in the legs, diarrhoea, digestive diseases, lower back pains, fatigue, chronic gastritis and other cold extremities.
- Patients suffering from yin deficiency should also avoid excessive consumption as it may result in swollen gums, perleche, etc.
- Children of young age or elders having a weak immune system should avoid eating raw sprouts.
- Pregnant women should avoid not only eating but also cooking cold foods like ice-creams, mung beans, watermelons and bananas. Such foods are said to have too many yin qualities which might cause allergies to babies, or in the worst cases miscarriage.
- Lastly, for patients taking medication, especially tonics of warm nature, it is advisable to not consume mung beans as it may reduce the efficacy of treatment due to its cold nature.
Myths and facts about mung beans
- Myth: consumption of mung beans sprouts causes dehydration and blood problems.
Fact: sprouts are healthy dishes and do not cause any problems to the human body when consumed in appropriate amounts. Overconsumption of sprouts can lead to dehydration, stomach aches and cause blood-related issues like blood thinning etc. But occurrences of such extremities are very rare.
- Myth: Mung beans lose all nutrients when boiled.
Fact: Although most pulses and vegetables lose a major proportion of their nutrients during boiling and draining the water, mung beans differ in this aspect. Mung beans retain most of their nutrients such as Vitamins, minerals etc. even after they are boiled.
- Myth: Due to their cold nature, mung beans can cause cold, cough or fever.
Fact: Mung beans are naturally cold in nature which helps them in curing constipation, and many other issues. However, the cold nature does not cause any cold extremity as long as it is taken in proper amounts. Excessive consumption of mung beans may cause certain side effects. Pregnant women should avoid not only eating but also cooking cold foods like ice-creams, mung beans, watermelons and bananas.
Q: How to cook mung beans to make full use of their nutrition while making them easy to digest?
A: Actually the best way to cook mung beans is to make them thoroughly cooked, but not mushy. There are two reasons for doing so: to keep the organic acids and vitamins retained as much as possible as one could, plus get rid of raw bean’s strong smell, which might lead to nausea and vomiting after consumption.
Q: Which form of mung beans offer the highest nutritional value out of sprouted and cooked?
A: Although mung beans retain most of their nutrients even after boiling, they are nevertheless more nutritious when consumed in soaked or sprouted form. However, children, pregnant women, elders and those who have weak immune systems should avoid raw sprouts.