Mung bean is a nutrient-packed, polyphenol-rich food that protects against degenerative disease

Have you heard of mung beans (Vigna radiata)? Mung beans are a type of pulse commonly consumed in Asian countries, including China, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. They may be small, but these beans actually have many health benefits. Research shows that eating this legume can protect you from chronic degenerative diseases.

There is a growing interest in mung bean seeds and sprouts because of their bioactive compounds that have promising potential in the prevention of degenerative diseases. Therefore, researchers from China looked at the nutritional components, phytochemistry, and health-promoting effects of mung bean and its sprouts. In their critical review, the researchers gathered all data of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies of mung bean and its impact on human health.

Based on the data they gathered, they found that mung beans are rich in bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and other metabolites. These compounds have been often attributed to their antioxidant properties. The researchers also found that mung beans have the potential to prevent diabetes, kill microbes, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure levels, fight inflammation, inhibit tumor growth, ward off cancer, and protect against mutagens. These findings, which were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness, suggested that mung beans are a great addition to a healthy diet and can help prevent chronic degenerative diseases.

How can mung beans improve your health?

Mung beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They provide B vitamins, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. These beans are also one of the greatest plant-based sources of protein. They are also rich in essential amino acids, including arginine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, valine, and more. As mentioned in the study, mung beans can help prevent the development of health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can increase the risk of heart disease. Eating mung beans can help prevent this condition due to their potassium, magnesium, and fiber content — all of which have been linked to significantly lower blood pressure levels.
  • High cholesterol: Having high cholesterol levels can also increase the risk of heart disease. Fortunately, evidence has shown that eating mung beans that can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol. This effect can be attributed to their powerful antioxidants.
  • Digestive problems: Mung beans can help prevent digestive problems because they are a good source of fiber and resistant starch. In particular, they contain pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that promotes regular bowel movement by speeding up the movement of food through the gut. Similar to other legumes, mung beans also contain resistant starch which helps nourish beneficial gut bacteria.
  • High blood sugar: Consumption of mung beans can also protect you from diabetes and other insulin problems because of their nutrient composition. In particular, their rich fiber, protein, and antioxidant content may reduce blood sugar levels and help insulin work more effectively.
  • Obesity: The fiber and protein content of mung beans also help prevent obesity. Research has shown that these nutrients can help suppress hunger hormones and make you feel full for longer. Through these, they may help cut your calorie intake, which aids in weight loss.
  • Pregnancy problems: Mung beans are rich in folate, iron, and protein. During pregnancy, mothers need more of these nutrients for the optimal growth and development of their child. Pregnant mothers should avoid eating raw mung bean sprouts, as they may contain bacteria that could cause an infection.
  • Heat stroke: Vitexin and isovitexin are some of the antioxidants found in mung beans. These antioxidants have been shown to help prevent injury from free radicals that form during heat stroke.

Reap the benefits of mung beans by adding them to your diet. To cook dried mung beans, add them to boiling water and simmer for up to 45 minutes. Boiled mung beans can then be added to salads, soups, curry, or tomato-based sauce. (Related: Sprouting Organic Mung Beans.)

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