When we talk about comfort food, decadent foods tend to come to mind. 3-cheese macaroni, chocolate layer cake, brisket pot roast, and apple pie were top contenders for favorite comfort food in a poll by homecooking.about.com. These foods tend to be very high in calories and high in fat or sugar. Not great for comforting your healthy goals!
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a comfort food that was nutrient-dense but low in calories? Well, there is! Say hello to mung beans. When cooked, they are similar in texture to lentils, but with a slightly doughy texture. They are great in stews and taste amazing with even the slightest additions of butter or ghee, salt, pepper, and other spices. When cooled, they add satisfying protein to a salad. And a warm cup of mung bean stew does wonders to comfort the soul.
In the July 2014 Well Core Newsletter, I discussed the importance of having “fuel” (healthy food) for your body’s “furnace” (metabolism and energy) in order for you to get the most out of each day. To elaborate on that article– proteins, fats, sugars, and carbs tend to get all the glory when we talk about food and nutrition. But there is more to the story than just these elements. Micronutrients and minerals in foods affect our bodies, such as our digestion quality, and even affecting whether we feel peaceful or agitated.
Mung beans have a unique blend of micronutrients, fiber, complex carbs, and protein which are known in cultures around the world for balancing the energy in the body. And there is growing evidence that mung beans also help to balance blood sugar.
So if you are feeling askew or out-of-whack, mung beans have a unique blend of properties and micro-nutrients to help your body get back into balance. Add mung beans into your meals for a few days, and even try substituting a meal or two with some mung bean stew. Talk to your health professional about ways you can integrate foods such as mung beans into your life. Food is so much more than our daily energy source– enjoy discovering food’s healing properties. As Hippocrates said: “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.”
Written by Aja Uranga-Foster, Holistic Life Coach