Bamboo shoot is a highly nutritious health-promoting vegetable rich in nutrients and dietary fibres. The main nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals, fat and sugar. Some of the nutrient components in the shoots are higher than those contained in commonly consumed vegetables. The nutrient content of 30 bamboo species has been studied. Protein content ranges from 2.31 to 5.87 g/100 g f.w. Moreover, bamboo contains 19 amino acids, of which 8 are essential for the human body, which were detected using high-performance liquid chromatography. All essential amino acids including histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and valine except tryptophan were detected in the shoots. The shoots contain many minerals, for example potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron, and also are a good source of thiamine, niacin and vitamins A, B6, C and E.
This chapter describes the nutrient content in various bamboo species and how they are beneficial to human health.