In the Philippines, there is a very famous staple food that is always present in the menus of carinderias (Philippine eateries and food stalls) every Friday; the dish called monggo guisado.
The monggo guisado dish used to be prepared every Fridays of Lent; in which most of the Filipinos that are part of the Roman Catholic community abstain from meat. However, people got used to it being served on a Friday, making it a tradition to include the dish in menus every Friday every week.
What is this monggo guisado, you say? It is a stew made of mung beans. The other ingredients of monggo guisado are garlic, onion, tomatoes, bitter gourd, malunggay leaves, and pork, fish, or shrimp. The ingredients are few and the cooking procedure, but what makes this monggo guisado a favorite? It is not only because of its delicious taste and affordable price, but also because of the health benefits of its key ingredient – the mung beans.
Also, the monggo or mung beans can also be made into a paste that is then used as a filling for different delicacies.
What is Mung Bean?
The mung bean, with scientific name Vigna radiata, is a member of the legume family. The mung beans are native to the south and southeast region of Asia. Their main purpose is to serve as an ingredient for different dishes that are either savory or sweet.
Mung beans can also be developed into other vegetable called bean sprouts. The bean sprouts grow from a germinated mung bean. These sprouts are also good for cooking, especially in Asian cuisine.
Mung Beans Benefits
The favorite Filipino dish that is made from mung beans was recognized as a healthy meal, it is because of the nutrition from the ingredients; especially the mung beans.
Here are a few trivia’s about how beneficial the beans are:
- Mung beans are rich in vitamins and minerals such as different B vitamins, copper, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, protein, and zinc. The best thing about the beans is that they contain a lot more nutrients, those mentioned are just half of their nutritional content.
- The beans contain protein and resistant starch; and are also very high in fiber content, giving them the ability to make the person eating the beans become full and to help them avoid getting hungry too fast.
- The beans are really versatile, even in their form. They can be bought in their original uncooked bean form, in split-peeled form, in dried powder form, and even in the form of bean noodles. Also, they can be sold as sprouted seeds or bean sprouts.
- The beans can be cooked in many different ways. They may be eaten raw, but most of the time they are cooked by being boiled, made into a paste, or fermented to turn them into other dishes. Others ground the beans to make them into flour.
- The nutritional benefits of mung beans are used in various treatments against chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions that may happen due to old age.
A single cup of mung beans contains the following nutritional values:
- Calories – 212
- Calcium – 54.5mg
- Carbohydrates – 38.7g
- Copper – 0.3mg
- Fat – 0.8mg
- Fiber – 15.4g
- Folate – 0.32mg
- Magnesium – 97mg
- Manganese – 0.6mg
- Niacin – 1.2mg
- Protein – 14.2g
- Phosphorus – 200 mg
- Potassium – 537mg
- Selenium – 0.005mg
- Vitamin B1 – 0.33mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.1mg
- Zinc – 1.7mg
- and many more (pantothenic acid and riboflavin, among others)
Health Benefits of Mung Beans
The health benefits of mung beans are considered to be a lot, but here are some of the best benefits one can get from eating mung beans:
Mung beans can aid in the lowering of cholesterol to avoid heart disease.
The beans have an anti-inflammatory property that helps fight against certain cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants that are present in the beans are responsible for the regulation of the cholesterol level in the body and reduce the inflammation that may cause heart attack or stroke; or worse cardiac arrest. Also, based on a study by Biomed Research International last 2017, legumes in general are proven to be effective against cardiovascular diseases.
Mung beans can help in lowering blood pressure.
A study published in the Chemistry Central Journal last 2014 have tested rat subjects to see the effect of mung bean sprouts when consumed for a month. The test results showed that the subjects experienced lower levels in their systolic blood pressure. Therefore, they believed that the beans contain high concentrated protein fragments called peptides that help the blood vessels flow freely.
Mung beans are effective against type 2 diabetes.
In 2008, a study was conducted by the Institute of Crop Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences wherein rat subjects were given supplements containing mung bean; the study resulted to lower blood glucose, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Also, the subjects had better glucose tolerance and they became more responsive to insulin.
Mung beans are rich sources of proteins.
One cup of the beans contains 14.2 grams of protein. That amount is pretty impressive for a plant-based produce. The beans are comprised of many amino acids, and those amino acids take up around 20 to 24 percent of the beans.
Mung beans and other legumes work best when they are eaten as a substitute for other protein-rich foods.
Mung beans can help boost the body’s immunity against infections and certain viruses.
The beans are characterized as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Its antimicrobial property is responsible for protecting the body against harmful elements like bacteria and viruses that may lead to allergic responses such as colds, rashes, and other irritations.
Mung beans decrease PMS symptoms.
The B vitamins that are present in the beans have the ability to decrease premenstrual syndrome symptoms due to their capacity to increase the person’s pain tolerance. These B vitamins are also able to control the hormones that are responsible for the symptoms; decreasing their severity.
Mung beans are packed with vitamins and minerals.
As previously stated, the beans are rich in nutritious elements. The nutritional profile of mung beans is pretty impressive. The beans contain folate that is proven effective during pregnancy, and that is also important when it comes to DNA synthesis.