10-05-2021 / Health and Fitness
Legumes are a healthy way of achieving a protein-rich diet. Moong Dal/Mung beans are endemic to India and Southeast Asia. They are used in many variations; raw for salads, like sprouts in stir-fries, cooked for stews and curries, as a paste in sweets and other savory dishes. They are bright green/ dark green depending on variety and are used with or without the skin; when the skin is removed, they show a light yellow flesh. In Southeast Asia, the starch is made into glass noodles which are chew and slippery in texture.
The scientific name for moong dal is Vigna radiata. It is originally domesticated in the Indian subcontinent, and archeological explorations reveal that it has been discovered in many historic sites like Indus Valley Civilization in the Harappan site, and archaeobotanical research shows its migration from India to different parts of Southeast Asia around 2500 years ago.
The skinned and de-skinned varieties encompass different nutritional values. It is also similar to the sprouted and ungerminated variations, which can also differentiate and move away to reveal the change in nutritional composition.
The common dry form of the legume is rich in protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, and sodium. It also contains specialized essential amino acids (lysine, arginine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, phenylalanine) and vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5. B6, B9).
In terms of calorie count, 100 grams serving of Moong Dal provides around 347 calories.
1. The presence of Isovitexin and Vitexin helps in stopping possible heat strokes.
Seasonal diseases and sweltering heat accompany the summer season. Heat strokes are a common event for people exposed to the hot sun for long periods or spend too much time outdoors. Moong dal is known to have anti-inflammatory components that help us regulate body temperature, satiate thirst, and defend our body against episodes of heat strokes. Primarily Moong dal is consumed as a stew or soup for helping us achieve this.
They are rich in Isovitexin and Vitexin antioxidant components that aid as catalysts to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Studies in animals have revealed measurable results for these compounds in preventing heat strokes by defending against the presence of free radicals that may cause injury to cells.
2. Aids in reducing hypertension with Potassium and Magnesium
Hypertension acts as a comorbidity for many illnesses; Covid 19, heart disease, and obesity-related complications are few. Moong Dal is known to contain certain minerals that may directly prevent or lower the possibility of a person getting high blood pressure.
Studies also reveal that certain proteins present in Moong Dal activate enzymes that naturally regulate our blood pressure. Moreover, other studies have observed the lowering of blood pressure in test subjects with or without hypertension.
3. High Antioxidant Level
Caffeic Acid, Flavonoids, Cinnamic Acid, and Phenolic acid are some of the antioxidants found in Moong Dal. Their presence helps our body to fight against inflammation, cancer, and any possible chronic illnesses.
The presence of antioxidants has been found to curb or prevent cancerous growths that may arise in the lining of the stomach or lungs, as revealed by targeted test-tube studies. Additionally, Moong dal sprouts have modified nutritional composition and are almost 12 times higher in antioxidant levels than regular non sprouted beans.
4. Prevents cardiac episodes by lowering bad cholesterol
Bad cholesterol or LDL can damage your heart’s health. Moong dal is known to have properties that help lower the low-density lipids in our bloodstream, thereby promoting cardiac health. They help us achieve this by preventing interaction between two components, the LDL and the unstable free radicals in the blood.
Furthermore, many studies reveal that including at least one meal a day with legumes like Moong dal can lower the presence of bad cholesterol in the blood.
5. It helps in elevating digestive health.
In a single 100 gram serving of Moong dal, there is almost 57% of dietary fiber. This amount of fiber helps in achieving better digestive health. To be specific, Moong dal is found to have pectin, which is a soluble fiber. It is known to prevent episodes of constipation and helps us have a regular bowel movement.
They also contain resistant starch, which helps nourish healthy bacteria in our intestine and gut. These bacteria further help break down dietary fiber to butyrate. Butyrate also helps our body to nourish colon cells, promote immunity in the gut region, and even help lower any risk of colon cancer.
6. Aids in modulating blood sugar
Increased blood sugars make way for more people to get lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Consuming Moong dal regularly ensures a high intake of fiber as well as protein and contributes to lowering elevated blood sugar levels. Studies also infer that antioxidants like isovitexin and vitexin aid in the effectiveness of insulin and regulate sugar levels in the blood.
7. Benefit our weight loss journey
Moong Dal is a low-fat option but has elevated protein and fiber content that helps in producing the Ghrelin hormone, which acts in suppressing hunger. It helps in making us feel full and satiated after a meal. Studies have also pointed that after consuming legumes like Moong dal, almost 31% of people felt fuller and curbed their urge to eat more.
8. Folate Content Helps in Pregnancies
Doctors advise pregnant women to consume many folate-rich foods during their pregnancy. A single cup of Moong Dal contains around 80% of folate, and they also hold essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and iron. If women do not consume the necessary amount of folate, it may result in the fetus developing prenatal defects, which could be fatal. Taking Moong dal will help ensure that the unborn child gets enough nourishment for proper growth and development.
1. Pesarattu Dosa
This recipe hails from the region of Andhra and is primarily consumed as breakfast. It is mainly composed of only Moong dal and some herbs and aromatics.
1 cup of Moong dal
Half inch piece of ginger
Two green chilies
Salt to taste
Soak the Moong Dal overnight, preferably 6-7 hours.
Grind it with the other ingredients and salt to taste, adding enough water to make for a thin batter similar to a crepe.
Take an iron skillet or nonstick pan, dab some oil.
Pour in the batter as a thin layer and turn it after one side is crispy.
This is a versatile recipe wherein people can modify adding ingredients to fit their palette. This Dosa is consumed with different accompaniments, usually coconut chutney, mint chutney, or tomato chutney.
2. Moong Dal sprout salad
This is a tropical salad that is perfect for summer. It is fresh and flavourful with lemony vibrance and all the benefits of a Moong bean sprout.
1 cup of Moong bean sprouts
Half an onion
One medium-large plum tomato
One green chilly (optional)
Herbs - Coriander and Mint (few sprigs)
Salt and pepper - to taste
Chop the onion, tomato, and green chili finely.
Mix the Mung bean sprout with the assorted vegetables.
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Finely chiffonade the herbs and sprinkle on top. Taste for seasoning and just to fit your palette.
Moong beans are a staple to Indian dietary life. It is not only a traditional ingredient; it packs a punch with nutritional value and can be incorporated in many ways. We can consume it raw or in cooked form. It is especially beneficial for those who are pregnant or trying to lose weight. Try to incorporate it into your diet as it can help in your journey to better health.
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