February's Ayurveda Tips
by Connie Mardon
Whole mung versus split?
Brown basmati versus white?
Hi lovely everyone! In my last post, I gave you a delicious kitchari recipe. I have had some folks contact me about which form of mung, and why not brown rice? I am here to take the confusion out the two most asked questions that I encounter. Time and time again, I have a client saying to me that they find kitchari so hard to digest, and come to find out, they have bought the whole mung instead of the split. And along with that, when I tell people to buy white basmati rice, I often hear but isn’t brown rice more healthy for you? So much misunderstanding when it comes to the little ole mung and the deliciously fragrant basmati. So, I am here, once and for all, to stop you from scratching your head and moving your eyes to the side in perplexity!
Which mung is right for you?
There are three forms that you can buy dry mung.
- whole green = easier to find, harder to digest
- split with skin on it = a little easier to find and a little easier to digest than whole
- split without skin on it = harder to find, but easier to digest
It depends on what your health goals are and of course the strength of your digestion. Whole mung is easy to find, and you are getting the whole bean, which means the whole food, but if your digestion is at all off, it sits in your stomach like a hard ball and may give you bloating and gas, and therein lies the rub. You won’t be able to assimilate the nutrients because of the impairment with the digestion process. I have personally tried eating whole mung, and with my Vata constitution, it’s a – well, let’s say disaster on my well being. The split with skin can be a tad easier on the digestion, but still a little difficult. And I can tolerate it when my body is in balance.
My favorite? The split mung without the skin. It’s easy on the intestines, nutritious and a wonderful thing. Yes, it has lost some of its power packed minerals and vitamins by the processing of it, but your body will thank you. Mung has the magic ability to cleanse and nourish you. So, yes, mung has the ability to detoxify your body as well as pack a nutritious punch! This is why it is so prevalent in hospitals in India for the weak and recovering. And it is the main food in Panchakarma. (next article)
The hard part is finding organic, split mung.. I have seen whole mung everywhere, i.e. Whole Foods, but it’s harder than heck to find organic. There are a couple websites I will include. It is a little more expensive buying organic, but if you desire optimal mung, you won’t mind the price.
Basmati white versus brown: Same thing: the brown is harder to digest. While the brown rice is very delicious and provides added fiber to your diet, if you are looking for resting your digestive system, then the white is the way to go. White basmati rice has gone through a process that takes the outer layer off, the bran, which is why a lot of people prefer eating brown basmati because of its higher fiber content.
While brown rice can be eaten by those with iron stomachs, be aware that its outer layer, the bran, contains phytic acid. Phytic acid is a very powerful blocker of mineral absorption in the gut. Ayurvedically speaking, this isn’t good! I have had people tell me also that brown rice tends to just “sit” in the tummy. So the nutrients are not being assimilated properly..
White basmati has some of the outer layer taken off, but still has nutrients…it breaks down easily. It is sattvic in nature and satisfies all three doshas. Its sweet quality provides a sense of satisfaction and comfort. High in prana, if eaten over time as a regular staple in your diet, it starts to balance out your blood sugar, thereby making you less hungry for longer periods of time…
So long story short, eat what your body can tolerate, and as always, what works best for you. But if you want to give your system a rest, you are recovering from illness, or you’re going on a cleanse, stick with split mung and white basmati rice.
These are two good sources for purchasing organic split mung.
Last newsletter I gave you a kitchari recipe. Try cooking the mung and basmati separately. When cooking basmati rice, it’s delicious when adding coconut oil, especially for Pitta types, and toasted sesame seeds after cooking..yummm!
Special note: Some time at the end of March, I will be teaching an Ayurvedic cooking class. Ghee, lassi, kitchari and mung tortillas are just a few of the deliciousness. If you are interested stay tuned! Namaste…Connie
Connie Mardon received her 200-hour training from Seaside Yoga
Sanctuary and is a Certified Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner. She
specializes in Ayurvedic consultations, massage and Panchakarma, an ancient
cleansing for body, mind and spirit. In her yoga classes, Connie
discusses Ayurvedic postures for different body types and Ayurvedic tips for
healthy living and emphasizes breath, body movement and meditation, focusing on
integrating the three and becoming one with the mind.
Connie has had yoga in her life for over 35 years and believes
yoga is for everybody and encourages all people. Yoga is not about turning your
body into a pretzel, but it is about getting to know yourself and taking the
journey inward. She believes that living in a world where demands and
challenges are coming at us every day, yoga and meditation can change one’s way
of handling stressful situations in a more peaceful manner.
is also a tribal belly dance instructor, integrating yoga and dance, and is a
Certified Shorthand Reporter.