Moong nutrition: Why should it be a part of your pregnancy diet?

Moong nutrition: Why should it be a part of your pregnancy diet?

Legumes are an integral part of the Indian diet, as they are loaded with iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Moreover, they contain folate, which is essential for pregnant women, to prevent malformations in the foetus. And moong is a legume that deserves special mention, as it is tasty, nutritious, as well as filling. It can prevent heart ailments, aid smooth digestion and even regulate blood pressure. These tiny, green beans are used widely in both savoury and sweet dishes in India.

This article elaborates on moong nutrition as this legume contains adequate amounts of plant-based proteins too. It is a good source of essential amino acids (EAA) like phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, valine, arginine and more. The EAA amino acids are the ones that are not produced in the body. Moong beans are best consumed in the sprouted form as they contain fewer calories and more antioxidants, than those which are not sprouted.

All about moong nutrition during pregnancy

A pregnant woman can enhance her own health as well as boost the development of the foetus by consuming moong on a regular basis. Here are the many benefits:

  • Consumption of folate-rich foods during pregnancy is vital. During pregnancy, 80% of RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of folate can be obtained from 1 cup (200 grams) of cooked moong. Folate is vital for the production and maintenance of red blood cells. It is also vital for the proper growth and development of kids. Insufficiency of folate can result in increased chances of congenital disabilities like neural tube defects.
  • Moong contains the right quantity and quality of proteins. Protein is needed for the repair of damaged tissues and the growth of new ones. Protein helps in preventing infections too, by producing antibodies for the immune system. It plays an integral role in the formation of enzymes and hormones for vital metabolic functions. Protein also decreases physical and mental tiredness.
  • Moong contains ample amounts of fibre that helps in smooth digestion, excretion, and detoxification of the body. These beans also provide relief from constipation, which frequently occurs during pregnancy.
  • The phosphorus content in moong contributes to the composition of nucleic acids and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
  • Moong is also a rich source of potassium that helps maintain the BMR (basal metabolic rate). It is essential for sending nerve impulses and controlling muscle contractions. It helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
  • During pregnancy, avoid raw moong bean sprouts as they can cause infection due to harmful bacteria.

Other benefits of moong nutrition

  • Moong is rich in antioxidants that help decrease the risk of chronic diseases or illnesses such as heart ailments, diabetes, and a few types of cancers. The antioxidants consist of phenolic acids, caffeic acid, flavonoids, cinnamic acid and more.
  • Moong also contains anti-inflammatory substances that prevent heat stroke and high body temperatures, and other diseases. Antioxidants like vitexin and isovitexin in moong can prevent damage from those free radicals that cause heat stroke.
  • This legume helps decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol, reducing the chances of heart ailments. Moong also prevents the LDL particles from interconnecting with free radicals that are unstable, by protecting them.
  • This legume is rich in potassium, magnesium and fibre, which help in the reduction of blood pressure.
  • Moong is rich in fibre and resistant starch that are good for digestive health. It also contains a soluble fibre called pectin, which helps in smooth bowel movements. The resistant starch promotes good gut bacteria.
  • As moong is high in fibre, protein and antioxidants, it slowly releases glucose in the bloodstream. Hence, blood sugar can be regulated by consuming moong.
  • Moong is a versatile legume and can be easily added curries, salads, soups, or used to prepare halwa.

Moong Recipes

Moong soup with paneer

It is an innovative recipe with a grainy, creamy base, and flavoured with tadka. This can be served with tiny paneer cubes for texture enhancement.

Ingredients

  • Whole green moong
  • Ghee
  • Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • Asafoetida (hing)
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped paneer

Method

  • Pressure-cook the moong with about 3 to 4 cups of water.
  • Before opening the lid, let the steam escape.
  • Using a blender, blend the cooked moong dal into a smooth paste. Using a strainer, strain it.
  • To a non-stick pan, add ghee, jeera and hing.
  • Once the seeds start to crackle, add the smooth moong paste, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Allow it to cook on a low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes and stir occasionally.
  • Add the paneer cubes and mix gently. Allow it to cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve hot moong soup with paneer.

Whole moong dosa

It is a delicious and nutritious snack, packed with protein and fibre. The mild crunchy taste is an added bonus.

Ingredients

  • Whole moong
  • Rice (chawal)
  • Urad Dal
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking and greasing
  • For stuffing
    • Finely chopped onions
    • Chopped coriander
    • Chopped green chillies
    • Salt to taste

Method

  • Soak urad dal, moong, and rice in sufficient water for 4-5 hours.
  • Drain the water. With a blender, blend the mix into a smooth paste using water, and get a consistency like that of a dosa.
  • Empty the batter into a deep bowl and let it ferment for the next 5 to 6 hours.
  • Add salt and mix well.
  • Divide the portions into eight equal parts.
  • On a non-stick tawa, spread a little oil evenly. Sprinkle a little water on top of it and clean it off with a small cloth.
  • Pour the batter on the tawa using a ladle, and spread it in a circular motion, like a dosa. Spread the oil around it.
  • On top of the dosa, add some portions of the stuffing and press gently. Let the dosa cook till brown and fold it over.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining batter and serve hot.

So, now you know how beneficial moong is during pregnancy and how you can incorporate it into tasty and wholesome dishes. By pairing it with other nutritious foods like paneer, vegetables, and nuts and seeds (if you are making halwa), you can enhance the quality of your diet easily.