Green mung beans are often used to make mung bean sprouts, but you can also cook the whole bean just like any other type of dry bean. A serving of cooked mung beans provides at least 10 percent of the daily value of 12 different nutrients, and it’s an especially rich source of energizing carbs, fiber, protein, folate, manganese and magnesium.
Mung Bean Basics
Whole mung beans are about the size of a pea and green on the outside, which is why they’re also called green mung beans, green gram or mung peas.
After the beans are skinned and split in half, their yellow interior is exposed and they’re called moong dal, reports the Cook’s Thesaurus.
One cup of boiled mung beans has 212 calories and barely a gram of total fat. Mung beans have 39 grams of carbs per cup, including complex carbs, which are slowly digested and give you a source of sustained energy.
Mung beans also give you a good option for lean protein. With 14 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving, they provide nearly one-third of the daily value based on consuming 2,000 calories daily.
Fiber Intake Boosted
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 reports that most Americans consume barely half of their daily fiber, which has consequences that go beyond basic digestive health. While insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation, the recommended intake for fiber is actually based on the amount of fiber needed to protect against coronary heart disease.
Soluble fiber helps keep blood sugar low after you eat carbs, blocks absorption of some dietary fats and helps reduce cholesterol, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Women should consume 25 grams of fiber daily, while men need 38 grams. When you fall short, green mung beans can make a difference because 1 cup of boiled beans has 15 grams of fiber.
Folate Builds Cells
Folate helps synthesize protein and produce new blood cells. It’s a vital nutrient for the normal development of a baby’s nervous system, but timing is critical. Women need plenty of folate in the weeks before and immediately following conception.
When used alongside prescription medications, folate shows promise for helping treat major depression, according to a December 2013 report in Drugs Today.
Adults need 400 micrograms of folate daily, and the recommended intake goes up to 600 micrograms for pregnant women. One cup of cooked green mung beans has 321 micrograms, or 80 percent of the daily intake.
Magnesium for Metabolism
Your body needs magnesium to produce energy, synthesize protein and keep nerves and muscles working. Magnesium is also nonnegotiable for building strong bones.
Adults who consume less than the recommended daily intake for magnesium are more likely to have the type of systemwide chronic inflammation that can lead to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, reported Nutrition Reviews in June 2010.
Green mung beans make a good contribution to your daily intake because 1 cup has 97 milligrams of magnesium. The recommended dietary allowance established by the Institute of Medicine is 320 milligrams daily for women and 420 milligrams for men.
Manganese Supports Bones
Manganese is a component of enzymes that metabolize carbs, protein and cholesterol and help produce brain neurotransmitters. Your body also uses manganese to produce compounds that support and lubricate cartilage and bones.
In one of its more specialized roles, a manganese-based enzyme works as an antioxidant that protects structures called mitochondria, which exist inside every cell and are responsible for producing energy.
Women only need to get 1.8 milligrams of manganese in their daily diet, while men should consume 2.3 milligrams each day. You’ll get about 0.6 milligrams of manganese from eating a cup of green mung beans.