The health benefits of bamboo shoots come from the wide variety of nutrients like protein, minerals, vitamins, and even some amount of fats plus dietary fiber. The bamboo shoots have so many advantages for our body, it can control bad cholesterol, improve immune system, supports healthy weight loss, and it also equipped with anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. If you want to know more about the healthy benefits of these bamboo shoots then you can read some of the information below.
About Bamboo Shoots and Their Nutrition Values
What are the bamboo shoots? These are actually some sprouts that spring out next to the bamboo plants. These bamboo shoots or sprouts are belongs to the subfamily of grass called bambusoideae, the largest and tallest in the grass family. Bamboo is known as well to be one of the fastest growing plants in the world and Chinese Moso is the fastest growing bamboo plant species and it is reportedly can grow up to 100 cm each day.
Several bamboo plant species that the sprouts are harvested such as bambusa vulgaris, winter shoots, phyllostachys edulis, dendrocalamus latiflorus, hairy’ shoots, bambusa oldhamii, and phyllostachys bambusoides. Every part of the bamboo has been used by many people especially by Asian cultures or other numerous ethnic groups. Bamboo can be used for various purposes including furniture, building material, paper production, simple housing, and instrument materials like shakuhachi, flutes, xiao, and dizi. That’s why bamboo often considered to be the most versatile and utilized plant in the whole world.
Some part of bamboo is edible and already consumed by some parts of the world particularly Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippine, India, Nepal, and Thailand. Even for centuries, Chinese people have eating bamboo and there is some Tang Dynasty record which mentioned that there are some health benefits of bamboo shoots. Another essential scripture back in the Ming dynasty mentioned that there are medicinal benefits of eating the bamboo shoots. In Japan, the bamboo shoots are considered as the ‘King of Forest Vegetable’. Although there are so many bamboo species with the sprouts are out, but few is harvested and consumed.
Bamboo Shoots Nutritional Values
Bamboo shoots are not only available in fresh state, but also in canned varieties. The shoots will develop a bitter taste when they are not stored properly so fresh bamboo shoots should be kept in refrigerator and away from sunlight so they can last about two weeks. Meanwhile, the canned version can last longer. When you want to cook the fresh bamboo shoots, they need to be soaked in the water for overnight or partially boil them because some of the species may contain cyanide thus you need to remove it by those mentioned methods.
Bamboo shoots are rich in nutritional values from the protein to the vitamins. Here are some of the nutritional facts provided by the bamboo shoots:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
- Fats (saturated and unsaturated)
- Pantothenic Acid
15 Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are amazing foods that consumed not only in Asian countries, but they start gained popularity in western countries as well. Here are the top 15 health benefits of bamboo shoots:
1. It Helps to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Bamboo shoots contain a substance called phytonutrients which has vital role in maintaining heart function and according to some study, both phytonutrients and phytosterols available in the bamboo shoots can prevent the bad cholesterol (LDL) which can increase the risk of heart disease dissolved in our body. The potassium content in bamboo shoots also help to keep normal heart beat.
2. Improve Immune System
The bamboo shoots have great amount of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant which can help to enhance the immune system while fighting against disease. The health benefits of bamboo shoots plant such as antioxidant can strengthen our immune cells to combat free radicals and preventing them to enter our body which can cause oxidative stress.
3. Keep Healthy Skin
Vitamin E in bamboo shoots can help to maintain healthy skin. This vitamin E contain antioxidant which we already mentioned before can help to fight free radicals effect that possible to damage our body particularly damage in the skin. Furthermore, free radicals can speed skin aging so if you want to have a healthy young skin, you need to consume the bamboo shoots and gain the health benefits of bamboo shoots for skin.
4. Lower The Cholesterol
Our body needs high level of fiber in order to reduce the cholesterol and bamboo shoots rich in dietary fiber and thus it can help to lower the bad cholesterol or LDL. In addition, there is some study conducted by Washington State University which reported that consuming bamboo shoots regularly will give favorable effect on the cholesterol reduction.
5. Promote Healthy Digestive System
Bamboo shoots that rich in fiber of course can help to promote healthy digestive system. The health benefits of bamboo shoots for digestion will promote and helps the bowel movement and support good bacteria production in the intestine. Oppositely, lack of fiber can cause some problems in our digestion and therefore, you need to take fiber everyday to gain healthy digestion system.
6. Support Weight Loss Diet
You will not have some concern about increase in weight when eating the bamboo shoots because they are low in fats and calories but high in fiber. The fiber in bamboo shoots can help you to feel full for longer time so they can also maintain your appetite and craving for foods. The bamboo shoots will add bulk in your stomach so you are not quickly feeling hungry.
7. It Helps to Relief Constipation
Another healthy benefit of bamboo shoots is that they can help to relief constipation. In addition of supporting weight loss diet, fiber is effective substance to relief constipation by add some bulk in the stool and softening it and thus the stool can pass large intestine quickly and easier. Include bamboo shoots in your meal is enough to help keeping good defecation process
8. Prevent Anemic
Iron provided by bamboo shoots has important role to support red blood cells production in our body. As for your information, the lack of iron can cause anemia, a condition that your body is lack of red blood cells which can also affect oxygen transport to the whole body. That’s why eating bamboo shoots rich in iron help will prevent anemic.
9. Helps to Clear The Wound
If you have injuries then consuming the bamboo shoots frequently can help to clear the wound quickly. Such health benefits of bamboo shoots canned come from the anti-inflammatory properties. In addition of the properties, since bamboo shoots are high in both mineral and vitamin, these are also promote regeneration of new skin cell while clear the wound.
10. Prevent and Fight Against Cancers
The phytonutrients found in bamboo shoots act as great antioxidants and we already noted above to you that strong antioxidant can effectively prevent oxidative stress which caused by free radicals. In addition of that, the oxidative stress can damage body DNA that lead to cancers. Some amount of chlorophyll in the bamboo shoots helps to prevent cell mutation as well.
11. Strengthen The Bones
From the nutritional values list above, the bamboo shoots contain some amount of calcium which an important mineral to strengthen bones. Although the level of calcium in the bamboo shoots are not that high but it still contribute calcium intake for your body. Lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis and thus you need to eat foods that provided calcium content such as these bamboo shoots.
12. Helping to Cure Late Delivery in Pregnant Women
In the traditional Chinese medicine, the bamboo shoots are known for their uterotonic properties. The health benefits of bamboo shoots uterotonic properties can help to trigger uterine contractions. For your information, Chinese people has been a long time using bamboo shoots medicine to treat pregnant women in the last months of their pregnancy particularly those who still not giving birth even when they are passed the delivery date. According to a study by University of Vienna, bamboo is one plant out of thousand of plants which have uterotonic effect.
13. Reduce Inflammation
Since bamboo shoots equipped with anti-inflammation properties then they are automatically can work well to eliminate most of inflammation in our body. So, it is recommended that you eating bamboo shoots either fresh or canned regularly to remove or reduce inflammation which can happen due to infection of viruses, bacteria, and other factors.
14. Keep Normal Body Metabolism
Bamboo shoots contain manganese, a mineral that support metabolic enzyme formation. And this is why when you eating bamboo shoots, they can help to maintain normal body metabolism by proving your body with manganese. Moreover, bamboo shoots are contained with numerous minerals and vitamins which support overall body function and system.
15. Cure Respiratory Disease
Although it is not the last health benefits of bamboo shoots, but help to relief or cure respiratory disease is one of the most important advantages when you consuming bamboo shoots. It can help to cure the respiratory disease particularly that occurs in the upper tract of respiratory system. Furthermore, if you drink the water that used to boil the bamboo shoots and mix it with honey, it can be used to cure or relief cough and sore throat.
How to Enjoy The Bamboo Shoots?
The bamboo shoots can be cooked in various ways, however you need to boil them (when using fresh bamboo shoots) about twenty minutes before using them. Bamboo shoots are edible and save to be consumed since for centuries there are no reports that bamboo shoots can cause illness or disease for the people who consume them. In fact they are provided you with bunch of health benefits of bamboo shoots.
Some of the ways to enjoy and eating bamboo shoots are:
- Cook the bamboo shoots and prepare them as vegetable side dish by adding extra seasonings or butter.
- You can eat the bamboo shoots by add them in your vegetable salads or soups.
- You can pan fried them by stir the bamboo shoots with other protein foods like shrimp or meat and then add some extra sauces like soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other sauces which suitable with your taste.
- In Indonesia, people also love to use bamboo shoots as part of lumpia or Chinese spring rolls ingredient. They will stuff the bamboo shoots inside the rolls.
When you want to cook and eat the bamboo shoots, select fresh or ready to cook canned bamboo shoots in the market. And please pay attention that although there are many health benefits of bamboo shoots that we already listed above, never eat bamboo shoots which have been kept for more than two weeks because they will have bitter taste.