Health Benefits Of Bamboo Shoots

What are bamboo shoots?

Bamboo is popular in industrial use and is carved by handcraft businesses to make ornaments; however, a lesser-known fact about bamboo is its soft, interior shoots. Bamboo shoots are the tender, edible shoots of the bamboo plant with a mildly sweet flavour and are usually harvested before they are two weeks old. The exterior parts of the bamboo shoots are very hard and should be peeled off before cooking since they are bitter.1

Bamboo shoots are nutritious because of their protein, carbohydrate, fibre, and mineral content and comparably lower fat content.

Bamboo shoot recipes play an important role in many Asian cuisines, be it fresh, packaged, or fermented, shredded, or dried form.

Health benefits of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are used as an important health food as they are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Fresh bamboo shoots are rich in thiamine, niacin, and vitamin; the presence of phytosterols (anti-carcinogenic properties) makes it one of the healthiest delicacies in Asian cuisines.

Modern research has shown that bamboo shoots have many health benefits: boosting immunity, improving digestion, weight loss, and curing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Shoots have antioxidant properties due to the presence of phenolic compounds.2

Boosts immunity

Minerals present in bamboo shoots help in improving our immune system. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants boost immunity and strengthen the body internally to fight against diseases and reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.3

Regulates blood pressure

Low unsaturated fat in bamboo shoots helps reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), in turn helping to reduce the thickening of arteries. Rich potassium in bamboo shoots helps regulate blood pressure levels, thereby minimising hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease risk. There is research showing an increase in the frequency of bowel movements, indicating its role in lowering cholesterol levels and diabetes prevention in individuals with bamboo diets.

Helps in weight loss

Bamboo shoots contain a high amount of dietary fibre. The role of viscous dietary fibres facilitating weight loss is debatable but evidence suggests that including bamboo shoots in lunch or dinner has the potential to facilitate weight loss4 and thus, can help in obesity management.

Promotes healthy digestion

Bamboo shoots are high in dietary fibre and intake of sufficient dietary fibre is essential for easy and healthy digestion. It helps promote free bowel movement and increases the faecal volume as well. Also, bamboo shoots can act as a prebiotic, which can help improve gut health.

Supports bone health

Bamboo shoots have high silicon (Si) content. Silicon is a mineral that is beneficial in the development of healthy and strong bones, vital for the prevention of osteoporosis. It also helps reduce Alzheimer’s risk, and restores integrity and flexibility to the connective tissues of the skin, bones, nails, hairs, and arteries.5

Regulates hormones

The presence of tyrosine aids in the biochemical metabolism of our body. Tyrosine is a major component of adrenals essential for the body’s metabolic activities. It plays an important role in the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands, which regulates hormones in the human body. 

Anti cancer properties

Phytosterols are found in plants and their presence in fresh or fermented bamboo shoots is very prominent and has anti-cancer properties. Phytosterol-rich diets help in the risk reduction of colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

Nutritional facts

100 grams of cooked bamboo shoot contains:6

  • Water: 91.9 g
  • Energy: 41 kcal
  • Protein: 1.68 g
  • Fat: 2.93 g
  • Dietary fibre: 1.4 g
  • Calcium: 8 mg
  • Iron: 0.31 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.024 mg
  • Potassium: 78 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 3.13 g
  • Sugar, total including NLEA: 1.84 g

Culinary uses of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are a type of vegetable used in various forms of cooking. They are commonly used in Asian cuisines, but now, it is available globally. Bamboo shoots are a common delicacy among the tribes in the Northeastern part of India.

These tender shoots have a unique, earthy flavour that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. Since it is versatile, it is used in fresh, fermented salads, soups and curries.  Bamboo shoots are low in calories and fat and provide an array of textures from crunchy to tender when cooked.

With their mild flavour and crunchy texture, bamboo shoots are an excellent way to add flavour and nutrition to many dishes. Whether you are looking for an interesting new ingredient to add to your recipes or want to try something a little different, bamboo shoots can be a great addition to your culinary repertoire.

Fermented bamboo shoots offer a pungent smell and taste but go well with dry fish, pork salads, etc. Bamboo shoot pickles are unique yet a great delicacy and pair well with rice.

Side effects and other concerns

There are lots of health benefits to bamboo shoots, but there are some risks and side effects that come with consuming them. These include:

  • Convulsion
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory distress
  • Loss of consciousness

Bamboo shoots contain cyanogen glycosides, also called taxiphyllin. The β-glycosidase in disrupted bamboo shoot tissues reacts with taxiphyllin and produces harmful hydrogen cyanide, toxic to humans when in excess. The total cyanide content in bamboo shoots is much higher than in other plants like flax seed meal, cassava root, apricot stone, and giant taro leaf. Hydrogen cyanide interferes with cytochrome oxidase, causing abnormal cellular respiration. It is considered lethal and may cause serious health damage, leading to death.

Bamboo shoot consumption is also associated with hyperuricemia, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 


Bamboo shoots are a versatile ingredient used in many Asian cuisines for centuries. They are an excellent source of nutrition and provide energy to the body. Rich in dietary fibre and antioxidants, and low in fat, bamboo shoots aid digestion and prevent constipation. Canned bamboo shoots are available in supermarkets but they do not have the same flavour as fresh ones. The shoots range in colour from pale yellow to deep green. There are wide varieties of bamboo shoots available, both bitter and sweet.


  1. Chongtham N, Bisht MS, Haorongbam S. Nutritional properties of bamboo shoots: potential and prospects for utilization as a health food. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety [Internet]. 2011 May [cited 2023 Apr 14];10(3):153–68. Available from:
  2. Nongdam P, Tikendra L. The nutritional facts of bamboo shoots and their usage as important traditional foods of northeast india. International Scholarly Research Notices [Internet]. 2014 Jul 20 [cited 2023 Apr 14];2014:e679073. Available from:
  3. Bamboo shoots: Beneficial effects on health [Internet]. 2015. Available from:
  4. Jovanovski E, Mazhar N, Komishon A, Khayyat R, Li D, Blanco Mejia S, et al. Can dietary viscous fiber affect body weight independently of an energy-restrictive diet? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Feb 1;111(2):471–85.
  5. Quantitative assessment of silicon in fresh and processed bamboo shoots and its potential as functional element in food, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals [Internet]. Available from:
  6. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Apr 14]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Bhashwati Deb Barma

Bachelor of Physiotherapy,M.S., Ramaiah Medical College, India

Bhashwati is a Physiotherapist with a firm grasp of Paediatric physiotherapy and is currently working with special children in the community.

She has 6 years of experience working in hospitals and non-profit organizations set up. As a writer by passion, she is putting up her practical and academic knowledge into her articles. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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