a bowl of bamboo shoots

Incredible Health & Beauty Benefits of Bamboo Shoots

Benefits of Bamboo Shoots 

Bamboo shoots are a very common product in a lot of dishes in Asia. They can be canned or boiled and can add an earthy flavour and a crisp texture. Although it’s very famous, people are not very sure about its health benefits and are not aware that it can be a part of one’s balanced diet. In this article, we’ll have a closer take on this kind of research, i.e. Are bamboo shoots good for health?

Definition of bamboo shoots

Defined as an edible part of bamboo plants, bamboo shoots are used in many kinds of Asian cuisine. There is an estimate there are around 1,500 bamboo species all across the globe. Some kinds such as Phyllostachys edulis and Bambusa vulgaris are used most widely in cooking. Due to the thick and woody texture of the exterior and difficulty to chew, they need to be peeled off before consumption. These shoots are found in different forms that can be canned, fresh, or dried. Before one adds these shoots to any kind of recipe such as soups, salads, curries, and stir-fries, they are usually pickled, cooked, or soaked.

Nutrition

Bamboo shoots have a very good quantity of vitamins, copper, and fibre, and are considered highly nutritious in value. One cup i.e. defined as 155 grams in terms of quantity, of bamboo shoot that is cooked, has 2.5 grams protein, 9% Vitamin E, 14% Vitamin B6, 4.5 grams of fat, 64 calories, 5 grams carbs, 3% Vitamin K, 2 grams fibre, 19% copper, and 3% each of riboflavin, phosphorus, thiamine, potassium. As it has a higher content of copper, hence it’s considered a very good ingredient for brain function and skin health. Also, the shoots have a higher content of Vitamin B6, therefore a very healthy product. 

Bamboo Shoots Benefits

Bamboo shoots have the following health benefits:

  • Reduces cholesterol levels: There are certain studies that indicate that bamboo shoot can be effective to lower cholesterol levels, and hence improves the overall health of our heart. Moreover, an older study took 8 healthy women, who were given bamboo shoots, i.e. 360 grams for 6 days. They reflected lower levels of total and LDL cholesterol.
  • Enhances gut health: They have fibre, hence a great source for it. Fibre can increase regularity and can save people from problems like colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, and haemorrhoids. As per many types of research, bamboo shoots have prebiotic properties which means they can act as a fuel for gut beneficial bacteria. 
  • Might help reduce weight: Bamboo shoots have very low calories but have a higher content of fibre which makes them a great thing for weight loss programs. As per some of the studies, if one increases the intake of fibre, weight loss is boosted and belly fat is reduced (even when one hasn’t done many modifications in the diet). To boost this effect of weight management, adding a weight loss supplement might double the impact.
  • Improves bone health: The question is “Is bamboo shoot good for bones?” As it is rich in phosphorus, iron, and manganese, hence it’s a good ingredient for bones.

  • What are the side effects of bamboo shoots?

    • Fresh bamboo shoots have cyanide taxiphyllin (toxic in nature), but some processing methods are there that can reduce its toxicity and make it safer for consumption then. These shoots are usually boiled and dried before consumption to reduce the levels of taxiphyllin
    • Bamboo shoots can also have an effect on thyroid gland functioning and are considered as goitrogenic. As per one study conducted, there were some compounds from bamboo shoots that lowered the thyroid gland cells' activity (to produce thyroid hormones)

    How to cook bamboo shoots?

    Very easy to cook or prepare, fresh bamboo shoots are very flexible (Versatile). In order to get started, peel these shoots (reason as mentioned above) and extract the outer layer (basically fibrous layers). The next step is to add these shoots to boiling and salted water, leave them to cook for around 20 to 30 minutes or one can also leave them at medium heating for up to 2 hours. This makes the texture soft and removes or reduces the bitter taste. To get ready confirmation, one can use a toothpick or skewer to know if they are prepared or cooked. If they are ready, the toothpick should go through without any hindrance. When they are cooked, extract them from the water and allow them to cool. Post this, one can slice these shoots and have them consumed. 

    Take Away

    Bamboo shoots are a very famous product in a lot of cultures of Asia (as mentioned at the start of this article). They have very high amounts of nutrients and have a lot of different health benefits that include better digestive health, reduced levels of cholesterol, better bone health, better health of the gut, and increased weight loss. The side effects of bamboo shoots include toxicity levels due to cyanide taxiphyllin, and impact on thyroid glands. Although they have a lot of benefits, it’s very essential to cook them thoroughly to lower the toxicity levels.