Benefits of Poha: Know Why It’s a Better Breakfast Option Than Rice

Poha aka chivda has been the favorite breakfast food in most parts of India. It provides that perfect, energized kick for the day. Not only is it simple and quick to make, but it is also a light food, rich in iron and carbohydrates and with a low glycemic index. While rice is loaded with simple carbs that have been linked to insulin fluctuations, lethargy, and unhealthy weight gain. So you can simply swap your daily rice meal for poha for those perfect healthy mornings.

Health Shots reached out to nutritionist Avni Kaul to find out why poha is better than rice.

Why should you switch to poha for breakfast?

Nutritionist Avni Kaul lists several reasons why poha is better than rice in many ways.

Health benefits of starting your day with Poha. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Loaded with carbohydrates

Considered one of the best breakfast foods, poha is 70% healthy carbs and 30% fat. So if you’re looking for healthy foods to provide you with much-needed fuel for the whole day, then poha is for you! While consuming rice for breakfast tends to make one feel drowsy throughout the day which impacts the productivity levels of the person.

2. Rich source of iron

The sun-dried poha undergoes a flattening process where it passes through iron rollers. Hence, it is known for its high iron content as it retains some of the iron during the flattening process. Thus, people who are prone to gestational anemia, such as pregnant women, are generally suggested to consume poha. A pinch of lemon juice in your daily breakfast bowl of poha makes it rich in vitamin C needed for proper iron absorption.

3. Low in calories

A bowl of cooked poha made from vegetables has a calorie content of around 250 calories, while a similar amount of fried rice has a high calorie content of almost 333 calories. Needless to say, poha is a great meal that keeps you full longer. Some people also like to add fried peanuts to give the flavor a boost, but keep in mind that adding peanuts will also increase the calorie count of the poha. Thus, people who are on a weight loss diet should avoid adding topoha to peanuts.

4. Easy to digest

Rice is a heavier food that cannot be eaten all day. However, poha is easy to digest and can be eaten for breakfast and even as an evening snack. Since it is light, it does not cause bloating, so you can take it whenever you feel hungry. Chop some veggies, add some salt and a tablespoon of mustard oil, and add it to a bowl of sweet Poha, and you’re good to go.

digestive problems
Poha is good for digestion. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Probiotic in nature

Poha also has probiotic qualities. During its manufacture, it is subjected to fermentation. Poha retains the good bacteria that result from protein metabolism and are known to keep the gut healthy. White rice does not offer these benefits.