Bamboo shoots, or bamboo sprouts, are the new edible shoots of different species of bamboo. They are used in Asian cuisine but, nowadays, they can be found easily pretty much everywhere and added to our dishes to make them tastier and healthier. Bamboo shoots have indeed interesting nutritional properties, they are a low sugar food and are a precious source of essential amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin B6, that is very important because plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of serotonin and therefore in prevention of depression, calcium, iron, potassium, useful to keep at bay blood pressure, selenium, that is a powerful antioxidant, proteins and fibers (Singhal et al, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2013 or also J Food Sci Technol, 2012). For this reason, thanks to these characteristics, these sprouts have a high satiating power, counteract constipation, lower the levels of cholesterol and are helpful to keep at bay the body weight. In addition to this, a scientific study has demonstrated that the fibers of bamboo shoots are more efficient in preventing obesity than other types of fibers commonly introduced with diet. The fiber of bamboo in particular, according to the study, acts as a prebiotic food by modulating the gut microbiota, that is constituted by all the microorganisms that live in the gut, and by improving the metabolism (Xiufen Li et al, Scientific Reports, 2016). Before eating bamboo sprouts they should be cooked because in the raw food some toxic substances have been observed. In general, bamboo shoots aren’t found fresh in the supermarkets but already cooked and canned. You can serve them together with vegetables cooked in the wok, or in salads or you can also add them to soups.
Vitamins and mineral salts, such as potassium, calcium, selenium, a powerful antioxidant, important source of proteins and fibers that are satiating and help prevent obesity, prebiotic action on the gut.