Mung beans, or what are known in India as Dahl, were first domesticated in India in 1500 BC, and are the main ingredient in kitchari – the primary Ayurvedic super-food used to cleanse the body. It is no wonder that it became a staple in the Indian diet, being well acquainted with this crop for all these years. And according to some modern research, this ancient bean is loaded with health benefits. The classic Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse uses only split yellow mung beans for many reasons. Let’s get to know this cleansing bean!
Mung Bean Benefits
- Packed with minerals – including magnesium – and phenols.
- Powerful antioxidant properties support heart health.
- Support healthy blood sugar levels.
- Produce the fatty acid butyrate in the gut, thus supporting the health of the intestinal wall.
- Support healthy weight loss and cravings by increasing the “I am full” hormone, cholecystokinin (CCK).
We all know that when certain types of cholesterols called LDL’s are oxidized, they can damage the arterial walls as well as other tissues in the body. Mung beans have been found to be highly effective in blocking the oxidation of the LDL cholesterols due to their powerful antioxidant properties. (1)
It is estimated that 7 out of 10 Americans are deficient in magnesium. (2) In one large study of more than 58,000 people, those with the lowest intake of magnesium had a 51% increased risk of dying from heart related issues. (3) Mung beans are a great source of magnesium.
As a naturally low glycemic index food, mung beans have been shown to support healthy glucose, insulin and fat levels in the blood. (4) Mung beans were also shown to block the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which wreak havoc on the body when blood sugar levels rise. (5)
Mung beans contain a high amount of insoluble fiber, which ferments in the gut to produce a fatty acid called butyrate – which is the primary constituent in ghee (a type of clarified butter central to Indian cuisine and Ayurveda). (6) The colon cells thrive on this fatty acid, and it is required for the optimal health of the colon. (6)
Cravings and Weight
In one study, beans had a two-fold increase in the satiety (“I am full”) hormone CCK and supported healthy weight and less cravings. (7)
Mung beans, or dahl, are the main ingredient in the famous Indian cleansing food, kitchari. In the recipe that is most commonly used in India, split yellow mung beans are used.
Think you can’t digest beans?
We all know that beans tend to be hard to digest and are infamous for their propensity to create gas. This is mostly caused by the hard-to-digest anti-nutrients that protect the bean. These anti-nutrients are found in the husk of the bean. Split yellow mung beans don’t have a husk. They fall off when the bean is split, thus making it one of the easiest beans to digest. In fact, according to Ayurveda, this bean actually helps reduce gas – a prestigious attribute for any bean!
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- Journal American College of Nutrition. Dietary Magnesium. 2005 Jun;24(3):166-71
- Atheroslerosis. Associations of Dietary Magnesium 2012 Apr;221(2):587-95
- Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry. Activity of Mung Beans. 2008 Oct;56(19):8869-73
- Food Chemistry. Effect of Mung Beans 2008;106(2):475-81
- Jpn J Cancer Res. 1990 Nov;81(11):1108-8
- Journal of Nutrition. Beans as dietary fiber. 2001 May;131(5):1485-90
Reproduced with permission from Dr. John Douillard, DC © March 22, 2014. Original Document, Get To Know The Kitchari Cleansing Bean.