Poha is a popular Indian breakfast made with beaten rice which has variations in different parts of the country. In Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan, poha is served topped with bhujia and some jalebis on the side. In Maharashtra, potatoes are added to poha along with green chutney and sev on top. You can also make cutlets out of poha and then there is misal poha, which is basically misal pav, but the pav is replaced with poha. Another way is having kanda poha, which is poha made with onions, which is famous in Mumbai.
Poha also has different names- it is known as aval in Tamil, avalakki in Kanada, chiura in Bhojpuri, chuda in Oria and so on. But did you know that poha has excellent health benefits too? This is because it is easily digestible, has vegetables and is a cheap option. Poha also helps those fighting the battle of the bulge.
“Poha is very low in calories. It has about 76.9% of carbohydrates and 23% fat, which makes it one of the most ideal choices for weight loss. Apart from this, it is rich in fibre and therefore leaves you feeling full for a longer time, curbs mid-meal cravings and helps avoid overeating,” says Siva Teja Gadepalli who is based out of Guntur, and is a nutritionist on Lybrate, an online medical consultation platform.
Poha is a wholesome meal. (Shutterstock)
The fact that poha can also be cooked in different ways means that it can be both tasty and healthy. Those on a diet can still enjoy a delicious breakfast without losing out on the benefits. Poha can be eaten as a snack too but it essentially is a good breakfast option despite oats, quinoa and other whole grains flooding the Indian market and being promoted as ‘healthy and nutritious’.
Nutritionists acknowledge poha’s high nutrient value and recommend it as one of the healthiest Indian breakfasts.
“Poha is a wholesome meal. It is a good source of carbohydrates, packed with iron, rich in fibre, a good source of antioxidants and essential vitamins and is gluten free. It is known to be good for those who have diabetes, skin and heart problems. To make it protein rich, one can add peanuts and sprouted legumes,” says Priyannka Aashu Singh, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, from Portea Medical, a health start up.
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