Bamboo shoots are an exotic food in many Asian countries as they are commonly used in their various dishes, including broths.

Bamboo shoots are readily available in grocery stores in various forms, including fresh, dried, and canned.

If you wonder what they taste like, bamboo shoots have a delicate sweet flavor with a crunchy taste.

Traditionally, bamboo shoots have been used in Chinese medicine as a uterotonic compound to help induce uterine contractions during the last month of pregnancy, especially when one is past the delivery date.

Also check out, Dragon Fruit, Durian Fruit, and Goji Berries.

They have also been used as an antivenom to counteract the poisonous effects of snake and scorpion venom.

Today, there’s a wide range of research confirming that, indeed, bamboo shoots can offer more health benefits than you think.

Keep reading to find out why they could be an incredible dish to support health and wellbeing.

steamed bamboo shoots in white dish

What are Bamboo Shoots?

Bamboo shoots are simply bamboo sprouts that spring out beside a bamboo plant. There are different types of bamboo, but the common ones used in cooking include Bambusa vulgaris and Phyllostachys edulis.

They are a common ingredient in most Asian cuisine. The shoots are peeled to remove the exterior thick and woody layer that’s difficult to chew.

The shoots are often soaked, cooked, pickled, or boiled before being added to various dishes, including soups, stir-fries, salads, and curries.

Bamboo shoots are low in sugar and calorie content, high in protein and fiber, packed with minerals and vitamins, and offer an appetizing effect.

They are also delicious and nutritious, with numerous health benefits.

Bamboo Shoots Nutrition

A cup of cooked bamboo shoots offers:

  • Calories: 64
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein:5 grams
  • Fat:5 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Potassium:533 milligrams, or 15 percent of the daily requirements
  • Copper: 1 milligram, or 4 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin B6:14 milligrams, or 14 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin E: 91 milligrams, or 9 percent of the daily requirement of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin K:2,4 micrograms, or 3percent of the daily requirement
  • Riboflavin:026 milligram, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
  • Thiamine:024 milligram, or 3 percent  of the daily requirement
  • Phosphorus:25 milligrams or 3 percent of the daily requirement
  • Iron:31 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily  requirements

Bamboo shoots also contain chlorophyll, bioactive compounds, and antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenols, which help fight free radicles and protect against disease

Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots

1. Promoting weight loss

Bamboo shoots are an excellent food for those wanting to lose weight as they are very low in calories but high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer.

One review found that high consumption of dietary fiber-enhanced weight loss and reduced belly fat without any further lifestyle modifications.

In one lab study, bamboo shoots were shown to promote gut health, which offered protection against weight gain.

This shows that the shoots not only aid weight loss, but when consumed regularly, they may help you keep off the weight.

2. They may promote heart health

Bamboo shoots are rich in phytosterols, ideal for lowering the harmful LDL or bad cholesterol. This improves blood circulation and promotes overall cardiovascular health.

Phytosterols are plant sterols or naturally occurring compounds that possess cholesterol-like effects. When consumed, these compounds compete with body cholesterol for absorption in the digestive tract. This may help lower cholesterol levels by limiting its absorption, causing a drop in your cholesterol levels.

In one study, consuming 12.7 ounces of bamboo shoots was found to lower both total and LDL cholesterol compared to a control group.

In addition, bamboo shoots are high in potassium, an essential nutrient for lowering and maintaining blood pressure.

3. Aids healthy bowel movements and relieves constipation

Due to the high levels of dietary fiber, consuming bamboo shoots may promote healthy digestion and easy bowel movements.

High fiber consumption may also promote other aspects of digestive health, including protecting against diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and colorectal cancer.

Additionally, the fiber in mambo shoots can help feed you good gut bacteria, which helps increase their population and diversity.

Research shows that maintaining a healthy gut is essential for preventing metabolic conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

4. Immune booster

Bambo sprouts are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants essential for strengthening the body’s immune mechanisms. This helps protect against viral and bacterial infections.

5. Fights respiratory disorders

A decoction of bamboo shoots is often made by boiling the shoots and adding some honey to the liquid may help alleviate respiratory issues.

6. Fights inflammation

Research has shown that bamboos are rich in anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties.

Juice extracted from bamboo shoots may help relieve stomach ulcers and promote wound healing externally.

Risks and Side Effects

You should be aware that raw bamboo shoots contain cyanide taxiphyllin, which is toxic if consumed.

That’s why bamboo shoots should be soaked, boiled, or dried before consumption or before including them in other recipes. All these methods have been shown to render bamboo shoots safe to consume.

Bamboo shoots are often referred to as goitrogenic, meaning they can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones. However, getting sufficient amounts of selenium and iodine into the diet may help maintain thyroid function. Cooking bamboo shoots also deactivates some of the goitrogens; thus, you can enjoy well-cooked bamboo shoots in moderation and have your thyroid functioning well.

Final Thoughts

Bamboo shoots are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine.

Although not commonly consumed in other parts of the world, bamboo shoots are rich in nutrients. They can offer various benefits, including promoting cardiovascular health, aiding weight loss, improving digestive health, fighting inflammation, treating respiratory conditions, and boosting the immune system.

Bamboo shoots should be prepared well, including soaking, drying, and cooking before consumption to deactivate the toxic and anti-nutrient compounds naturally present in fresh shoots.

In addition to that, ensure you are getting enough thyroid-supporting nutrients to help maintain thyroid function.

Bamboo shoots are versatile as they can easily be included in soups, salads, curries, and many more.

Other Asian Ingredients

  1.  Chestnuts
  2. Kumquat
  3. Loquat

If you enjoyed this post about the Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.