Bamboo Shoots, King of the Forest

Every meal plan holds surprises. As a coach I appreciate the breadth of foods considered by metabolic balance®.   When I notice something new, I research the nutritional value it might have to offer.

Bamboo shoots appear on about 20% of the plans that I have submitted. Bamboo shoots are listed as a vegetable. I never really thought about much them. My experience is that they are something that comes with Chinese take out hidden among many other vegetables. Take out is something a metabolic balancer doesn’t rely on much if they are following their plan.

The farmer’s market I frequent has a rich variety of Asian produce and even has a printed list of what is available. Bamboo shoots are not on the list. Out of sight out of mind. Easy to overlook foods on a list that are not familiar or not readily available. End of story?

I think not! Every food on a plan is there by design, not a random choice to fill in a list. Bamboo shoots must be of value or they would not exist on the metabolic balance data base. I put on my sleuth cap and decided to investigate.

Bamboo has played a vital role in Chinese culture for thousands of years. Its influence can be found in almost every facet of life. For example, the bamboo, plum blossom, orchid, and chrysanthemum  are collectively referred to as the Four Noble Ones, representing the four seasons. In fact, China, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia all have folklore about bamboo.

Bamboo shoots have been a traditional food in Asia for more than 2,500 years. In Japan they are thought of as the King of Forest Vegetables. A good name, as and bamboo shoots rank among the five most popular healthcare foods in the world.

Bamboo shoots can be found in the book of Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with the following words: “It’s slightly cold, sweet, non-toxic, and it quenches thirst, benefits the liquid circulatory system, supplements Qi (life force) and can be served as a daily dish.”

Modern research finds that the bamboo shoot has a number of medicinal benefits, from cancer prevention and weight loss to improving appetite and digestion. It is also low in sugar and therefore can be used for treating high blood pressure, high  cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Coincidentally, blood is the liquid circulatory system.

Japanese scientists recently discovered that bamboo shoots contain anti-cancer agents and making them a regular part of your diet can help eliminate the free radicals that can produce dangerous carcinogens.

Bamboo shoots are rich in protein, containing between 1.49 and 4.04 grams (average 2.65g) per 100g of fresh bamboo shoots. The bamboo protein produces eight essential and two semi-essential amino acids. Bamboo shoots contain rich essential fatty acids. The total sugar content is lower than that in other vegetables. More nutritional information can be found here.

If you have bamboo shoots on your plan, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy them in a meal. If they are not on your plan, why not plan to try them as part of a deviation or treat meal* or try them out in Phase 3? If you can’t find them fresh or frozen, you may have to buy them canned. Looked for canned bamboo shoots packed in water. If there are ingredients listed on the label other than water, soak them in water for 10 minutes before consuming (a good rule of thumb for all metabolic balancers when it comes to canned or bottled foods).

Bamboo Shoots, Serving Suggestion
Bamboo Shoots, Raw



* Remember after the Strict Phase 2, deviation meals/treat meals are allowed in moderation. A deviation meal is where you enjoy foods that are not on your list but maybe on somebody’s meal plan. If you are not sure, ask your coach.

I am Myra and I am a metabolic balance coach & homeopath. If you like my posts on LCMB, visit my other blog.


Feature image photo by Ianbu, photo by Johann H. Addicks

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA) says:

    Absolutely, Debby! metabolic balance® encourages the use of fresh whole foods. Sometimes the reality is that we have to use what is available to us, that is why we recommend soaking canned foods in water.


  2. debbybruck says:

    Myra. I loved this blog post. I don’t buy canned goods. I think you can find bamboo shoots in glass jars, and probably fresh in any Asia Market.

    Liked by 1 person

Please Leave Us a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s