is poha good for weight loss

Is Poha Good for Weight Loss

Is poha good for weight loss? Well, keep on reading to know more about how poha is good for weight loss.

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Is poha good for weight loss? Well, keep on reading to know more about how poha is good for weight loss.

Poha or flattened rice is a breakfast staple in South Asia also known as pauwa, avalakki, chivda, aval, rice flakes, beaten rice, pounded rice, or pressed rice among other names. It is particularly popular in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Poha is made by de-husking rice grains and then parboiling or soaking them in hot water for 45 minutes. Brown Poha is another healthy form of poha, rich in magnesium and fibre.

When Poha is prepared in a traditional form with peanuts, peas, and other vegetables like carrots, beans, potato & tomato, it becomes a nutrient dense breakfast or snack option.

Benefits of Eating Poha-

  • Poha is gluten-free cereal and can be consumed by people who have problems digesting wheat products.
  • Poha is a rich source of iron, vitamin C and A, iron, phosphorus & magnesium.
  • Adding in peas & peanuts along with vegetables makes it protein rich & fibre rich too.
  • Due to the fibre content in poha, along with added veggies it keeps us full longer.
  • Poha is a very good breakfast option for diabetics. Being rich in fibre, poha helps to release sugar in the bloodstream in a slow and steady way. The same thing also prevents a sudden hike in sugar levels.
  • Poha is a good source of probiotics. The dish is made of parboiling paddy. The dried paddy is then beaten, to produce poha. The finished product then undergoes the fermentation process, and retains to itself the microbial floras, from the partially boiled carbs and proteins. The whole process that poha undergoes is really healthy for one’s gut health.
  • Poha is a light meal, which can be digested easily. Therefore, we can either have it in the morning, or we can choose to have it as a light evening meal. It is guaranteed that Poha will never cause bloating, and indigestion problems. That is why pregnant and lactating mothers are advised to eat Poha.

When & how to consume Poha

One can consume poha at any time of the day. But it is best to be consumed at breakfast or as your evening snack. Poha is primarily a carbohydrate source and thus, it is a good breakfast option. You can also add soya chunks to it, to make it protein-rich. Poha can be consumed with curd as well to make it rich in calcium.

How to Poha even Healthier

  • Add soya chunks to poha, for increasing the protein content of your dish.
  • Add boiled chickpea to poha to add extra protein to your meal.
  • Add varieties of vegetables to the poha preparation, and the dish becomes instantly healthier.
  • Use brown poha instead of white poha since brown poha has more fibre.
  • Use healthy garnishing options like peanuts, ground coconut, pumpkin seeds, and a range of dry fruits.
  • Fruit Poha is largely becoming a popular dish to consume. Pick a dose of cranberries, strawberries, dates, apples, and pomegranates to your Poha dish that will elevate the nutritional value of the dish.
  • Always garnish Poha with a drizzle of lime juice, which instantly supplies Vitamin C to the total share of the dish’s nutritional value.

Poha Recipes


  • 150 grams of Red Rice Poha (Choose the medium thick variety of it)
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Shelled peanuts
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped cabbage
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped capsicum/ bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoon peas (use fresh pies extracted from pea-pods)
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1+½ Tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves


  • Add the red rice poha in a bowl. Then add to it half a cup of water. Set the mixture aside. Or you can rinse the Poha under cold water. Drain the excess water.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Keep the flame on medium. Shallow fry the peanuts. Take the fried peanuts out. Keep it in a separate bowl.
  • In the same oil add a spoon full of mustard seeds. Let the seeds flutter. At this point add the chopped green chilies, and curry leaves. Add chopped capsicums, cabbage shreds, and frozen peas to the dish. Keep stirring occasionally.
  • Now add salt to taste and turmeric powder, along with some red chili powder.
  • At this stage add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. On low to medium flame cook for 4-5 minutes. Add a quarter cup of water. The tomatoes should become tender.
  • When everything gets mixed, and a fresh aroma starts to come out, add the red poha. Mix the poha with the veggies. Be careful, try not to mash up the poha rice. Mix everything gently.
  • After 4 minutes of mixing, turn the gas to low and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the freshly chopped coriander leaves. Top it off with some fried peanuts.
  • Give everything a good mix.
  • Serve it hot. Sprinkle some lemon juice for a tangy flavour.
  • Garnish it with pomegranate seeds & desiccated coconut.

Voila! Your poha is done!

Various ways to eat Poha for Weight Loss-

Vegetable Poha:

Adding some healthy vegetables to your poha can make it a wholesome dish and benefit in weight loss.

Bread Poha:

It is a popular breakfast and snacking option. It can be made by adding bread pieces to your classic poha.

Dry Fruit Poha:

It is a nutritious recipe and a perfect weight-loss snack. You can prepare it by roasting poha along with your favourite nuts and seeds.

Poha Chat:

This dish is loaded with flavour and is healthy at the same time. To your classic poha, you can add corn, lemon juice, coriander leaves, chat masala, and your favourite vegetables.

Poha Salad:

It can be an excellent mid-day or evening snack. You can make it by adding your favourite raw vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, or capsicum.

Curd Poha:

Poha with curd, is an excellent source of iron, magnesium & calcium along with fibre. So relish them in summers with any stir-fried veggies.

Last but not least Poha is a good option when considering a weight loss journey. At the same time, we need to remember never to stick to one-single cereal but explore many different kinds of cereal to improve the nutrition in our meals.

Written by Ananya Bhattacharya, ENHAPP Wellness Coach & Nutritionist.

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