Health benefits of mung beans by Varun Venaik
Mung beans are part of the pulse / legume family and are a popular ingredient used in Asian cuisine, including in India, Thailand and Laos.   Mung beans have fantastic nutritional benefits, especially when they are sprouted. They are a valuable addition to any vegetarian, pescetarian or non-vegetarian diet.  Mung beans are a very good source of protein, vitamins, iron, enzymes and antioxidants such as potassium, magnesium, fibre and vitamins B, C and K. Sprouted mung beans not only have higher levels of these important vitamins and minerals but are also very easy to digest and easier on the tummy, meaning they are unlikely to give you a tummy ache in the same way that other pulses and beans sometimes can. They are packed full of flavour and nutritional benefits and also add amazing crunchy texture to your meals. They are also low in calories, with one cup of sprouted mung beans only containing around 30 to 40 calories per cup.   Mung beans are incredibly easy to sprout – they can be sprouted in a few days’ time on your kitchen bench.  

To sprout mung beans, follow these easy steps:

  1. Rinse around half a cup of mung beans thoroughly and a few times in order to make sure that the water runs clear. Ensure you pick out any spoiled or wrinkled beans and dispose of them. Make sure you check whether there are any small stones in your batch and if there, dispose of them – these will hurt your teeth if you bite into them!
  2. Soak the rinsed mung beans in fresh water in a reasonably big container with a wide opening. Make sure that the mung beans are adequately covered with water. Soak your mung beans for around 9 to 12 hours. After this period, your beans will look like the photo below, with the skin of the beans having softened and starting to peel off.

This is what your mung beans will look like post-soaking and pre-sprouting


  1. Dispose of the excess water and then rinse the beans a few times again with fresh water, and then drain the beans in a colander for a few minutes.
  2. Now it is time to sprout! Transfer the rinsed and drained beans (ensuring there is no water dripping from the beans beans) into a large bowl (you can use the same container that you used for soaking but ensure that it is cleaned and dried). Move the bowl into a dark and warm place (covering slightly, but not fully, if you prefer to do so)
  3. In around 12 or so hours, your beans will have sprouted and will look like the photo below.

Sprouted mung beans ready to consume and cook


Now it’s time to cook and eat the mung beans!

  When sprouted, mung beans have a delicious nutty taste, making them an incredibly versatile addition to most meals and diets. They are able to be used in curries, soups, salads, fried rice and even sandwiches. Their naturally tasty flavour and texture means that they don’t require much seasoning to taste good. They can either be consumed raw or can be cooked – I recommend cooking them to minimise any risks of contamination from bacteria. They don’t require much time to cook – around 10-15 minutes. My favourite way is to stir fry them with a small amount of ginger, garlic and mustard seeds and them add them to a fresh lunch salad (as a main meal) or as a side salad to supplement some more substantial proteins at dinnertime.   For those who are looking to experiment with vegetarian sources of protein, and those who are looking to start the new year right by adding more fibre and vitamin-laden foods into their diet, I’d recommend you introduce sprouted mung beans into your next meal!   Also Read:  

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