Mung beans originated in India and their popularity spread from there to China and then South East Asia. Today they are still not as popular in the United States as they are in Asia but are regularly used by some in salads, stir-fries or soups. With a taste that is slightly sweet, mung beans can be found in health food stores, either fresh or as dried beans or sprouts.
Is it Safe to Eat Mung Beans during Pregnancy?
The nutrients in mung beans can be beneficial during pregnancy as they are rich in iron which plays a major role in the formation of red blood cells. Mung is also known to assist with stomach disorders, a symptom often associated with pregnancies. However, excess mung has been known to have the opposite effect with stomach disorders and so, should be eaten in moderation.
Packed With Healthy Nutrients for Pregnancy
Mung beans are packed with nutrients, many of which are beneficial during pregnancy. Here are some of the general health benefits afforded by mung beans:
Every cup of boiled mung beans contains:
Calories: 212, Protein: 14.2 grams, Carbs: 38.7 grams. Fat: 0.8 grams, Fiber: 15.4 grams, Folate (B9): 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI), Magnesium: 24% of the RDI, Vitamin B1: 22% of the RDI, Manganese: 30% of the RDI, Phosphorus: 20% of the RDI, Potassium: 15% of the RDI, Zinc: 11% of the RDI, Copper: 16% of the RDI, Iron: 16% of the RDI plus Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and selenium.
Mung beans are one of the most nutritious plants but, whilst in sprout form they have less calories, they do have higher concentrations of amino acids.
High Levels of Anti-Oxidants
Mung beans are high in antioxidants which assist in neutralizing potentially harmful free radicals. Interacting with cell components, free radicals are known to be associated with several diseases including heart disease, chronic inflammation and cancer.
Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels
Mung beans are a legume and with the exception of soy beans, all legumes are thought to have the potential of lowering bad cholesterol by as much as 5%.
Mung Beans May Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is known to lead to heart disease but mung beans may help reduce this. Mung beans are high in Magnesium, Potassium and fiber, all of which, studies have shown, may assist in reducing blood pressure.
Mung Beans May Aid Digestive Health
Mung beans contain pectin that can assist digestion. Although in general mung beans are high in fiber, it is the fact that they contain pectin, a soluble fiber that is the most beneficial to the digestive system. Studies show that soluble fibers help to speed foods through the gut and thereby reducing the potential for digestive problems.
Mung Bean Benefits for Skin
Mung beans are often used to help keep skin healthy and free from acne. This however, is not done by eating the beans or sprouts but instead, incorporating the beans in face masks.
Are Mung Bean Sprouts safe?
All sprouts are known to be nutritious and are usually safe to eat, even during pregnancy. However, sprouts are known to be susceptible to harmful bacteria and so they are recommended to be consumed cooked instead of raw, especially during pregnancy.
It’s important though when pregnant to get plenty of nutrients from your food and so, consult your doctor if you wish to eat sprouts to increase the nutrition in your diet.
Mung Bean Sprouts Calories that Help with Pregnancy
As well as the many benefits mung beans can offer they can also be a nutritious way in which to get sufficient calories during pregnancy.
As well as being nutritious and balanced, a diet during pregnancy should contain enough calories. The ideal numbers of calories differ during the different stages of pregnancy:
During the first semester – 1800 calories per day
During the second semester – 2200 calories per day
During the third semester – 2400 calories per day
With 212 calories per cup, mung can assist you in reaching these quotas. In doing so mung will provide you with Thiamin, Protein, Manganese, Magnesium and folate, plus be low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. All of which are components you will need for a healthy pregnancy.
Nutrients for Pregnancy
Of course any diet during pregnancy is not just about getting sufficient calories as it is also essential that those calories contain adequate nutrients for both mother and child.
Most foods provide some sort of nourishment but a healthy diet, which is especially important during pregnancy, must be diverse in order to be most effective. Recommended servings of each type of food during pregnancy are as follows:
9-11 servings per day of staples such as pasta, rice and bread – these foods contain carbohydrates which your body turns into energy. You will not only need energy for you but also for the growth of your baby.
4-5 servings per day of vegetables – these are a good source of folic acid, iron and magnesium, plus they contain vitamins A and C. Where possible at least 2 of these servings should be of leafy greens.
3-4 servings per day of fruit – as well as providing vitamins A and C, fruit also provides potassium and fiber. Whilst having these servings in the form of juice is alright, try and avoid juices that contain sugar.
3 servings per day of dairy products – whilst these contain phosphorus, protein and calcium, they can also be high in calories and so look for low or non-fat options.
3 servings per day of meat or fish – these are the best sources for iron, zinc, protein and vitamin B.
Mung beans can be consumed during pregnancy and are a good source of nutrients. When it comes to eating mung bean sprouts, they shouldn’t be eaten raw.
As mung sprouts may be hard to find in supermarkets you may want to consider growing your own which is quick and easy. If you do want to grow your own, Todd’s Seeds can provide you with not only the seeds but also instructions on how to grow them.
You can also watch the video version of this article below.
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