Bamboo Shoots on the Diabetes Program
Bamboo is a flowering perennial evergreen in the grass family. In fact, the giant bamboo is one of the largest members of the grass family. It’s also some of the fastest growing plants in the world. It’s a very versatile plant that can be used as a building material, a food and in raw form for anything from jewelry to paper. Bamboo shoots are the youngest part of the plant and are harvested often. There are two main types used for eating; winter and spring. The spring variety is larger and tougher. Used mainly in Asian cuisine, it is gaining in popularity.
Nutritionally they contain:
- Little to no fat or cholesterol
- High in fiber
- High in protein
- High in riboflavin and zinc
- Good source of vitamin B6
- Good source of copper and manganese
- High in potassium
Bamboo shoots can help with constipation because of its high fiber content. It is also a wonderful source of potassium because it is lower in calories than most other high-potassium foods. It also contains a high level of phenolic acids which some believe to be a powerful anti-oxidant. It is also very low on the glycemic index, scoring a 1.
When cooking, make sure that follow instructions. Most canned bamboo should be drained and rinsed or even blanched before use. You also want to peel off the outer layer so you are only using the soft off-white, tender part. When using fresh, you should soak them in water for 24-48 hours before use and then cook them in salted water for 30 minutes. They can be diced or sliced and can be used in a variety of dishes.
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