Bamboo shoots enjoy the fame of a healthy food as they are enriched with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fibers and very low quantity of fat. These are part of a number of traditional food delicacies across world. Due to their high nutritional content bamboo shoots are used in many forms such as medicinal, fermented, boiled, liquid, frozen, canned, boiled, raw and liquid forms.
What are Bamboo shoots and where they come from?
Bamboo shoots are most versatile edible forest tree grasses and they belong to a grass family Poaceae. This evergreen and versatile plant is found everywhere around world except the frozen poles.
Nutritional Content of Bamboo Shoots
According to a study, bamboo shoots are power packed with essential nutrients, these nutrients include fibers, protein, inorganic salts, carbohydrates, sugars, amino acids, fats and minerals. Moreover, Bamboo shoots are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. According to USDA a 100-gram serving of raw bamboo shoots contains:
- Vitamins: Bamboo shoots contains vitamins such as Vitamin E, A, B, folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
- Minerals: Bamboo shoots are enriched with Iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
- Protein: High in protein content, 2.6 g.
- Dietary Fiber: High dietary fiber, 2.2 g.
- Calories: Low in calories, 27 calories.
- Sugar: Low in sugar contents: 3 g.
- Fat: A negligible amount of fat: 0.3 g.
Health benefits of Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots come packed with numerous health benefits some of those are stated below:
1. Anticancer Properties
The chemical phytosterol which is found in bamboo shoots contains anti-cancerous properties against several types of cancers such as stomach, lung ovary and breast cancer.
2. Protection of heart health
According to a research phytonutrients and phytosterols, chemicals found in bamboo shoots, are considered ideal for dissolving LDL cholesterol of body. This helps in smooth movement and supply of blood through body.
3. Strengthens Immune System
The high vitamin and mineral content of bamboo shoots plays an important role in strengthening body’s immune system.
4. Healthy Digestive system
Due to rich source of fibers, bamboo shoots plays important role in healthy digestive system. The fiber in bamboo shoot can help in various digestive issues such as constipation, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids and acid reflux.
5. Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
Bamboo shoots are rich with flavonoids and anti-oxidants such as caffeic acid, catechin, p-coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid. These important compounds can help body in getting rid of harmful free radicals and prevent cell damage.
Bamboo shoots as Medicines- All around the World
As bamboo shoots are enriched with anti-free radical, anti-oxidants and anti-aging agents they have been used as medicine since the tribal times.
- According to a research bamboo shoots contain pain killing (analgesic) and anti-inflammatory properties.
- In the Tibettan and Indo-Persian system of medicine the silicious concretions of bamboo shoots is used as a tonic for respiratory disorders.
- Bamboo shoots are used to treat infections in China. The pressed bamboo shoots produce juice that contains protease that is helpful in digesting proteins.
- Bamboo shoots along with palm jaggery is known to induce abortion or parturition.
- In Korea bamboo salt tablets are used to treat internal maladies.
Bamboo shoots in weight loss
A single cup of bamboo shoot contains only 13 calories, bamboo shoots are not only low in calories but also rich with fiber content. This combination makes it a great choice if you want to reduce weight. According to a study bamboo shoots are effective in weight loss as the high fiber of bamboo shoot has potential in preventing metabolic syndrome and obesity. The high fiber content of bamboo shoots helps body in curing cravings as fibers promotes satiety. As suggested by studies increase in fiber intake helps in increased weight loss.
How to Cook & Store Bamboo Shoots?
Caution: As bamboo shoots produces cyanide, they can be harmful to consume raw. Before adding bamboo shoots in your diet consult your doctor.
- Before cooking bamboo shoots, it is advised to either boil them or soak them in water overnight. Some species of this plan contains cyanide and either of these process helps in eliminating cyanide.
- Boiled bamboo shoots can be used in several dishes. They can be served with vegetable alongwith with soy sauce and butter.
- Bamboo shoots can be added in gravies, salads, stews and soups.
- Pickled bamboo shoots can be used as a snack.
There are several options how to cook bamboo shoots. For fresh bamboo shoots start with cutting lengthwise, then dice into cubes and boil the bamboo shoot cubes for 20-25 minutes to get rid of all the harmful compounds. Fresh, canned or dried bamboo shoots can be used in variety of recipes. Following are some of the recipe ideas to help you get acquainted with bamboo shoots.
- Simmered Bamboo Shoots
- Menma Recipe
- Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
- Bamboo Shoots with Dill Dressing
- Chicken Red Curry with Bamboo Shoots
In order to preserve bamboo shoots for up to two weeks, they should be kept away from sun and properly refrigerated. As after sun exposure bamboo shoots develops bitter taste.
Risks and Side Effects
- Raw bamboo shoots contain a harmful toxin known as cyanogenic glycosides. In order to destroy this toxin bamboo shoots must be boiled or cooked before consuming it.
- Canning can also be used to process raw bamboo shoots.
- Even though it is rare but still some people can be allergic to bamboo shoots. People who are allergic to grass pollen are prone to bamboo shoot allergy.
- After consuming bamboo shoot if you experience swelling, itching or rash discontinue its consumption and consult your doctor.
Bamboo shoots are not only great in enhancing the texture and flavor of any dish but they are also power packed with healthy nutrition’s. These nutritious bamboos hoots bring a good number of vitamins, minerals, fibers and anti-oxidants in each serving. Hence adding bamboo shoots in your diet will help you in maintaining your health while keeping you fit.
Don’t forget to cook bamboo shoots properly to get rid of all cyanogenic glycosides.