Bamboo shoots are not just edible, they’re very good for your health. They are younger canes which are sensitive and quite crisp, like asparagus, and they taste a lot like corn. They’re always a part of Asian dishes, and have been cooked in China for centuries. Locally developed shoots taste better than canned counterparts.

Although mostly found in Asian cuisine, the Western world is familiar with it due to Asian restaurants. Asian markets painstakingly prepare fresh shoots before they’re used. Canned and frozen shoots are already prepared, but again, don’t taste as good as fresh shoots.

Benefits of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots can aid in stopping long-lasting bowel issues, and it can help fight colon cancer. As far as phytochemicals are concerned, shoots contain lignas and phenolic acids. Lignas is great against cancer, bacteria, and viruses, while phenolic acids are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Antioxidants aid in cancer prevention and they keep blood vessels safe.

Shoots also contain vitamins A, B, and C, riboflavin, calcium, fat, iron, carbs, protein and many more minerals that keep the body safe. The potassium in shoots regulates our blood pressure and protects the heart.

Check out some of the benefits of bamboo shoots.

1.   Less caloric content

For every one hundred grams of these shoots, you only take in twenty-seven calories. Since it is high in fiber, eating it will make you full enough to eat less of other high-calorie food.

2.   More regulated blood pressure

The high content of potassium means that bamboo shoots are great at lowering blood pressure. You get a fifth of your recommended daily amount of potassium with every serving.

3.   Phytonutrient content

As mentioned earlier, the phenolic acids are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Phenolic acids reduce the risk of long-term diseases like heart disease.

4.   Better cholesterol levels

Recent research showed that women who ate the shoots for six straight days had a decrease in LDL levels in the blood, compared to other females who didn’t eat the shoots. Bamboo shoots have been shown to regulate cholesterol levels without the side-effects that maintenance drugs have.

5.   Healthier digestive system

Studies showed a bigger quantity and healthier quality of bowel movement for participants who consumed bamboo shoots, compared to those who didn’t. This is due to the shoots being high in fiber. This is a great addition to your meals since the shoots are already low in calories and they even keep you protected from bowel issues.

6.   Potent antioxidant and anti-Inflammatory properties

The phenolic acids in the shoots are great anti-oxidants and have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties which means, they very helpful in preventing long-term sicknesses like heart disease. They are also known to combat cancer and keep blood vessels safe.

7.   Effective weight loss

These shoots have nearly minimal amounts of calories, carbs and sugar. Bamboo shoots are quite perfect for people who want to lose weight, and not starve themselves.

8.   Healthier heart

According to research, the phytosterols and phytonurtrients in the shoots are great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels. This means a smoother flow of blood throughout the body.

9.   Anti-cancer

The flavone, chlorophyll and amylase found in bamboo shoots are called phytosterols. Among these phytosterols, chlorophyll is the one that exhibits abilities of managing cancer.

10.   Stronger immune system

The vitamins and minerals, as well as the anti-oxidants in the shoots are important in fortifying the body’s defenses from the inside.

11.   High dietary fiber

Bamboo shoots are loaded with dietary fiber, which is important when considering digestion and bowel movement. Having the shoots for dinner could help you lose weight, since it has lower amounts of calories during the time you have minimal physical activity.

12.   Great against respiratory disorders

A decoction made from the shoots could help relieve respiratory problems. To make this decoction, boil the shoots for five minutes, then boil it again for ten minutes. Add honey if desired, before consuming.

13.   (Might be) Great against poisoning

In Ayurveda, it is believed that extract from bamboo have anti-venom properties, and are used to treat snake bites and scorpion stings.

14.   Better pregnancy

These shoots are used as somewhat of a medication in the final month of pregnancy since it is believed in China, to cause contractions in the uterus.

15.   Great against stomach disorders

The shoots are great against stomach disorders. Bamboo foliage is used to treat worms found in the intestinal tract as well.

16.   Excellent wound cleanser

The shoots are great at cleaning wounds and blisters.

Some more facts about the shoots

You can find bamboo shoots in soups, dumplings and stir fried food. It’s crispy even after cooking and it somehow makes the dishes better. Pickled shoots are common in China as a garnish.

It’s also important to note that not every kind of bamboo has tasty shoots. The best choices are giant timber, big node, red margin and sweet shoot. Moso-chikus are also good.

Shoots are the delicious parts of the bamboo. They are hard on the outside and soft, and faintly sweet inside. Peel off the shoots before using to make them easier to absorb.

They can be large and thick in food. It should first go through steaming in water, before being sliced. It is also recommended that you peel, then very finely slice the shoots before leaving them in water for three days. Drain and change the water daily to get rid of whatever harmful element there is in the shoots.

History of the shoots

Bamboo shoots were first grown in the southern part of China. The first recorded use of bamboo shoots for food was in the 9th century. It has been used ever since. Nowadays, you can find bamboo trees in Japan, India, Taiwan, Nepal, India and other countries in Asia. Numerous places in the Northern Pacific, Europe and Latin America have tried to grow bamboos as well.

Bamboo shoots’ nutritional value

For a single cup (120g) of shoots, you get 1g of ash, 1.8g of protein, 115g of water.

You also get a total of 13.2cal, with 6.5cal from carbs, 2.2cal from fat, and 4.4cal from protein. You get 1.2g of dietary fiber and 1.8g total carbohydrates.

You get 0.3g total fat content, with 18mg of Omega-3s, 99.6mg of Omega-6s, 0.1g each of poly-saturated fat and saturated fat.

As far as vitamins are concerned, you get 2.4mcg of folate, 0.4mg of niacin, 0.1mg of pantothenic acid, 0.1mg of riboflavin, 0.1mg of vitamin B6.

For minerals, you get 14.4mg of calcium, 0.1mg of copper, 0.3mg of iron, 3.6mg of magnesium, 0.1mg of manganese, 24.0mg of phosphorous, 640mg of potassium, 0.5mcg of selenium, 288mg of sodium, and 0.6mg of zinc.

How to choose

While we recommend buying fresh over canned, if you want to buy canned, make sure that the cans are not puffed. Look at the details such as the brand, and expiration date. Also note that canned shoots are parboiled.

How to store

You can store the shoots for around a week as long as it is chilled. Keep the shoots immersed in water, and change the water daily. Keep it away from the sun. The same goes for canned shoots.

Other health benefits of eating bamboo shoots

As mentioned earlier, there is a possibility that these shoots can help combat poisoning. These shoots are great for digestion, and excellent against stomach problems.

Soup made from bamboo has been known to help against measles in children. It was found to shorten the time of recovery from the disease.

During pregnancy and childbirth, the shoots have been used to stimulate labor. It also helps prevent too much loss of blood post-delivery. Bamboo shoots can both stimulate and manage menstruation.

Shoot juice, when consumed twice daily, can be amazing against ulcers.

Food preparation

  • Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines often make use of bamboo shoots. They are very finely sliced in Indonesia, and prepared alongside veggies, spices and coconut milk. Sometimes, they’re just prepared with coconut milk. In Vietnam, they’re used in stir-fried dishes.
  • Pickled shoots are used as a condiment.
  • In the Indian regions of Karnataka, Jharkhand and Assam (among others), bamboo shoots are used in preparing curries and other meals.
  • You can find them alongside dumpling dishes, soups, noodles, and salads in China.
  • You can slice the cooked shoots and eat them alongside butter and soy sauce.

When not cooking the shoots…

Bamboo shoots are world famous for their therapeutic value. Traditionally, in China, they are used to treat health issues such as cancer, arthritis, and asthma.

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