Green gram, also known as the mung bean, is a small round bean similar in shape to the field pea. People in the U.S. primarily eat green gram as a sprout, and as a bean it cooks up fast and has a sweet flavor. With its high fiber and nutrient content, it offers a number of health benefits.
Helps With Weight Control
If you're having trouble losing weight because you feel too hungry whenever you cut back on calories, consider adding green gram to your diet. A 1-cup serving has 15 grams of fiber. Fiber in food fills you up and makes you feel satisfied. When people eat an additional 14 grams of fiber a day, they eat 10 percent fewer calories, according to a 2001 review article about fiber and weight control published in "Nutrition Review."
Lowers Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association recommends you get 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Eating a potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. One cup of cooked green gram contains 537 milligrams of potassium; that's more than 10 percent of the recommended daily amount.
Lean Source of Protein
Most Americans get their protein from meat, poultry and eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you eat a variety of foods rich in protein, such as beans, so that you vary your nutrient intake. Green gram, with 14 grams of protein per 1-cup serving, fits the bill as an alternative nutrient-rich source of protein to your usual chicken or steak.
Nonmeat Source of Iron
Iron deficiency affects 80 percent of the world's population, according to the World Health Organization. Women and children have the greatest need for iron and are at the most risk for deficiency. Not getting enough iron in the diet is one reason deficiency occurs. As a source of iron, green gram can help you meet your daily iron needs. A 1-cup serving contains 2.83 milligrams, which is more than 3 ounces of dark meat turkey. Combining your green gram with a vitamin C-rich food, such as peppers, helps with iron absorption.
- Purdue Agriculture: Mungbean
- USA Emergency Supply: All About Beans/Legumes
- Whole Foods Market: Beans
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Mung Beans, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Without Salt
- Nutrition Review: Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation
- American Heart Association: Potassium and High Blood Pressure
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Chapter 4: Foods and Nutrients to Increase
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron