Adzuki Beans vs Mung Beans: Taste and Nutrition Comparison


Adzuki and mung beans seem to be getting a lot more popular lately as more and more people start to shift to a more plant-based diet.

Even though they are not the most popular beans, they can add some variety to the staples (i.e. black beans, kidney, chickpeas) when you get bored.

This is a short side-by-side comparison of adzuki beans and mung beans so you can determine how they should fit into your diet.

Taste of Adzuki Beans vs Mung Beans

Both of these beans are rather unique compared to the traditional “mainstream” beans:

  • Adzuki beans – These are small red beans (about the size of black beans) that have a bit of a sweet beany flavor. They are staples in many Chinese and Japanese dishes (including deserts). Adzuki beans typically go best in things like light soups, stews, and curries.
  • Mung beans – Many people don’t know that the bean sprouts that you buy in the grocery stores are almost always made from mung beans. They have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor once cooked and are popular in Asian dishes, including desserts.

Can I Use Adzuki Beans Instead of Mung Beans

adzuki bean

Adzuki beans and mung beans can be substituted for each other fairly well in most recipes, although it will change the overall taste.

When you think of dessert, most don’t think of beans, but these are the two best beans when it comes to making desserts due to their slightly sweet tastes.

I should note that while it’s not common, adzuki beans can also be sprouted and look fairly similar to mung bean sprouts.

Nutritional Value Comparison

Let’s compare the main macronutrients in each bean, and then the individual nutrients.

All data in this section is per 100 grams of cooked beans (a bit over 1/2 cup).


When it comes to macronutrients, there are obviously similarities, but also some significant differences.

  Adzuki beans Mung bean
Energy (kcal) 127.8 105.0
Protein (g) 7.5 7.0
Total Lipid (g) 0.1 0.4
Carbohydrate (g) 24.8 19.1
Fiber (g) 7.3 7.6
Sugars (g) 0.0 2.0

A few things should jump out at you:

  • Adzuki beans have about 25% more calories, mainly coming from carbohydrates.
  • Mung beans have 2 grams of sugar, which explains why they are arguably the sweetest bean variety
  • Adzuki beans have slightly more protein

Vitamins and Minerals

The table below shows the amount of nutrients in both adzuki and mung beans.

Note that I only included vitamins and minerals with a significant amount, and the RDA is just a general reference for an adult (but can vary based on age and gender).

  RDA Adzuki beans Mung bean
Folate (µg) 400 120.9 158.9
Iron (mg) 18 2.0 1.4
Magnesium (mg) 400 52.2 48.0
Manganese (mg) 2.3 0.6 0.3
Niacin (mg) 16 0.7 0.6
Phosphorus (mg) 700 167.8 99.0
Potassium (mg) 532.2 265.8
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.1
Selenium (µg) 55 1.2 2.5
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.1 0.2
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.1
Zinc (mg) 11 1.8 0.8

Both are really healthy foods with a good amount of vitamins and minerals (mostly minerals).

However, adzuki beans have more nutrients overall:

  • Adzuki beans have significantly more manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc
  • Mung beans do have more folate, but that’s not particularly hard to get.

What Are the Differences Between Adzuki Beans and Mung Beans?

These are two of the most similar beans in terms of size, taste, and even recipes that they can be used in.

While both are very healthy, the main differences can be seen in the nutritional information for each:

  • Mung beans have fewer calories
  • Adzuki beans have more protein
  • Adzuki beans have significantly more of multiple important minerals

If you’re trying to get more of a particular nutrient, it may make sense to prioritize one bean over the other. Otherwise, just know that both are healthy additions to most diets.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.

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