Mung beans might be small, but they’re big on nutrition. Most definitely. It’s easy to put down these yellow-green roundish balls that are many times smaller than a young child’s common marble. However, hold your horses. Don’t dismiss them yet. Your life may depend on it. With a slew of degenerative diseases threatening the heart of America, it’s a no-brainer. You need all the help you can get. And yes, you would certainly be better off making the most of this Asian produce than not doing so.
Being an annual plant, the vine itself that produces mung beans lives somewhat solitary existence. It lives for only a year producing strings of beans once. Then dying off after some time. So in this sense, the vine exists only to produce those bean seeds. Yes, indeed. As the case of many legumes, the beans carry the breed forward. That’s why if you’re to put mung beans to water, they will sprout in as little as 4 hours. Even less. Given the right conditions. All this is good news for you, however. It only means you can have greater access to the wonderful benefits of this wonderful gift from above. Read on.
History of Mung Beans
If you think the mung beans (Vigna radiata) comes from Asia, then you might not be mistaken. Most definitely part of the legume family, these beans are a regular cuisine in many Asian cities. The breed is heavily cultivated in India and Southeast Asia. China to Sri Lanka. It has become so much a part of Asian dishes, there are a hundred and one ways to prepare it for the dining table, in respective countries that is.
To note, however, the mung bean is of Persian origin. Persia, present-day Iran, is where it was first domesticated from the wild plant Vigna radiata with subspecies sublobata. But that was long, long ago.
Today, there are many archaeological sites in present-day India which produced carbonized mung beans. Amazing, right? From India, the use of this nutritious yet cheap mung beans spread quickly from India to neighboring China – eventually to the whole of Asia. Though not a staple in the US and in Europe, their use is gaining ground with experts pushing for their excellent nutritional content.
Oh, well. If you take one cup of mung beans (202 grams more or less) cook it, then you may get the following, in an approximation of course:
- Calcium (54.5 mg)
- Niacin (1.2 mg)
- Selenium (5.1 micrograms)
- Vitamin B6 (0.1 mg)
- Zinc (1.7 mg)
- Potassium (537 mg)
- Copper (0.3 mg)
- Iron (2.8 mg)
- Phosphorous (200 mg)
- Fiber (15.4 g)
- Protein (14.2 g)
Above all, you’re getting energy amounting to 212 calories. Not bad. And to note, this is just a partial list. There are a lot more nutrients that await you.
Mung Benefits Galore
To add to it all, you’re doing yourself a huge favor when taking in mung beans. Some of the essentials are:
1. Heart Health
Surprise, surprise. A Biomed Research study in 2017 shows that “legume consumption” gives protection against deaths caused by heart disease. And certainly, mung beans is part of that prestigious list of legumes. Further, a 2011 study in the Journal of Toxicology reveals how mung beans can effectively minimize oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol Note: it is progressive oxidation that chokes the flow of blood in the arteries.
Once oxidation is unchecked, a person may suffer from adverse cardio events. We’re talking about stroke and heart attack. Today, America may be the most powerful nation in the world is a superpower. And yet, over 600,000 Americans succumb to heart disease yearly. That’s a lot, given that the nation’s population is not even half a billion. It is worth noting that it is the encroachment of LDL that blocks the flow of blood, causing cardiac arrest.
2. Lower High Blood Pressure
Without a doubt, hypertension is another lethal health complication. A Chemistry Journal Central research published in 2014 point out how the consumption of mung bean sprouts led to substantial lowering down of systolic blood pressure. The experts further theorized that the presence of peptides in mung beans directly placed high blood pressure at bay.
Amazing. It’s really hard to imagine why such small roundish balls of beans can carry so much in terms of health benefits. But it’s true. And we’re definitely not kidding. Research done at the CFNS (College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering) in China Agricultural University pointed out the vital antioxidants in mung beans for the fight against cancer. Specifically, the study revealed that its cancer-fighting properties come from powerful flavonoids namely isovitexin and vitexin. It was found out that these compounds are able to locate free radicals almost at will. Thereby, lowering oxidative process that leads to cancer.
4. Contain Diabetes (Type 2)
Now, the list seems to get a lot more surprising. But research in the Crop Sciences Institute in China showed that indeed mung beans can be a great way to combat and/or prevent diabetes. In their experiment, the Chinese researchers fed rats with supplements made of mung beans. They found out that those rats get to have their blood glucose lowered. And with this came the lowering of triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Even better, these rats upped their glucose tolerance and insulin responsiveness.
5. Fights Pathogens
Research has shown that these small green beans are antimicrobial – thanks to a host of phytonutrients these contain. Added to this, mung beans have strong anti-inflammatory properties. So powerful are its disease-fighting prowess that isolated compounds from these beans have been utilized to prevent food from spoilage – reducing unwanted waste in the process. Not only are these antimicrobial, but these are also antibacterial. So much eating mung beans can step up your immunity – protecting you from the onslaught of simple colds for instance. Or for that matter, harmful pathogens. Bacteria and viruses including.
With all this in the menu, it’s a no-brainer. It’s safe to say it’s but a matter of time before the world goes crazy about mung beans. And be happier for it.