Bamboo shoots are majorly used in South Asian cuisines and are highly nutritious. The benefits of bamboo shoots can be attributed to various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are a rich source of bioactive compounds. They have been a part of traditional Chinese medicine. Keep reading to know how this flavorful ingredient benefits you and ways to include bamboo shoots in your diet. Scroll down.
What Is It?
A highly nutritious edible shoot of bamboo trees.
What Are Its Benefits?
Lowers cholesterol levels, supports weight loss, and lowers blood pressure levels.
Who Can Consume It?
People who are looking to shed some pounds, or individuals with high blood pressure levels.
The recommended serving size of canned bamboo shoots is typically around 1/2 to 1 cup daily.
Since it contains anti-nutrients, eating it in moderation is essential to avoid poisoning.
In This Article
What Are Bamboo Shoots?
Bamboo is a type of grass belonging to the Poaceae family. The new and tender stems that emerge from the ground are the edible shoots. There are over 1000 different bamboo varieties in the world. However, not all are edible. The tender shoots of bamboos belonging to the species Bambusa bamboos and Phyllostachys edulis are edible.
They typically have an ivory yellow color and are soft and crispy. The white bamboo flesh turns yellowish when cooked (1). Bamboo shoots are rich in nutrients and healthy. The next sections explore their health benefits and nutrient profile. Keep reading.
Are Bamboo Shoots Healthy?
Dr. Anthony Puopolo, MD, says, “Bamboo shoots are similar to foods like celery or seaweed in that their calorie count is extremely low. They can serve as a good snack, especially if you are trying to lose weight.” Bamboo shoots have low fat content and have a rich nutrient profile.
Nutritional Information Of Bamboo Shoots
One cup of raw bamboo shoots contains (2):
Total lipidsi XA group of fatty compounds in the body responsible for regulating hormones, protecting vital organs and reserving energy. (Fat)
Dr. Puopolo adds, “One of the biggest health benefits of bamboo shoots is how high in fiber they are. Bamboo shoots, due to this, will contribute to digestion, gut health, and healthy appetite habits. They also contain antioxidants and are high in nutrients.”
Many Southeast Asian and East Asian countries and ethnic communities use fermented and fresh bamboo shoots for medicinal benefits. Let’s understand how bamboo shoots may positively impact your health.
Potential Health Benefits Of Bamboo Shoots
1. Have Antibacterial And Antifungal Activity
Bamboo shoots contain a unique protein called dendrocin, which shows antifungal activity against Fusarium, a fungus found in soil, air, and plants that often causes food poisoning. The shoots contain novel peptides (Pp-AMP 1 and Pp-AMP 2) that have antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria and fungi (3),( 4).
2. Rich In Antioxidants
3. May Lower Cholesterol Levels
The dietary fibers in bamboo shoots may reduce the serum cholesterol levels, especially the bad (LDL) cholesterol. The fibers help maintain a healthy lipid profile and improve bowel functions (6).
4. May Promote Gut Health
The dietary fibers in the bamboo shoots promote the growth of gut-friendly bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. It provides them with small chain fatty acids, stimulating their growth, maintaining gut health, and improving digestion (7).
5. May Support Weight Loss
Several studies have indicated that higher fiber intake may promote weight loss. Dietary fiber takes time to digest and may keep you full for longer (8). It’s low-fat content may help in portion control, which can have a favorable effect on body weight (7)
6. May Lower Blood Pressure
A rat study found that bamboo shoots could inhibit angiotensin-converting enzymes, which caused high blood pressure. Moreover, the antioxidants in bamboo shoots also play a crucial role in preventing hypertensioni XA common condition characterized by high pressure of the blood against the artery walls, leading to the risk of heart disease and stroke. by lowering blood pressure levels (9).
7. May Delay Fatigue
Bamboo shoots contain biochemical compounds like triterpenoids and flavonoids. A mice study found that these compounds in the fresh extracts of bamboo shoots have an anti-fatigue effect and prolong endurance (10).
8. May Promote Strong Bones
A study published in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery suggests that oral or topical application of bamboo paste may help decrease inflammation and aid in fracture healing due to the presence of benzoic acid and silicon substances (11). The presence of calcium may be another reason why bamboo shoots are used for strong bones (12).
9. May Improve Skin Elasticity
The presence of silica in bamboo shoots may improve skin elasticity. A study published in the Brasilian Society of Dermatology found that bamboo shoots play a role in activating hydroxylation enzymes. These enzymes aid in collagen production to improve skin strength and elasticity (13), (14).
These are just a few of the many benefits bamboo shoots provide. If you want to give them a try, scroll down to learn how to add bamboo shoots to your diet.
How To Eat Bamboo Shoots
You may eat fresh or canned/fermented bamboo shoots.
Fresh shoots are covered in sheaths. Peel the sheath to reveal yellowish-white edible flesh. You can boil and sauté the tender shoots. Canned bamboo shoots are precooked and stored in either water or brine. Rinse them before consuming.
Bamboo shoots are crisp and crunchy, and their sweet and earthy taste imparts a distinct flavor to the dish. They make wonderful additions to soups and dumplings and can be used as a spicy pickled side dish. Here are a few recipes to help you get started.
Popular Bamboo Shoots Recipes
1. Bamboo Shoot Wontons
What You Need
- 250 g ground pork
- ¼ cup of bamboo shoots, finely chopped
- ½ can of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- ¼ cup of green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup of bean sprouts, finely chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of cooking sherry
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 pack of square wonton wrappers
- 2 cups of oil
How To Prepare
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Place a spoonful of this mixture on a wonton wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper and secure the edges with water.
- Ensure there are no air bubbles inside the dumplings.
- Heat oil in a heavy skillet and fry the wontons for 2 minutes.
- Drain excess oil on paper towels.
2. Chicken Soup
What You Need
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 500 g chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
- ½ cup of bamboo shoots, sliced
- 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
- 3 slices of ginger root
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons of vinegar
- ½ cup of water
- 1 egg, beaten
How To Prepare
- Boil chicken broth, water, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and hot pepper flakes in a saucepan for a few minutes.
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer.
- Coat the chicken slices with sesame oil.
- Mix the cornstarch and vinegar separately and set aside.
- Add the chicken slices to the broth. Turn up the flame and boil for a while.
- Pour the egg into the broth while stirring it slowly.
- Add the vinegar and cornstarch mixture.
- Simmer on medium heat for three minutes. Stir until the soup thickens a bit and the chicken is tender.
- Garnish with scallions before serving.
3. Spiced Bamboo Shoots With Pork
What You Need
- 1 can of bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
- 100 g ground pork
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 red chili pepper, minced
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon of dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons of vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons of peanut oil
- Salt, as needed
How To Prepare
- Stir-fry bamboo shoots over medium heat for three minutes until fragrant and dry. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Fry garlic, red chilies, and red pepper flakes on high heat until fragrant.
- Add the pork and stir until it is cooked. Add the dry sherry and salt.
- Add the bamboo shoots and cook until they sizzle. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, chicken broth, and salt to taste.
- Let the bamboo shoots sit for 1-2 minutes, so the flavor can penetrate.
- Garnish with scallions, turn off the heat, and serve.
Bamboo shoots are known for their sustainability and are environment-friendly and are also safe for your pets, especially dogs. They love gnawing on the tender bamboo stalks. Experts suggest that bamboo shoots can benefit your pet doggo in many ways.
Are Bamboo Shoots Safe For Pets?
Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, affirms, “Yes, these are a good treat to give to dogs. They are especially good for dogs who suffer from diabetes or have to have a low-fat diet.”
She adds, “They contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. These can help strengthen cardiovascular health as well as support a healthy immune system.”
Bamboo shoots should be stored properly to keep them fresh for a long time and prevent any taste changes. Here are a few tips.
How To Store Bamboo Shoots
Tender bamboo shoots have a shelf life of two weeks if stored and refrigerated in sealed plastic bags. Fermented bamboo shoots may last longer. Store them away from sunlight as sun exposure may make them bitter. Discard the shoots if they develop an unpleasant odor, taste, appearance, or mold.
Canned bamboo shoots may last until the expiration date. However, it is better to consume them within a few days of opening the can. Also, make sure to consume them in moderation, as though they may have numerous health benefits, they also come with associated health risks.
Possible Side Effects Of Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots contain certain anti-nutrients (cyanogens) like hydrogen cyanide and may cause cyanide poisoning. They also contain toxins like tannins, oxalate, and heavy metals, which may damage the pancreas, central nervous system, and thyroid gland (15).
Therefore, it is crucial to remove the toxins from fresh bamboo shoots before consuming them. The best way is to boil the shoots in water or ferment them in brine. Washing the fresh bamboo shoots may also reduce the cyanogen content. However, it is best to avoid consuming raw and unprocessed bamboo shoots.
Infographic: 5 Reasons To Include Bamboo Shoots In Your Diet
Bamboo shoots can be healthy snacks as they are low in fat but rich in fiber and essential nutrients, including antioxidants and phenolic compounds. No wonder these plant parts were often referenced as “The Green Gold” or “The Poor Man’s Timber” in many ancient medicinal texts! Check out the below infographic to understand the benefits of including bamboo shoots in your diet.
Bamboo shoot’s benefits are numerous. These can be attributed to its nutrients. Bamboo shoots are a low-calorie snack and can be a perfect addition to your diet. In addition, they have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are rich in antioxidants, help lower cholesterol levels, and promote gut health. In addition, these shoots aid in weight loss, lower blood pressure, and delay fatigue. Bamboos shoots can be consumed fermented, fresh, or canned. However, they may negatively affect the central nervous system and thyroid gland if consumed in excess amounts. Hence, eating them in moderation helps reap the benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do bamboo shoots make me itchy?
Bamboo shoots might make you itch if you are allergic to them or a plant in the same species.
Is bamboo shoot a vegetable?
Yes, bamboo shoot is the edible bamboo sprouts and are used as a vegetable in various Asian broths and dishes.
Does bamboo cause gout?
Studies suggest that consumption of bamboo shoots may lead to increased uric acid levels and the possibility of gouti XCommonly referred to as gouty arthritis, it is a type of arthritis that causes intense pain, swelling and redness in the joints as a result of excess uric acid buildup. (16).
Is bamboo shoot acidic or alkaline?
Bamboo shoots are not very popular due to their pungent smell and acidic taste.
- Bamboo shoots are a rich source of bioactive compounds and are highly nutritious.
- They exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties and promote gut health and weight loss.
- Bamboo shoots are crunchy with a distinct flavor and can be consumed fresh, fermented, boiled, or sauteed.
- However, the presence of anti-nutrients in bamboo shoots may cause cyanide poisoning.
Amazing food to reduce cholesterol in your body, bamboo shoots are fibrous and it is time for them to receive some love. Watch the video below to know about the five incredible health benefits of bamboo shoots.
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- Value addition to bamboo shoots: a review
- FoodData Central
- Dendrocin a distinctive antifungal protein from bamboo shoots
- Amino Acid Sequence and Antimicrobial Activity of Chitin-Binding Peptides Pp-AMP 1 and Pp-AMP 2 from Japanese Bamboo Shoots (Phyllostachys pubescens)
- Optimization of Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Antioxidants from Bamboo Shoots of Phyllostachys pubescens
- Effects of bamboo shoot consumption on lipid profiles and bowel function in healthy young women
- The potential cholesterol-lowering and prebiotic effects of bamboo shoot dietary fibers and their structural characteristics
- Health benefits of dietary fiber
- Evaluation of Bamboo Shoot Peptide Preparation with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitory and Antioxidant Abilities from Byproducts of Canned Bamboo Shoots
- ANTI-FATIGUE EFFECT OF KAWAYANG TINIK (BAMBUSA BLUMEANA) SHOOT EXTRACTS IN MICE
- Medicinal plants and bone healing
- Calcium intake in bone health: a focus on calcium-rich mineral waters
- Quantitative assessment of silicon in fresh and processed bamboo shoots and its potential as functional element in food, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals
- Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy*
- A systematic review on the composition storage processing of bamboo shoots: Focusing the nutritional and functional benefits
- Trends in hyperuricemia and gout prevalence: Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan from 1993-1996 to 2005-2008