Poha is a traditional Indian breakfast food and is still favoured in Indian households. With a variety of breakfast dishes such as oatmeal and pancakes, poha has taken a back seat. The health benefits offered by poha are plenty and when consumed, is light on your tummy - making it the perfect breakfast dish.
In various parts of India, there are variations of the dish such as dadpe poha, avalakki, dahi chuda, kanda poha, and others. Poha is also known as flattened rice and is made with beaten rice - an excellent source of carbohydrates, iron, fibre, and packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and free of gluten .
In the current article, we will look at health benefits poha can offer you.
Nutrition In Poha
A bowl of cooked poha has 250 calories, and with the addition of vegetables, the dish becomes high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you are looking to lose weight, do not add peanuts and potatoes in the poha as they increase the number of calories .
To make poha healthier, cook it in olive oil. You can also add shredded coconut and onion to spruce up the first meal of your day.
1. Easily Digestible
Your breakfast must be the healthiest meal of the day as it is the first meal you consume to before starting your day. Let's explore why poha is said to be the healthiest breakfast food.
Poha is a light breakfast food that eases the digestive system. As poha is easy to be digested, it will not lead to bloating and help keep you feeling full for a longer period , making it a suitable breakfast, if you are looking for losing some weight.
2. Has Healthy Carbohydrates
Poha is a very good source of healthy carbohydrates which is required by the body to provide you energy. It contains 76.9 per cent of recommended carbohydrates and about 23 per cent of fats . So, having poha for breakfast will give you the right amount of energy without storing any fat.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Poha is rich in fibre and helps control the release of sugar into the bloodstream and preventing any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels . This property of poha makes it a suitable food for individuals who are suffering from diabetes .
4. Rich In Iron
Regular consumption of poha has been linked with the prevention of iron deficiency and thus reducing the risk of anaemia . Children, as well as pregnant and lactating women, can benefit from poha when consumed as a breakfast dish.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of gestational anaemia and are often advised to eat poha . For better iron absorption in the body, squeeze the juice of a lemon.
5. Low In Gluten
People who are sensitive to gluten foods like wheat and barley can opt for poha because it is very low in gluten . As poha is low in gluten, it can also be considered by people who have to consume low-gluten foods on doctor's advice.
6. Low In Calories
This healthy dish is low in calories. Poha contains around 76.9 per cent of recommended carbohydrates and about 23 per cent of fats, making it the perfect option for people looking forward to losing some weight in a healthy way .
7. A Good Probiotic Food
One of the major health benefits of poha is that it is good probiotic food. It is because the flattened rice is made by parboiling paddy and then drying it out in the sun .
After this the dried product is beaten flat to make poha and undergo fermentation, which helps retain the microbial flora from the digested carbohydrates and protein, thereby improving your gut health .
Recipe For Poha
2-3 cups Poha (flattened rice)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1-2 green chillies (chopped small)
1 onion (small dice)
½ cup peanuts or cashews
¾ teaspoon turmeric
4-5 curry leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro (chopped) for garnish
Fresh lemon (to squeeze at the end)
Salt to taste
Soak the Poha for 5 mins then drain in a colander.
Heat oil in a pan.
Season with mustard seeds and as soon as they crackle, add diced onion and green chillies.
Fry until translucent.
Add turmeric and curry leaves to hot oil once onions are done.
Add Poha and salt and mix thoroughly.
Cook for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!
On A Final Note…
For making poha a complete meal, mixed vegetables can be added. You can even add sprouts, soya nuggets and even boiled eggs to make it a well balanced and high protein meal. Poha can make an amazing meal for your child to take to school. For an extra health boost, opt for poha made of brown rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Poha good for weight loss?
A. It contains around 75% carbohydrates and 25% fat. What's more, it has ample dietary fibres that make it a perfect choice for weight watchers as it keeps you satiated and curbs untimely hunger pangs.
Q. Is Red poha better than white poha?
A. Red poha is slightly coarser in texture as compared to white poha. It does require a little getting used to, but once you do, you are bound to include it in your regular diet. It is really about making a healthier choice. Red poha can be used pretty much the same way as white poha.
Q. Can we eat poha daily?
Q. Is poha good for gym?
A. Yes. An ideal pre-workout meal is a combination of carbohydrates, fibre and protein- which you can find in a bowl of poha.