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Moong Dal: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and more!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more

Introduction: 

Legume seeds are referred to as ‘poor man’s meat’ and rightly so. They are an excellent source of proteins, bioactive compounds, minerals and vitamins. The mung bean (Vigna radiata), commonly referred to as Moong dal in India, is one of the most important edible legume crops. It is cultivated and consumed mainly in Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and some Southeast Asian countries. It is also grown in the dry regions of Europe and warmer parts of Canada and the United States.1 

moong dal benefits

It contains a balanced amount of nutrients, and its combination with cereals has been recommended to increase the quality of protein.1 In the Chinese book Ben Cao Qui Zen, it is stated to be beneficial for digestive upset and skin moisturisation.2   

Nutritional Value of Moong Dal: 

I recently came across a study on the antioxidant properties of moong dal soup. According to studies, it might actually help in heat stress injuries! How cool is that? Animal studies show that it may protect from oxidative stress, which is linked to various diseases. However, it’s important to note that more human studies are needed to confirm these exciting claims.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Moong dal is rich in high-quality proteins with high digestibility and is an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre and essential fatty acids. 

Nutrient Percentage content (%) 
Proteins  25 
Total lipids 1.34 
Carbohydrates  58.04 
Fibre  27.7 
Sugar  0.89 
Calcium  0.036 
Iron  0.004 
Sodium  0.009 
Fatty acids  0.45 
Vitamin A  89 IU (international unit)3 

Did you know ?

  • Moong dal is a good source of vitamin K, with approximately 6.8 micrograms per 100 grams. source: nutritionvalue.org
  • Moong dal contains antioxidants that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. source: Cancer.org
  • Moong dal is low in fat and cholesterol, making it a healthy choice for individuals with cancer. source: Cancer.org
  • Moong dal is rich in dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote bowel regularity. source: ncbi
  • Moong dal is a good source of folate, a B-vitamin that is essential for cell growth and development. source: ncbi

Properties of Moong Dal:

I would suggest moong dal if you’re looking for an affordable and vegetarian-friendly source of protein. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s also packed with protein goodness. What’s even better is its protein quality might be easy on your tummy, making it easy to digest compared to other legumes.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

The presence of bioactive compounds, macro and micronutrients may be responsible for the potential properties that Moong dal might exhibit, some of which are listed below:

  • It might have an anti-inflammatory (decreases swelling) potential
  • It may act as an antioxidant
  • It may be an anti-diabetic (helps to control blood sugar)
  • It might help in lowering high blood pressure  
  • It may act as an anti-hyperlipidemic (helps to control cholesterol and reduces the blood lipid levels)  agent
  • It might have an anti-cancer potential
  • It might act as an anti-microbial agent
  • It may be a probiotic (promotes the growth of good bacteria)4
  • It might have liver-protective properties1

Potential uses of Moong Dal:

Let me tell you a fun fact. Did you know that moong dal not only provides nutrition but also has a long history of use as traditional Chinese medicine? According to the famous Chinese pharmacopoeia called the ‘Bencao Gangmu,’ they have been recognised for their detoxifying properties, potential ability to boost mental well-being, and even their power to help with heat stroke and digestive issues.

Dr. Smita Barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

1. Potential use of Moong dal for infections:

Moong dal being nutrient-rich, might show effects against various microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.Various studies have shown that Moong dal might have a potential effect against many species of bacteria and this property of it is comparable to Erythromycin, a commonly used antibiotic.4 It has also shown activity against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria causing stomach infections.2

Its possible effectiveness against fungal infections is comparable to that of Fluconazole, a drug which is commonly used to treat a fungal infection called candidiasis.4 One of the researches also showed that Mung Bean Sprouts from Moong dal might be helpful as an antiviral and prophylactic agent against Respiratory Syncytial virus and Herpes Simplex virus infections.4  However, more studies are required and a doctor should be consulted for infections.

2. Potential use of Moong dal for diabetes:

Moong dal might help to lower blood glucose levels by apparently decreasing the absorption of glucose from the small intestines. A study showed that green gram flour, i.e. Moong dal flour might help in the control of blood sugar levels. Another study was conducted by Lou et al. in 2016, which clearly explained that the presence of certain phenolic compounds might be what helps moong dal lower blood sugar levels.4 There is a requirement for more studies in this area. Therefore, you should consult a doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes as it is a serious condition.

You may like to read: 10 Effective Home Remedies For Diabetes!

3. Potential use of Moong dal for high blood pressure:

Studies have revealed that moong dal might inhibit the action of an enzyme which is responsible for increase of the blood pressure, thus, potentially helping lower blood pressure.4Researchers have found that high amounts of raw sprout extracts, dried sprout extracts, and enzyme digested sprout extracts might help in the lowering of blood pressure.2It was also found that dried sprout powder might not be as effective as sprout extracts.2 However, more studies are required. You should consult a doctor for serious conditions like high blood pressure (known as hypertension), which should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

4. Potential use of Moong dal for high cholesterol:

Moong dal might help in lowering the level of lipids and cholesterol in the body.4It might also help in the production of enzymes that might regulate the cholesterol levels of the blood.4This cholesterol-lowering effect of moong dal might be similar to Vitamin E.4 However, more studies are required to prove such claims. Moreover, a doctor should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol.

5. Potential use of Moong dal for cancer:

Researchers have found that the active components present in moong dal might have a potential to   help with various cancer types like breast cancer, digestive system cancers and leukaemia (blood cancer).1A protein called Vicilin, which is isolated from moong dal, might have a potential to stop the cells responsible for breast cancer from growing. Also, it was seen in a study that fermented moong dal might help to stop tumour development and might help enhance the production of compounds that might help  with cancer, thus, it might have anti-cancer properties.4 However, more studies are required to prove the above-stated claims. Cancer is a serious condition and must be diagnosed and treated only by a doctor. Kindly ensure that you consult a doctor.

6. Potential use of Moong dal for the digestive system:

Moong dal might act as a prebiotic (food that helps in the growth of good bacteria in the small intestine) and thus might help to maintain a healthy digestive system.4The presence of indigestible food ingredients like dietary fibre and oligosaccharides (type of carbohydrates) might impart prebiotic properties to it and may be helpful for the gut health, constipation, development of cholesterol and obesity, and might reduce the chances of heart diseases.4 However, such claims need more research ass proof.

A probiotic yoghurt was developed by supplementing yoghurt with green gram (moong dal), oats, barley and quinoa, using a good bacteria (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1) in a study.4Researchers have found that fermentation of moong dal with Lactobacillus strain might help improve the protein content and digestibility of the protein.4 However, more studies are required to prove these potential uses of moong dal. Therefore, you should consult a doctor before using moong dal for human health.

7. Potential use of Moong dal for the skin:

It might have a potential as a skin lightening agent and may interfere with the formation of a pigment called melanin which imparts a darker tinge to the skin.4 It might also have a moisturising effect on the skin and has been used traditionally as a home remedy for obtaining glowing skin.2 However, you should not use it without consulting a doctor. There is more research required to ascertain the potential uses of moong dal for skin.

Also Read: Simple Home Remedies For Indigestion

Other Potential uses of Moong dal:

Moong dal might help effect the unwanted enlargement of fat cells in the liver and may not allow the accumulation of fat in it, thus it might help with fatty liver (hepatic steatosis).4 Moong dal might also have an effect on the immune system of the body and might help reduce an unnecessary activation of it. This activity might be helpful for many diseases related to the immune system and also might also reduce inflammation.1

The potential antioxidant activity of moong dal might be seen to be prominent in its seeds, sprouts and hulls. It might act as a scavenger for free radicals (unstable molecules in the body), which are harmful to the cells of the body and it may neutralise them.4 It may be a good dietary supplement and be helpful for the diseases caused by the accumulation of free radicals like cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, etc.).4 Among the different varieties, the highest antioxidant activity might be shown by the Pattu variety of green gram, which has high phenolic content.4 However, more research is required for proving such claims.

Though there are studies that show the potential use of moong dal in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of moong dal on human health. 

Also Read: Masoor Dal- Uses, Benefits & Nutritional Value

How to Use Moong Dal? 

Moong dal can be incorporated into our diet and consumed in various forms like:

  1. Vegetable
  2. Sprouts
  3. Dhal
  4. Processed grain
  5. Fried bean
  6. Bean paste
  7. Incorporated in noodles, bread, cakes, cold jellies and desserts.4

Studies have also revealed that soaking moong dal before use might increase the availability of its nutrients and might facilitate nutrition utilisation by the body. So soaking the dal before you start cooking might be good for your health too.4 However, more research is required for to prove the use of moong dal for human health.

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.

Also Read: Alfalfa Sprouts Benefits: Uncovering Their Research-Based Health Properties

Side Effects of Moong Dal:

 Moong dal might have unknown side effects. There is a requirement for more studies on the side effects of moon dal. Kindly do not use it to self-medicate, alter, replace or discontinue any ongoing treatment. Please consult a doctor.

Precautions to Take with Moong Dal:

 It is advised to consult an Ayurvedic physician regarding specific usage of Moong dal for medicinal purposes. General precautions should be taken before using moong dal, especially by pregnant and nursing women, elderly individuals and children. Kindly do not self-medicate. 

Also Read: 16 Simple Home Remedies for Glowing Skin!

Interactions With Other Drugs:

Moong dal might interact with other drugs. However, more research is required for studying the adverse drug reactions of moong dal. Please do not self-medicate and ensure that you consult a doctor. One should always disclose all the current medications being used to the doctor so that they can assess the situation and further give sound medical advice.

Also Read: Barley: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

1) Can raw Moong dal be eaten?

Moong dal can be consumed as a vegetable, soaked and sprouted, used in salads, boiled, fried, used as a paste etc.4

2) Does Moong dal lower blood pressure?

Moong dal might help to reduce blood pressure by potentially inhibiting the action of an enzyme which might cause high blood pressure.4 However, more research is required to prove the possible effects of moong dl on blood pressure. Kindly consult a doctor as serious conditions such as high blood pressure should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

3) Is Moong dal good for skin?

Moong dal might have potential use for moisturising the skin.2 However, more research is required. Please consult a doctor before applying anything on your skin.

4) Can Moong dal be used for hair?

There is no evidence stating the benefits of Moong dal for hair.

5) Is Moong dal good for digestion?

Moong dal might act as a probiotic and might be helpful for gut health, constipation and might help the growth of good bacteria.4 However, there is a need for more research. Kindly do not self-medicate, always consult a doctor.

References: 

1. Hou D, Yousaf L, Xue Y, Hu J, Wu J, Hu X, et al. Mung bean (Vigna radiata L.): Bioactive polyphenols, polysaccharides, peptides, and health benefits. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1–28. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627095/ 

2. Tang D, Dong Y, Ren H, Li L, He C. A review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common food mung bean and its sprouts (Vigna radiata). Chem Cent J. 2014;8(1):1–9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899625/ 

3. Central F. [ HISTORICAL RECORD ]: MOONG DAL , SPLIT MOONG. 2019;9(c):12–5. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/445233/nutrients 

4. Mekkara nikarthil Sudhakaran S, Bukkan DS. A review on nutritional composition, antinutritional components and health benefits of green gram (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek). J Food Biochem. 2021;45(6):1–19. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfbc.13743  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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