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Benefits of Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are the edible shoots of many bamboo species including Bambusa vulgaris .
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.
3. History
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.


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  • How to Sprout Sprouts

    As a first step, a good variety of seeds should be used for sprouting. It should be ensured that the seeds, legumes or grains are of the sproutable type. Soyabeans do not sprout well as they often become sour. Wheat has to be grown in soil. It is advisable to use seeds which are not chemically treated as this slows down the germination rate. The seeds should be washed thoroughly and then soaked overnight in a jar of pure water. The jar should be covered with cheesecloth or wire screening. The duration of soaking will depend upon the size of the seed. Small seeds are soaked for five hours, medium size for eight hours and beans and grains for 10 to 12 hours. On the following morning, the seeds should be rinsed and the water drained off. Not more than one-fourth of the jar should be filled with the seeds for sprouting. Soaking makes the seeds, grains or legumes fatty, pulpy and full of water. It should, therefore, be ensured that the jar has enough room for the seeds to expand during sprouting. They will expand about eight times their original size. The jar should be kept at a place which is exposed neither to chill nor hot winds. It should also be ensured that the mouth of the jar is not completely covered so as to allow air in. The seeds should be rinsed and water drained off three times every day until they are ready to eat. The seeds will germinate and become sprouts in two or three days from commencement of soaking, depending on temperature and humidity. Care should always be taken to ensure that sprouts do not lie in water. They should be kept well drained to prevent souring. Sprouts are at their optimum level of flavour and tenderness when tiny green leaves appear at the tips. Their nutritional value is also optimum. To retain their freshness and nutritional value, they should be placed in a refrigerator, if they cannot be consumed immediately after reaching suitable maturity. Sprouts can be kept for several days in this way.
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