Essense of the east: Health benefits of bamboo shoots

Bamboo is a very common and favourite ingredient in Asian countries. It is full of healthy nutrients but there is also a factor causing concern for the depletion of this natural resource.

Assam is the land of many indigenous plants, which is the main ingredient in many dishes. Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are edible shoots of many bamboo spices including Bambusa Vulgaris and Phyllostachys edilus.
The shoot of the bamboo plant has a triangular structure, where on its exterior, shoot feature several layers of a sturdy casing of leaves, firmly wrapped around its central cream-white heart(or the meat).
The bamboo shoot plant is available in certain parts of Japan, China, Taiwan which are generally harvested in spring or early summer.
Representative image.
Image: Representative image.
In Assam, bamboo shoots are parts of traditional Assamese cuisines.
However, the habitat destruction and extensive use of bamboo for food, handicraft and construction purpose have resulted in severe depletion of natural bamboo resources.
Raw bamboo shoot contains a rich amount of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fibre, mineral and low fat. It also contains cyanogenic glycosides and other natural toxins which may get destroyed during the process of cooking or canning.
The consumption of bamboo shoots is confined mostly to south-Asian and east Asian countries. Besides being so healthy and nutritious, it faces less acceptability due to its high pungent smell and bitter acidic taste.
Different communities prefer fresh or fermented bamboo shoots as one of the most preferred traditional items.
Representative image
Image: Representative image
However, the habitat destruction and extensive use of bamboo for food, handicraft and construction purpose have resulted in severe depletion of natural bamboo resources.



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