Panda eating bamboo© Pexels

Should You Be Eating Bamboo Shoots For Higher Immunity?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news recently, then you should know that this is not the time to let our guards down when it comes to keeping COVID-19 at bay. Active cases of Coronavirus have been on the rise in the country and experts have been advising people to mask up in public spaces and continue maintaining the safety protocols that became like second nature to us during the peak of the pandemic.

Additionally, you can make a few tweaks to your diet to make some healthy additions of superfoods to ensure your immunity remains strong. One of the lesser known immunity-boosting food sources is bamboo shoots.

Widely considered to be one of the cheapest immunity boosters around, bamboo shoots are a powerhouse of nutrients that could impart several health benefits.

The edible sprouts of a bamboo plant are enjoyed for their unique taste and texture in East Asian cuisine and many Indian dishes too.

DISCLAIMER: Before making any diet changes or introducing a new ingredient to your everyday diet, it’s best to consult your physician or a professional nutritionist.

Are bamboo shoots really healthy for us?

Should you really make like a panda and chomp on a bamboo shoot the next time you want to make your diet healthier? Undoubtedly, yes. The food item contains 17 amino acids, out of which eight are essential for the human body. Bamboo shoots are also known to have nutraceutical benefits, which is when a food item is medicinally or nutritionally rich.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the Philippines relied on bamboo shoots for extra immunity and nutrition. The food item is also prevalent in Chinese medicine.

Lao PDR - Vientiane - Bamboo shoots for sale at Hua Kua evening market©GettyImages

So what exactly are the health benefits of bamboo shoots?

Bamboo shoots are a great ingredient to add to your diet if you want to improve your gut health. They are packed with protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and minerals. Bamboo shoots are also known to improve cardiovascular health and blood circulation. The presence of phytosterols work towards lowering bad cholesterol levels.

If you’re someone who is trying to regulate their weight and want to find a food item that’s nutritious and filling, bamboo shoots are your answer. These are low in calories but high in fibre, which means you feel fuller for a long time and avail all these extra health benefits. It’s a good source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. If that’s not enough, bamboo shoots also boost the production of white blood cells which helps in keeping many diseases and health issues at bay.

How can you include bamboo shoots in everyday diet?

Now that you’re up to date on the nutrient rich food item that you’ve been ignoring all this while, it’s time to add it to your diet. Thankfully, the humble food item is versatile and easy to prepare.

You need to start by peeling off the outer, fibrous layer which is hard and tough to chew. One of the most common ways to prepare these is by adding the shoots to salted boiling water and cooking them for 20-30 minutes, or even up to two hours on low heat. Once they soften, you can remove them from the water, slice them, and add them to your soups, broths, or other recipes.

Food shot of 'Bamboo Shoots in Red Chilly Oil' at Chuen Taste Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Causeway Bay. 25APR12©GettyImages

Boiling them in water and adding honey to the resulting broth can give you a concoction that helps alleviate respiratory issues too.

So eat healthy and stay safe. Remember, prevention is always better than the cure.