Poha (flattened rice) is a naturally vegan and simple Indian meal option that can be prepared in no time. Indians in different parts of the country cook it with multiple variations to make it more nutritious and healthy.
For example, in some parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it is topped with bhujia (an Indian snack, usually prepared with gram flour) and some jalebis (sweet Indian dessert) on the side. In Maharashtra, potatoes are added to poha along with coriander chutney and sev (an Indian snack made with gram flour) on top.
In this article, we will discuss the poha nutrition value as well as its health benefits.
Poha has low calories. So, it is a healthy and light option for breakfast or snacks. 1 plate poha calories equal 180, which gives 9% of an adult’s total daily calorie requirement. Total poha calories include:
Red Poha Vs White Poha Calories
Poha is prepared by boiling rice and removing the husk by pounding. In this process, the rice becomes flat. While removing the husk, the outer bran and germ layers also get detached. After that, this flattened rice is left to dry. This dried flat rice is called poha and is also known as white poha.
Red poha, as the name suggests, is red because of the presence of a pigment called anthocyanin. It is healthier than white poha because it does not undergo the above-mentioned excessive processing of poha making. It also contains more fiber, vitamin B, and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, etc., as compared to white poha.
Red poha calories per 100 g are 401. It also contains antioxidants that provide strength to fight free radicals in the body and decrease the risk of diseases such as cancer.
Health Benefits of Including Poha in Your Diet
Poha provides multiple health benefits as described below:
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Poha contains high fiber and a low glycemic index. It helps in promoting the slow release of sugar in the bloodstream. Through this, it keeps in check any sudden sugar spikes in the blood and controls blood sugar levels. It is highly beneficial, especially for a diabetic person.
2. Helps In Digestion
Poha is lighter for the stomach and gets digested easily. It does not cause bloating or gastric issues. Thus, one can have poha for breakfast and as a snack. It is also an excellent probiotic and keeps the gut healthy by promoting the easy digestion of carbohydrates and proteins.
3. Source of Iron
Poha is rich in iron. Hence, it is also beneficial for people at a higher risk of gestational anemia, including pregnant women. A few lemon drops can be added to poha to increase the body’s iron absorption.
4. Rich in Healthy Carbohydrates
It gives energy and keeps the body active throughout the day.
5. Good for Weight Loss
As poha is low in calories, it is an ideal dish for weight loss. The total number of calories in poha with onion, curry leaves, and other ingredients is just 250.
Is Poha Good for Weight Loss?
While looking at that delicious plate of poha, are you wondering, ‘can we eat poha for dinner for weight loss?’ It is a wholesome meal and can be included in your healthy weight loss diet. It is a good source of fiber and protein that helps maintain weight.
Poha calories are low. So you can have it at dinner too without stressing about weight gain. It keeps you full, curbs food cravings, and helps avoid overeating. Poha’s nutritional value is high because it contains antioxidants and essential vitamins.
You can also add veggies such as carrots, green peas, and peanuts to make it more healthy.
Is Poha Good for Diabetics?
Yes, poha is good for people with diabetes. Being rich in fiber, it promotes digestion and facilitates sugar release in the blood at a slow pace. Thus, its consumption reduces the risk of a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. It is the best substitute for rice for someone with diabetes.
Is Poha Gluten Free?
Yes, poha is a gluten-free dish. You can have it anytime without worrying about weight gain and its negative impact on health. Eating poha is not at all harmful and risky for anyone.
However, excessive consumption of anything is not good for one’s health. Fix your portion size according to your preferences and diet.
Being low in calories, poha is not only good for weight loss but also keeps blood sugar in control. It can be consumed at any time, depending upon your mood and choice.
It can be cooked with a choice of ingredients such as capsicum, potato, tomatoes, and more to make the meal more fibrous and healthy.