Bamboo shoots are the crisp and chewy bamboo shoots that freshly erupt from a bamboo plant. These young and tender shoots are a seasonal delicacy in East Asian regions. There are various different types of bamboo plants, therefore, there are different types of banboo shoots as well. Although, the medicinal value of bamboo shoots has been well knowns in chinese medicine, now modern research also confirms these medicinal benefits. These range from cancer prevention and weight loss to improving appetite and digestion.
In case you are interested in having a healthy and low calorie vegetable, then bamboo shoots should be the vegetable that you need to go for. Health benefits of bamboo shoots are well recognized by modern medicine as well. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, therefore, you can find bamboo shoots perennially across the year. The bamboo shoots are characterized by the tender, crunchy and a very rich aroma. There are two varieties of bamboo shoots namely winter and spring. Spring bamboo shoots are larger and tougher as compared to the winter bamboo shoots shoots. You can find them both canned of fresh in the market. Bamboo shoots have been traditionally used in all types of recipes ranging from snacks, curries, stir-fries, soups, salads and fried rice.
The health benefits of bamboo shoots are numerous in nature ranging from weight loss to reduction in bad cholesterol. Recent research suggests that the health benefits of bamboo shoots includes cancer fighting properties as well (source: emaxhealth.com). You can refer to the tab below on Health benefits to know about all the possible health benefits of bamboo shoots.
Cultivation of bamboo shoots for consumption can lead to another significant benefit other that the normal health benefits of bamboo shoots. Bamboo is produces the maximum amount of oxygen among all plants and consumes more carbon dioxide than any other plant. Therefore, planting of more bamboo trees can be a small step towards reducing the global warming. So next time you eat a dish made of bamboo shoots, ask for your carbon credits as well :).
Interested in learning more about health benefits of bamboo shoots?
2) Tarla Dalal
6) Bamboo Shoot
Fresh bamboo shoots can be sliced and boiled, sauteed or braised and served as an accompaniment to meat and fish. They can be slow cooked with other vegetables or stir-fried.
Storage: Fresh bamboo shoots can be stored for up to a week under refrigerated conditions. Ensure that you place the bamboo shoots in water and keep changing the water daily. Keep away from sunlight.
Cleaning & Cutting: Bamboo shoot must be peeled of their brownish husk before eating. Use a knife to make a slit up the side of the shoot. Unwrap and discard the successive layers until you reach the pale edible core. Cut off and discard the pointed tip and fibrous base. Place the shoot in saucepan and cover with water and bring to a boil for 20 minutes; change the water and simmer until the shoots are tender.
How to Buy: Select bamboo shoots that are short with a wide base and are solid and heavy for their size. Avoid soft, moldy, or cracked bamboo shoots or shoots that don’t smell fresh.
Special Steps: If the shoots are still bitter, boil again in fresh water for 5 minutes and repeat until they have a more subtle flavor.
TIP: Bamboo shoots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 week if they are unpeeled and wrapped in a paper towel.
This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Riboflavin and Zinc, and a very good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Mineral Content: Bamboo is good in minerals, especially manganese and copper. In addition, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.
Vitamin & Compounds: Bamboo shoots contain vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. Bamboo Shoots are very rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid.
Water Content: Bamboo shoots is 94 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Bamboo shoots provide only 27 calories per 100 g
Bamboo culms compose of adequate levels of soluble and non-soluble (NSP-non starch carbohydrates) dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines. Studies suggest that high-fiber diet can help cut down colon-rectal cancer risk by protecting intestines from the toxic compounds in the food.
Helps in Losing Weight: Bamboo shoots are weight loss-friendly. It is an ideal food for people who want to lose weight, but also who want their stomachs to be full.
Heart Health: Phytosterols and phytonutrients found in bamboo shoots are ideal for dissolving harmful LDL cholesterol in the body. This eases cholesterol out of arteries for the smooth supply and movement of blood throughout the body.
Controls Cholesterol: Consumption of bamboo shoots is also helpful in decreasing LDL levels of cholesterol, with stable glucose levels. This is due to the fact that bamboo shoots contain negligible amounts of fat and very low calories.
Fights Cancer: Bamboo shoots consist of phytosterols such as flavone, amylase and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll showed properties of controlling mutations and cancer.
Strengthens the Immune System: The vitamins and minerals in bamboo shoots are ideal for improving the body’s immune system. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in bamboo shoots are essential for strengthening the body from the inside out.
High Supply of Dietary Fiber: The amount of dietary fiber in bamboo shoots is high. Consuming sufficient amounts of dietary fiber is essential for easy digestion and healthy bowel movements.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Bamboo shoots possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) properties. It helps in the healing of ulcers as well. Juice from bamboo shoots can also be used as a medicine for external wounds and ulcers.
Respiratory Disorders: Bamboo shoots have been known to be effective against respiratory disorders.
Possible Cure for Poisoning: In Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle, it is believed that bamboo extracts contain anti-venomous properties. They are useful in cases of both snake and scorpion bites.
Uterotonic Properties: Bamboo shoots can cause uterine contractions.
Stomach Disorders: Bamboo shoots are useful in treating stomach disorders. Apart from bamboo shoots, bamboo leaves are also suggested as a remedy for intestinal worms and stomach disorders as well.
Wound Cleaning: Bamboo shoots are also used for cleaning wounds and sores.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Bamboo shoots contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium is highly beneficial as an electrolyte and is also very good for lowering and maintaining blood pressure.
Good source of Phytochemicals: Phytochemicals are natural substances that are found in plants. In particular, bamboo shoots contain lignans which may fight cancer, bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Improves Digestion: The study in the journal Nutrition showed that the women who ate them had a greater number of bowel movements compared to the women who didn’t eat any. It is the high fiber content that leads to this benefit. Many adults don’t get enough fiber in their diet. So adding this food to your meals is a good way to ensure that you are getting enough fiber.
Source of Vitamin B6: Bamboo shoots are also a source of vitamin B6. This vitamin is important for healthy skin. An individual with a deficiency of vitamin B6 can develop anemia and dermatitis.
Gallbladder: Bamboo shoots have been referred to as an effective herbal remedy for alleviating spasms in the gallbladder.
Women Health: Bamboo is known to speed up two significant processes in women: menstruation and labour.
Other Benefits: Other benefits of bamboo shoots are associated with treating baldness, itching, wound bleeding, cataracts and other eye problems, painful menstruation, burning sensations, bladder pain, gonorrheal infections and painful joints.
Hair Care: Bamboo is also used in aromatherapy as it known to be a natural exfoliant. A lot of cosmetic products integrate bamboo ingredients for facial and hair care.
Thyroid disorders: Thyroid Disorders such as too little thyroid function (hypothyroidism), an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), or a thyroid tumor: Prolonged use of bamboo shoot might make these conditions worse.
Miscarriage: One report cites bamboo’s potential to cause miscarriage. It also noted fluctuations in important hormone levels, which may have contributed to the loss of fetuses.
Pregnancy: Pregnant and lactating women should not use bamboo supplements.
Bamboo shoots have been consumed in South Asian countries for more than 2500 years. So along with the health benefits of bamboo shoots, they also have generated a lot of delicious recipes. Some of them are listed below:
1) Red Bamboo Salad: The ‘red’ comes from cooking the fresh bamboo shoots with corn husks and the longer you cook them, the reddder they will become. Choose small young bamboo shoots because they will be sweeter and more tender.
2) Bamboo and yanang soup (keng no mai sai yanang) – An easy to cook yet delicious soup recipe.
3) Young bamboo shoots stuffed with pork and ginger leaf