Are you a fan of legumes? Try green gram, also known as mung beans. It’s a staple in Indian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cuisine. In America, green gram is eaten as sprouts. It looks like oval-shaped peas, and can be used in sweet and savory dishes. The best part? Green gram is very easy to cook. Like most legumes, green gram is packed with health benefits. Here’s how it can help you.
1. Green Gram Helps In Weight Loss
Weight loss (and management) depends on appetite control. To help the cause, eat lots of protein and fiber. Green gram is an excellent source. Both nutrients increase satiety. Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, works by regulating the body’s use of sugars.1 Meanwhile, protein promotes fullness. As the day goes on, you won’t feel ravenous and tempted to overeat. In half a cup of boiled green gram, you’ll get 7.7 grams of fiber and 7.9 grams of protein.2 For an extra boost of fiber, pair it with other veggies. Quinoa will also add more lean protein.
2. Green Gram Aids In Healthy Bowel Movements
Dealing with constipation? The fiber in green gram will help digestion. When it reaches the large intestine, it won’t ferment. Instead, the fiber will stay intact and bulk up the stool. Doing number two will be easy. Increase your intake slowly, as eating too much too soon can actually cause constipation. Aim for 20 to 30 grams a day and drink lots of water. This will prevent digestive problems.3
3. Green Gram Controls Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a national problem. About 31 million American adults have high total cholesterol, while 73.5 million adults have high “bad” LDL cholesterol.4 However, foods like green gram can help. You can thank fiber. This nutrient traps bile, a digestive liquid that’s made of cholesterol. When fiber leaves in the stool, it takes bile with it. In turn, the body makes more bile by breaking down LDL cholesterol.5 As LDL and total cholesterol decrease, you’ll cut your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.6
4. Green Gram Manages Blood Glucose
Diabetes is another widespread issue. Roughly 9.3 million Americans have type 1 or type 2, but 8.1 million are not diagnosed. For those that are diagnosed, maintaining normal blood glucose levels avoids complications.7 It all comes down to diet. Focusing on fiber is a smart choice. Since it isn’t digested by the body, it won’t raise blood glucose after a meal.8 Therefore, foods like green gram are useful for diabetes management and prevention.
5. Green Gram Promotes Healthy Blood
Iron is a major part of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is in charge of bringing oxygen to all parts of your body. Without enough iron, hemoglobin will suffer.9 Luckily, green gram is a rich source of iron. Half a cup has 1.4 grams,10 about the same as a 3-ounce serving of beef. It’s the perfect iron-rich source for people who don’t eat meat! To enhance iron absorption, eat green gram with foods high in vitamin C.11 Spinach, bell peppers, and kale are great choices.
Green gram works well in soups, casseroles, salads, and even bread. You can find it at health food stores and Asian markets. Remember, it has several names, so keep an eye out.
|↑1, ↑3||Fiber. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑2||Basic Report: 16081, Mung beans, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑4, ↑6, ↑10||High Cholesterol Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑5||Lambeau, Kellen V., and Johnson W. McRorie. “Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber therapy.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 29, no. 4 (2017): 216-223.|
|↑7||Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.|
|↑8||How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels? Joslin Diabetes Center.|
|↑9, ↑11||Iron. Oregon State University.|