Native to India and grown in the United States since 1835, according to the "Alternative Field Crops Manual," the mung bean holds its own against other nutrient-rich legumes. Mung beans are inexpensive and can be eaten as sprouts for a satisfying snack or cooked in a variety of dishes for an extra dose of protein, vitamins and fiber. As a bonus, mung beans produce less gas than many other legumes.
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Basic Nutrition Facts
Mung beans are extremely low in calories, with 1 cup of mature sprouted seeds containing only 31 calories per serving. A serving also contains 1.9 grams of dietary fiber, or 8 percent of your daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Fiber helps you feel full, so mung beans make a good low-calorie snack to ward off hunger pangs in between meals, particularly if you're watching your weight. A serving of mung beans contains almost no fat at 0.19 grams per serving, only 6 milligrams of sodium and 5 percent of your daily value of iron.
Protein is a vital part of any healthy diet because the body uses protein to repair and renew cells. As the body breaks down protein, amino acids are left that help the body break down food further. While meat, dairy products and eggs are all high in protein, these sources can also be high in cholesterol, and they aren't an option for people following a vegan diet. Mung beans contain 3.2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Interviewed on the ''Today'' show, Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, recommends that you strive for about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.
Considerable Vitamin C
A 1-cup serving of mung bean sprouts contains 23 percent daily value of vitamin C based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It's essential to get enough vitamin C in your daily diet because the body does not store it. The vitamin is an antioxidant that helps protect the body against damage from free radicals. It also helps the body produce collagen, necessary for skin, cartilage, ligaments and wound healing. Vitamin C serves a protective function, helping prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.
Kick Up the Vitamin K
Mung beans are rich in vitamin K, with a 1-cup size serving of sprouts containing 43 percent daily value. While vitamin K isn't as widely publicized as other vitamins, it's still important. The body stores vitamin K in the liver and fatty tissue, but replenishing through diet is necessary, particularly if you have liver disease, gallbladder disease, celiac disease or are taking blood thinners. The vitamin helps keep your bones healthy and helps your blood clot normally.