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Mung beans, raw (organic?)

Green mung beans or mung beans (organic) are related to the urd beans. They are eaten cooked (like rice) or sprouted, but not raw.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 71.46%
Macronutrient proteins 27.23%
Macronutrient fats 1.31%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.4g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

The dried seeds of mung beans ( Vigna radiata ) are usually greenish in color when unpeeled and have a mild flavor. They are a good source of vegetable protein, but are only edible raw when germinated. Organic quality is preferable.

Use in the kitchen

Mung beans (also spelled mung beans) are versatile because they have a subtle taste. Green mung beans look like small peas and taste slightly nutty when cooked. In addition to the green seeds (green gram), there are also rarer varieties with yellow (golden gram) and black seeds (see the Purchasing section). 20 All three have the advantage over other pulses that they are easier to digest.

Can you eat mung beans raw? We recommend cooking mung beans, as we could not find any study that supports the consumption of raw mung beans and classifies them as safe. The anti-nutrients they contain also speak against eating mung beans raw. More on this in the ingredients. However, you can germinate dried mung beans after soaking them and eat the sprouts raw. This is very easy and relatively quick to do yourself. You can find more information on this in the ingredient mung bean sprouts .

How do you prepare mung beans? To prepare them, soak the dried mung beans for several hours (e.g. overnight) and then cook them for about 30-40 minutes. Compared to other beans, the small mung beans cook faster.

Cooked, they are ideal as a base for vegan soups, stews and curries. They can be eaten as a side dish, similar to rice , or added to rice dishes , as they have a similar cooking time. Vegetables such as spinach , red bell peppers , onions , leeks, carrots or asparagus go very well with these pulses. Spices such as garlic , ginger , chili , curry , coriander leaves or parsley round off the flavour of dishes with mung beans. Mung bean and potato fritters have a higher protein content and taste pleasantly nutty.

The mung bean is an integral part of Asian cuisine, where it is often processed into a paste for sweet desserts or pastries. Sprouted mung beans, known as mung bean sprouts , are popular raw as a side dish, in salad creations and as a topping for wok dishes. Mung bean flour is one of the ingredients used to make Asian glass noodles, which, unlike rice noodles , remain transparent after cooking.

According to the FDA, consumption in Asian countries is a good 50 times higher than in the West. In India, mung beans are even a staple food. They are processed into traditional dal (daal) or eaten as a snack. To make crispy baked mung beans, soak the dried beans in water, dry them again and then fry them in oil. However, we advise against this.

Mung beans are particularly popular in vegetarian and vegan dishes due to their high protein content.

Vegan recipe for mung bean hummus

Ingredients: 300 g cooked mung beans, 1 garlic clove (organic), juice of half an organic lemon , 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste), salt , ground cumin , rapeseed oil (or linseed oil ) if necessary and a little water .

Preparation: Puree the cooked mung beans together with garlic and lemon juice. Add a little water as needed and to achieve the desired consistency. Stir in the tahini and season the mung bean hummus with oil, salt and cumin. Instead of the olive oil that is often used, we recommend using healthier rapeseed oil or linseed oil, or omitting the oil altogether, as the sesame paste is very high in fat. Optionally, garnish with fresh coriander .

Vegan recipes with mung beans (organic) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Dried mung bean seeds are usually available in stores both peeled and unpeeled. Green mung beans are particularly common in the DA-CH countries: green specimens can therefore be recognized as whole, unpeeled mung beans. The green dried seeds can be bought all year round in selected supermarkets such as Migros , Spar and Globus . At other major retailers such as Coop , Denner , Volg , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer and Billa , mung beans are rarely part of the product range and are only available at times. Organic mung beans can mainly be found in natural food stores, well-stocked health food stores and larger organic supermarkets such as Denn's Biomarkt and Alnatura . These sources often state whether their products are raw food quality and therefore capable of germinating. Asian shops and online shops also offer mung beans for sale.

Mung beans, which appear yellowish, are mostly peeled and halved seeds. These are also called Moong Dal (Mung Dal) and are preferred because they take less time to cook and are easier to digest. However, the variety of products and names available worldwide can be confusing:

  • You can buy not only halved peeled mung beans online, but also halved unpeeled ones. These are then called "split green moong dal", for example.
  • But there are also whole yellow or black mung beans, each of which is classified as a separate variety: "Sona mung" or "golden gram" (var. aurea ) are yellow in color, "Krishna mung" (var. grandis ) are black. 20
  • Some supermarkets also sell mung beans under the name "green soybeans".

Conventionally grown mung beans should be avoided because of the possible toxic treatment. That is why we recommend buying mung beans from organic production.

The availability of dried mung beans (raw) varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. Our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries can be found above under the ingredient image - and by clicking on them you can see their development at various suppliers.

Storage tips

Dried bean seeds are best stored in a dry, dark and cool place, so they can last up to a year or more. The germinated seeds or sprouts should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

What nutritional values do mung beans have? 100 g of dried mung beans have an energy content of 347 kcal, of which about 1.2% is fat and 63% is carbohydrates . With about 24 g of protein per 100 g, raw mung beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein. The protein content is comparable to raw chickpeas (20 g/100g) and red lentils (24 g/100g). 1

Mung beans are rich infiber (16 g/100g). This corresponds to 65.2% of the daily requirement. 1 The fiber is concentrated in the seed shell, which means that the fiber content is lower in peeled mung beans. Therefore, it is recommended to buy unpeeled mung beans. 2

The high protein content of mung beans is also characterized by a beneficial amino acid profile. Mung beans contain a large amount of essential amino acids, including tryptophan , phenylalanine , lysine , threonine , isoleucine , valine , leucine and methionine , making them a complete protein source. Soybeans and quinoa are also valuable sources of essential amino acids. Not every plant-based protein source has all essential amino acids in sufficient quantities, which must be taken into account in a vegan and vegetarian diet. By combining legumes with grain variants, a balanced amino acid composition can be achieved.

The relatively high lysine content in mung beans (1.7 g/100g = 89% of the daily requirement) complements grains such as wheat or spelt with low lysine concentrations. The threonine content in mung beans is 0.78 g/100g, which corresponds to 84% of the daily requirement. Threonine and lysine are irreversibly transaminated and are actually the only two amino acids that are really essential. Read more about this in the ingredient okara . 1

Mung beans contain folic acid in the form of folate (i.e., as a folic acid-active substance group): values of around 625 µg/100g have been recorded for dried seeds; in comparison, raw dried lentils, for example, have less folate (479 µg/100g). 1 Research confirms that the folate content increases at the beginning of the germination process: the highest folate value was measured in germinated mung beans after 4 days, after which it decreased again. 21 On the other hand, it decreases when cooked (see the link to folic acid above). However, comparing dried bean seeds with mung bean sprouts and with cooked mung bean seeds is tricky for laypeople, as the figures are not directly comparable due to the different water content.

The proportion of potassium is 1246 mg/100g. This covers 62% of the daily requirement, which makes these beans an excellent source of potassium. Pulses such aschickpeas (718 mg/100g) or nuts such as almonds (733 mg/100g) are also excellent sources of potassium. In addition to potassium, mung beans also contain minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus . 1

The mung bean is rich in secondary plant compounds, which are found in both the cotyledons and the seed coat. The most important phenolic components in the mung bean are phenolic acids, flavonoids and tannins. 6 In addition, organic acids, sterols, triterpenes, aldehydes and lipids have been identified. Flavonoids are the most common secondary metabolites in the mung bean. Five subclasses of flavonoids are found in the seeds and other plant parts, namely flavones, flavonols, isoflavonoids, flavanols and anthocyanins, with flavonols and flavones making up the majority. Flavones such as vitexin and isovitexin dominate particularly in the seed coat of the mung bean seeds. Germination and fermentation can significantly improve the content of metabolites in the mung bean. Furthermore, the composition and content of bioactive compounds in mung bean depend on factors such as: variety, color of the seed coat, climatic and agronomic conditions during growth, and extraction and analysis methods. 5

The complete ingredients of dried mung beans (raw), the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

How healthy are mung beans? Mung beans are nutrient-rich legumes that studies have shown can also modulate or prevent chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or arthritis. 6 The polyphenols, polysaccharides and polypeptides contained in mung beans exert an antioxidant effect that can help prevent disease. 5

Mung beans have blood sugar lowering properties. This effect is due to the low glycemic index of mung bean starch and the higher amylose content compared to other legumes. In vitro studies and animal studies show that mung beans have an inhibitory effect on the enzymes α-amylase (pancreas) and α-glycosidase (intestine). This helps to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine and increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the body's hyperglycemia. The flavones vitexin and isovitexin are believed to be the main active components that contribute to the regulation of glucose metabolism. 5

Consumption of mung bean is also associated with the regulation of lipid metabolism, as evidenced by its hypolipidemic effect. In addition, mung bean has been shown to be an effective hepatoprotective agent, capable of reducing liver enzyme activities and liver histopathology in a dose-dependent manner. In addition to liver-protective effects, cholesterol-lowering properties have also been observed in hamsters. These increased after germination. 7 The liver-protective effect is partly due to the bioactive compounds and fiber, as well as the proteins contained and their composition of specific amino acids and bioactive peptides. 5

Mung beans have also been shown to have a blood pressure-lowering effect. In hypertensive rats, a significant drop in blood pressure was observed after a single oral dose of 600 mg/kg body weight of a hydrolysate of mung bean protein isolate. 8

The phenolic antioxidants in mung beans can reduce oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo , and depending on the dose, prevent the development of cancer and inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. 9 Mung beans are also said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. 6

Compared to the raw seeds , mung bean sprouts contain more potentially antioxidant substances such as polyphenols. It is believed that germination improves the nutritional and medicinal properties of mung beans in general. 6

Oligosaccharides such as raffinose, stachyose and verbascose are responsible for the flatulence in the intestines after eating beans. Compared to red beans and lentils, mung beans contain less stachyose, making them easier to digest. Fermentation reduces the flatulence factor even further. 10

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

People with a birch pollen allergy may experience allergic reactions when eating mung beans. The cause of this reaction is a cross-reactivity between the main allergen in birch pollen (Bet v 1) and the mung bean allergen (Vig r 1). This reaction results from the structural similarities of both proteins. 11

Mung beans contain antinutrients that inhibit the bioavailability of minerals. Phytic acid binds important divalent cations such as iron, zinc, calcium or magnesium. This binding creates insoluble complexes that limit the absorption and utilization of minerals in the small intestine. 5 You can find out more about this in the article Phytic acid or phytate and soaking or sprouting .

Other nutritionally inhibiting factors in mung beans are: 3 tannins, lectins (also known non-specifically as hemagglutinins or phytohemagglutinins or PHA) and trypsin inhibitors (indicated as TIA = trypsin inhibitor activity). Raw kidney beans show particularly high lectin levels 4 (lectins in various varieties of common bean are commonly known as phasins 19 ). However, the scientific terminology for lectins is confusing, not least because of the long history of research.

Fermentation, germination, peeling and cooking reduce the antinutrients and have a positive effect on the bioavailability of the ingredients. 3,5 It is therefore recommended to enjoy mung beans either germinated or to soak and cook them before consumption. According to the cited source: 3 Trypsin inhibitor activity is reduced by soaking and peeling, disappears completely through cooking processes and is significantly reduced by germination; tannins and phytic acid are reduced most by germination and cooking processes, less significantly by peeling and soaking.

Folk medicine - natural healing

In traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM ), the functional area of mung beans includes the heart, stomach, liver and intestines. Mung beans are sweet in taste and cool in nature. Due to their cold temperature behavior, they help to eliminate heat in the body and reduce swelling in summer. The mung bean is considered to be detoxifying. A paste made from mung beans helps in the treatment of acne, eczema, dermatitis and in relieving itching.

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

In mung bean production, the choice of previous crops (pre-crops) plays a key role in improving energy efficiency, sustainability and reducing environmental impact. A study determined the CO 2 footprint of mung beans in Iran - depending on the previous crops wheat, rapeseed and barley. Accordingly, the CO 2 footprint of mung beans was 1.05 kg CO 2 eq/kg (wheat), 1.22 kg CO 2 eq/kg (rapeseed) and 1.11 kg CO 2 eq/kg (barley). This led to the conclusion that wheat is more sustainable as a pre-crop than barley and rapeseed in terms of the amount of mung beans produced in kg. 12

In comparison, greenhouse gas emissions from soybeans in Europe and America are 0.38-1.3 kg CO 2 eq/kg; for brown beans, it is 0.68 kg CO 2 eq/kg. Green beans had a value of 0.94 kg CO 2 eq/kg and peas 0.49 kg CO 2 eq/kg. The footprint of mung beans is slightly higher, which is due to the lower yields of legumes per hectare in Iran compared to Europe and America. However, these values are still comparable. 12

Legumes produce significantly lower amounts of greenhouse gases than meat. For example, the CO 2 footprint of ground beef (organic) is 15.1 kg CO 2 eq/kg. 13

Another study examined the water footprint of 10 crops in different regions in Thailand, including 2 types of rice, corn, soybeans, mung beans, peanuts, cassava, sugar cane, pineapple and oil palm. Mung beans had the highest water footprint of all crops, averaging 2980 l/kg. Depending on the region, the values varied between 1549 and 6445 l/kg during the dry season, because mung beans did not need water during the rainy season. 15 Calculations from Ethiopia determined a water footprint of 6561 l/kg, which is similar to the highest value in the Thai study. 16

The results show that the water requirements of mung bean vary greatly in different regions due to many factors. The variation between the two studies may be due to crop species, length of growing seasons, soil parameters, geographical differences in water availability, climatic conditions and other influencing factors. 16 Compared with other crops such as rice, cassava and sugarcane, mung bean has a higher irrigation water requirement per tonne of product. However, it uses smaller amounts of cultivated land, which reduces its overall contribution to water competition compared to other major crop species. 15

For comparison: The average water footprint of vegetables is 300 l/kg and of grains 1600 l/kg. Spices have a particularly high water requirement of around 7000 l/kg. 17

Legumes, including mung beans, perform an important function in the form of so-called "green manure" for many ecosystems, but also for agricultural soils. They enrich the soil with nitrogen by entering into a symbiosis with nodule bacteria. Nodule bacteria fix the nitrogen from the air and make it available to plants. Thanks to the symbiosis, mung beans require little or no nitrogen to grow. This means that environmentally harmful nitrogen fertilizers can be avoided when growing mung beans. 12,14

Due to the possible toxic treatment, it is advisable to avoid conventional mung beans. Prefer mung beans from organic farming to prevent damage from pesticides to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc.

For detailed explanations of various sustainability indicators (such as ecological footprint, CO2 footprint, water footprint), see our article: What does the ecological footprint mean? .

Worldwide distribution - cultivation

Indian farmers cultivated mung beans 3,500 years ago and grew them on a large scale. Over the years, mung bean cultivation spread from India to China and various regions of Southeast Asia. 6 It is now grown on more than 6 million hectares worldwide (about 8.5% of the global pulse area). The mung bean is particularly common in Asian households, which is why it is mainly cultivated in China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is now also found in dry regions of southern Europe, in warmer parts of Canada and in the USA. 5

Cultivation - Harvest

The mung bean is an annual plant that grows in warmer climates at temperatures of 20-35 °C. The climbing plant, which grows up to 90 cm tall, is particularly popular because it requires little effort to cultivate. It is highly adaptable and grows on all types of soil. The mung bean is a short-lived plant with a growth cycle of 75-90 days. 6 It binds atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, making it perfect for the summer fallow period in the predominantly rice and wheat-based agriculture of the Ganges Plain in India. 18

The leaves are trifoliate, alternate and green in color. Mung beans have green to light yellow flowers. The fruits are called pods (botanically speaking, they are not pods), which hang downwards and grow up to 12 cm long. Each pod contains 10-15 ellipsoid seeds. Their color ranges from green to yellow to brown or black speckled. 6

Possible confusion

The mung bean and the urd bean ( Vigna mungo ), which is also known as the lentil bean, are closely related. The usually black and oval seeds of the urd bean (black gram 20 ) can also be found in green colors. Urd beans are white on the inside, which is a key distinguishing feature from mung beans, which have a yellowish interior color. We will discuss further details in the purchasing chapter.

The fresh green mung beans look like small, crunchy peas ( Pisum sativum subsp. sativum ). The seeds have a clearly visible navel spot on the outside, which makes them easy to distinguish from peas.

Further information

The mung bean ( Vigna radiata L., synonym: Phaseolus aureus 3 ) belongs to the subfamily Faboideae within the legume family Fabaceae. This also includes soybeans , borlotti beans , kidney beans , black beans , white beans , lentils and many more.

There are numerous types of mung beans, which are divided into 3 varieties: Vigna radiata var. typica is the best known variety and refers to the green mung beans. In English-speaking countries the name "green gram" is used. The variety Vigna radiata var. aurea refers to the yellow mung beans, also known as "golden gram". The seeds of Vigna radiata var. grandis are black (but not called "black gram", see above). 20

Alternative names

The mung bean is also known as mung bean, Jerusalem bean or lunja bean. In English it is called mung bean, green or golden gram (see above). The mung bean used to be part of the genus Phaseolus , but was later moved to the genus Vigna .

Other uses

Mung beans are not only used as food for human consumption, but are also used as animal feed.