Benefits of Bamboo Shoots
1. What are Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are the sprouts which spring out beside the bamboo plant. These sprouts or shoots are edible and they belong to the Bambusoideae subfamily of grass. They are the largest and tallest in the grass family. Bamboo is also known to be one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The fastest growing species of bamboo is Chinese Moso. It reportedly grows up to 100 cm per day. Some of the bamboo species whose sprouts are harvested include phyllostachys edulis, winter shoots, hairy shoots, phyllostachys bambusoides, dendrocalamus latiflorus, bambusa vulgaris, bambusa oldhamii, and bambusa odashimae.
2. How to Eat Bamboo
Only the shoots of bamboo are edible. The shoot is the part of the bamboo pole early in its growth. Shoots are harvested about 2 weeks after they appear from the ground s surface or just under 1 foot tall. If you weren t lucky enough to buy a house that already had bamboo growing in backyard, you can easily search online for or drive to your local Asian food, select farmer s or specialty food markets to purchase fresh bamboo shoots. Prices range from $2 to $5 per pound1.
Members of the grass family, bamboo shoots were indigenous to southern China. They are the young and new canes of the bamboo plant, which is extremely versatile. Since ancient times, the woody tree trunks of bamboo have been used to build entire houses, furniture, kitchenware and utensils. Bamboo has also laid the foundation for many bridges and musical instruments, apart from the shoots being widely used as food. Due to its diverse adjustability to a wide range of climates, cultivation of bamboo shoots spread across different continents, from the tropical jungles of Chile to the mountain slopes of the Himalayas. But, owing to the weather conditions, bamboo shoots could not be cultivated in Canada, Europe, Antarctica and Western Asia, although successful efforts have been made in Northern Italy, which has mild winters and hot, humid summers. Today, bamboo shoots are commercially cultivated in Eastern and South Eastern Asia on extensive levels.
4. Helps in Losing Weight
Bamboo shoots are weight loss friendly. When we look at the amount of calories, carbohydrates and sugars contained in bamboo shoots, it is shocking to find that their presence is almost negligible. This makes it an ideal food for people who want to lose weight, but also who want their stomachs to be full.
5. Heart Health
According to research studies, phytosterols and phytonutrients found in bamboo shoots are ideal for dissolving harmful LDL cholesterol in the body. This eases cholesterol out of arteries for the smooth supply and movement of blood throughout the body.
6. Controls Cholesterol
Consumption of bamboo shoots is also helpful in decreasing LDL levels of cholesterol, with stable glucose levels. This is due to the fact that bamboo shoots contain negligible amounts of fat and very low calories. Research conducted by Park and Jhon at Washington State University showed that the consumption of bamboo shoots had favorable effects on cholesterol, lipids and bowel function.
7. Fights Cancer
Research studies conducted on bamboo shoots have indicated that leaves of bamboo shoots consist of phytosterols such as flavone, amylase and chlorophyll. Out of these, chlorophyll showed properties of controlling mutations and cancer. Japanese scientists recently discovered that bamboo shoots contain anti cancer agents and making them a regular part of your diet effectively eliminates the free radicals that can produce dangerous carcinogens.
8. Strengthens the Immune System
The vitamins and minerals in bamboo shoots are ideal for improving the body s immune system. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in bamboo shoots are essential for strengthening the body from the inside out. Crisp and chewy bamboo shoots are freshly erupting edible culms of bamboo plant. Young, tender shoots are a seasonal delicacy in East Asian regions, particularly in China, Taiwan, Japan and other South East Asian countries. Several species of bamboo plants employed in the bamboo shoot farming.
9. High Supply of Dietary Fiber
The amount of dietary fiber in bamboo shoots is high. Consuming sufficient amounts of dietary fiber is essential for easy digestion and healthy bowel movements. Including bamboo shoots in your meals can be a very good idea for losing weight as well. With lack of any physical activity during the night time, taking food with less calories and high fiber helps lose weight easily, even while you sleep!
10. Anti Inflammatory Properties
According to research conducted by Muniappan and Sundararaj, bamboo shoots possess anti inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) properties. It helps in the healing of ulcers as well. Juice from bamboo shoots can also be used as a medicine for external wounds and ulcers.
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