Many amazing foods have their origin in the fertile soil of ancient India, including nutritious legumes that have become staples in Indian cuisine and all around the world. Black gram is one of these legendary legumes, but another that is perhaps more well-known is the mung bean. And while every pulse has its place in our diet, you may be wondering how mung beans compare to black gram in nutritional value and health benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at both beans and see which one can provide higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
What Are Mung Beans?
The mung bean (Vigna radiata) is a small oval-shaped legume seed that is similar in size and shape to black gram, but its color is different; this little bean comes in various shades of green. There is evidence of the mung bean being cultivated as early as 1500 B.C. in India, and shortly after, it appears in China and other regions of Asia where it has become famous for sprouting. By the 1400’s, it was reaching Europe, and the rest is history.
Highlights of Nutrition
As we compare mung beans and black gram, we’re going to be focusing on some select key points, namely, protein, fiber, carbs, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These are among the most basic and essential nutrients found in legumes that are needed for good health.
We’ll look at the importance of each nutrient, and then discover which of the two legumes has a higher percentage per 100g of mature raw seeds.
Every cell in the human body needs protein to function, to be maintained, and ultimately, to exist. Often called “the building blocks of life”, proteins are made up of a collection of amino acids. Many amino acids are produced by our bodies through the digestion process, but there are nine specific amino acids that our bodies cannot produce, so we must take these in from our diet in order to stay healthy; these are called essential amino acids (EAAs).
Legumes do contain all nine EAAs, but the amino acid methionine is present in insufficient quantities in legumes for them to be considered a source of complete protein on their own. This, however, can easily be remedied by pairing your beans with a grain, as grains — which have high quantities of methionine — are perfect complements to the remaining array of amino acids in legumes. Legumes, in turn, provide the EAA lysine, which is lacking in grains.
Having said all that, legumes are some of the greatest sources of plant-based protein you’ll ever find! But which bean has more? As shown below, black gram packs more protein per serving than mung beans:
So much can be said about fiber and how it benefits our health — if we eat enough of it. Fiber has been known to lower the risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation.
The American Heart Association Eating Plan recommends that adults consume 25-30g of fiber every day, yet most Americans don’t come close to reaching that goal. Eating legumes on a regular basis can be a great way to get the recommended amount. In our comparison of black gram and mung beans, here are where the two beans stand in terms of fiber content per serving:
While many people tend to shy away from carbohydrates, it’s important to know that they are necessary in moderation, and in their natural form. Having said this, the average American consumes far more than the recommended daily value.
One of the key factors in evaluating the danger of carbs is whether they are high-quality carbohydrates from sources like whole grains, legumes, etc., or empty carbs from highly processed starches and sugars; obviously, the former is a better choice than the latter. Both mung beans and black gram contain high-quality, low-glycemic-index carbs — and with respect to this nutrient, mung beans contain more per serving:
This important mineral is essential, as it enables your blood to carry oxygen all through the body. The WHO estimates that over 40% of young children and pregnant women worldwide are anemic, mainly due to iron deficiency. Look at these amazing amounts of iron per serving in these two little beans!
Another mineral that is needed all through the body, potassium is an electrolyte that is responsible for helping muscles contract, normalizing blood pressure, and various other important functions. Beans are a great source of potassium, as per below:
Over 300 enzyme reactions are reliant on magnesium. Muscle and nerve functions, blood pressure, and the immune system all require magnesium in order to work properly. Studies have also linked bone density to magnesium, indicating that when the adequate amounts of magnesium are consumed, bone density is higher, making it a good prevention method for osteoperosis. Mung beans and black gram are both excellent sources of magnesium, as follows:
While most people are familiar with zinc as an immune system supporter, this trace mineral also plays a role in creating DNA, cell growth, and tissue repair. Zinc is especially important during the stages of childhood growth and also during pregnancy when the unborn baby is developing; as seen below, mung beans and black gram can help significantly boost your zinc intake!
The Results Are In!
Now that we’ve seen the nutritional content of both mung beans and black gram side by side, it’s clear that black gram is a superior source of the majority of the nutrients listed; mung beans are good, but black gram is even better. Just another reason to put black gram on the dinner table. This bean is hard to beat!
If you have any questions or comments about this amazing lentil, please feel free to contact us; we’d love to hear from you! Until then, be sure to check out some of the specific benefits that can be found in a lifestyle that includes black gram.
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