Bamboo is a species of grass that belongs to the Bambusoideae subfamily. Considered as the tallest and largest in the grass family, bamboo is the fastest-growing plant in the world. Its sprouts are also one of the most nutritious. These sprouts are called bamboo shoots.
Bamboo shoot is popular in Asia, including China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. In Chinese history, bamboo shoot has been consumed since the Tang Dynasty.
Bamboo shoots are characterized by their light-yellow colored flesh, mild flavor, and crunchy texture. Fresh bamboo shoots have to be soaked overnight before prepping for cooking. In today’s post, we are listing down the health and nutritional benefits of bamboo shoots:
Aids in Weight Loss
Bamboo shoots are an ideal dieter’s food. The shoots are fibrous but contain very low calories and fat. Just a cup of bamboo shoots yields 13 calories and half a gram of fat. Bamboo shoots are also low in sugar, high in protein and packed with fiber. This vegetable is best for those who are prone to snacking or overeating. Consuming bamboo shoots will make you feel fuller so you don’t get the munchies as the day progresses.
Packed with Fiber
As mentioned above, bamboo shoots are incredibly high in fiber. Just a serving satisfies 10% of your daily dietary allowance of fiber. Fiber is a plant-based compound that binds with fat, lowers cholesterol and improves digestive functions. It also enhances the feeling of satiety so you don’t overeat. Even better, fiber also keeps the heart strong and cleanses the colon.
High in Potassium
Potassium is an important nutrient that lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure by several points. Eating more potassium reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and arterial disorders. Good thing bamboo shoots are high in this mineral! Several studies also conclude that the phytosterols and phytonutrients in bamboo shoots lower LDL cholesterol. They promote smooth blood movement and increase the delivery of oxygen to the organs. Keep the heart healthy and the arteries strong by incorporating bamboo shoots to your diet!
Loaded with Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are plant-based compounds that protect from bacterial, fungal and viral infections. These compounds also cut the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Bamboo shoots contain lignans, phytochemicals that protect from oxidative stress and inflammation. Lignans also keep the arteries flexible and promotes healthy circulation. Bamboo shoots also contain phenolic acids. Just like lignans, phenolic acids protect from certain types of cancer. These compounds also reverse the damage caused by free radicals to healthy cells.
Contains Essential Nutrients
Bamboo shoots contain a long list of nutrients. These nutrients include Vitamin A, B6, and E. They also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acids. Bamboo shoots are also loaded with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and iron! All these nutrients help keep the body healthy without the unwanted calories and saturated fat!
Preparing Bamboo Shoots in Cooking
Note that only the sprouts of bamboo are edible. Assuming that you got fresh bamboo shoots, gather the tender core. After gathering the core, shred each one. Soak the shredded shoots overnight. After soaking, boil the shoots for at least 20 minutes. This will remove the shoots’ bitter taste. Once you’re done boiling the shoots, you can use the shoots for cooking.