Wednesday, February 28Food Security Matters

Labong – 10 Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots, and Side Effects

Are you here because you are curious about the health benefits of bamboo shoots? If you love eating labong then continue reading.

Bamboo shoots, also known as labong in the Philippines, have been a staple food for centuries across Asia. They are not only delicious but packed with nutrients that bring numerous health benefits to our bodies. Whether you’re a fan of Asian cuisine or looking for ways to add more healthy options to your diet, bamboo shoots should be on your list! Join us as we explore everything you need to know about this amazing vegetable and discover the top ten health benefits it can offer.

What is Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo shoots are the edible young sprouts of bamboo plants. They are harvested when they’re still tender and before they grow into tall woody stalks. These delicious vegetables have been a staple food in many Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, India, and the Philippines for centuries.

The versatile texture of bamboo shoots ranges from crunchy to tender depending on how it’s prepared. It has a mild flavor that can easily absorb different seasonings and spices used in various dishes.

health benefits of bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots ready to harvest

Bamboo shoots contain essential nutrients like vitamins B6 and E as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Not only that but bamboo shoots also offer dietary fiber which is crucial for good digestion.

Harvesting bamboo shoots requires expert knowledge since it involves digging up underground roots without damaging surrounding plant life or ecosystems where they grow naturally.

How are Bamboo Shoots Harvested

Bamboo shoots are harvested from the bamboo plant, which is a type of grass. In Asia, bamboo shoots have been used as food for centuries and are considered to be a delicacy.

The process of harvesting bamboo shoots begins with identifying the right time to harvest them. This varies depending on the species of bamboo and the climate in which it is grown.

Once identified, the next step is to cut down matured bamboo culms or stems that have already sprouted and shoot into new growths during springtime using sharp blades or knives. It’s important not to damage any other parts of the plant during this process.

After cutting down these culms they are then carefully inspected to ensure that there aren’t any insects inside before being transported for processing.

The outer layer of each stem must be peeled off until only its tender inner flesh remains. The tender part can then be sliced thinly for use in dishes like stir-fries or soups.

It’s worth noting that some varieties of Bamboo contain toxic compounds known as cyanogenic glycosides; hence it’s vital always to handle them with gloves and cook them properly before consumption.

How are Bamboo Shoots Prepared for Cooking

Bamboo shoots, while delicious, can be quite tough and fibrous when raw. Therefore, proper preparation is essential before cooking with them.

Firstly, fresh bamboo shoots need to be peeled and soaked in water for a few hours to remove any bitterness or toxins. After soaking, they should be boiled in salted water until tender.

If using canned bamboo shoots, it is important to rinse them thoroughly under running water before use.

Once the bamboo shoots are cooked and ready to use, they can be sliced thinly or diced depending on the recipe. They are often used as a crunchy addition to stir-fries or soups but can also be pickled or fermented for added flavor.

When preparing dishes that require bamboo shoots as an ingredient, it’s important not to overcook them as this may result in a mushy texture. Instead, add them towards the end of cooking time so that they retain their crispness and natural flavor.

10 Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots are not just delicious, but they are also packed with numerous health benefits. Here are ten reasons why you should consider incorporating bamboo shoots into your diet:

1. Low in Calories: Bamboo shoots contain only 13 calories per 100 grams, making them an excellent addition to any weight loss diet.

2. High Fiber Content: The high fiber content in bamboo shoots helps regulate digestion and improve gut health.

3. Rich in Antioxidants: Bamboo shoots contain flavonoids and phenolic compounds that have potent antioxidant properties that help protect the body against free radicals.

4. Boosts Immunity: Consuming bamboo shoots can help boost your immune system due to their high concentration of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

5. Regulates Blood Pressure: The potassium present in bamboo shoots regulates blood pressure levels by reducing the effect of sodium on the body.

6. Improves Heart Health: The dietary fiber found in bamboo shoots helps lower bad cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart diseases.

7. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Bamboo shots have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent chronic inflammation leading to various diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease

8. Promotes Healthy Skin & Hair: Eating Bamboo Shots increases collagen production promoting healthy skin & hair as well as preventing hair fall

9 . Strengthens Bones: Calcium is essential for strong bones & teeth, and it is found abundantly in this vegetable making it a good source of bone strength

10. Aids In Digestion: As mentioned earlier, bamboo shoots have high fiber content helping digestion more efficient thus preventing constipation

Overall, bamboo shoot offers a wide range of health benefits from improving digestion to enhancing immunity.

We hope these top ten benefits have inspired you to give labong (tambo in Ilonggo) a try!

Possible Side Effects of Eating Bamboo Shoots

While bamboo shoots are a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal, it’s important to be aware of their potential side effects. One of the most common issues that people experience when consuming bamboo shoots is digestive discomfort. This can manifest as gas, bloating, or stomach cramps.

One reason for this is that bamboo shoots contain high levels of dietary fiber, which can be difficult for some people to digest. Additionally, some individuals may have an allergy or sensitivity to bamboo shoots that cause similar symptoms.

Another potential side effect of eating too many bamboo shoots is cyanide poisoning. While this is rare and usually only occurs in countries where improper preparation methods are used, it’s still important to be cautious when cooking with fresh or canned bamboo shoots.

To avoid these issues, it’s recommended that you start by incorporating small amounts of bamboo shoots into your diet and gradually increasing them over time. It’s also a good idea to cook them thoroughly before consuming them in order to reduce the risk of cyanide poisoning.

While there are some possible side effects associated with eating bamboo shoots, they’re generally safe for most people when consumed in moderation and prepared properly.

Popular Dishes that Use Bamboo Shoots as an Ingredient

One popular dish that uses bamboo shoots is the Bamboo Shoots Stir-Fry. This dish typically includes sliced bamboo shoots, along with other vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and onions sautéed in soy sauce.

Another delicious way to enjoy bamboo shoots is through a hearty soup called Sayur Lodeh. It’s a traditional Indonesian coconut vegetable curry soup that features tender pieces of bamboo shoots alongside other vegetables such as cabbage, green beans, eggplant, and tofu.

In Japan, Takenoko Gohan, or Bamboo Rice is a popular dish made by steaming rice with fresh bamboo shoots and dashi broth. The result is a fragrant rice dish infused with the earthy flavor of the bamboo shoot.

If you’re looking for something more savory and spicy then why not try Szechuan-style spicy chicken? This Chinese recipe combines diced chicken with sliced bamboo shoots along with fiery chili bean paste for an explosion of flavors on your taste buds.

There’s the classic Filipino Adobo which features pork belly slow-cooked until it falls apart in vinegar-soy sauce marinade studded with garlic cloves and chunks of sweet-savory fried Labong (bamboo shots).

These are only some examples of how versatile this ingredient can be; however, they all prove one thing: Bamboo Shoots make every meal healthier without sacrificing flavor!


Bamboo shoots or labong is not only a delicious ingredient to add to your recipes but also an incredibly nutritious one. With its numerous health benefits such as aiding in digestion, improving heart health, and helping with weight loss, it’s no wonder why bamboo shoots have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

However, it’s important to note that consuming too many bamboo shoots may lead to certain side effects such as allergic reactions or cyanogenic poisoning. It’s always best to consume them in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Adding labong into your diet can provide you with various essential nutrients that can benefit your overall health. So don’t be afraid to try out some new recipes and incorporate this versatile ingredient into your meals!

See Also:

Facebook Comments Box

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *