Poha Calories, Nutritional Value & Its Health Benefits

Poha also known as flattened rice is a popular quick breakfast dish enjoyed in many households across India. This dish is a power pack of good health which is economical, and easy to find in corporate canteens, restaurants which makes having a healthy breakfast a no-brainer. Poha is easy to digest, light on the stomach and can easily be prepared into a one pot balanced meal. They come in thin, medium, and thick varieties.

What is Poha Rice?

Poha or flattened rice is made of rice that has been parboiled and flattened giving it a different taste and flaky texture. It's an excellent source of carbohydrates along with essential vitamins and minerals. It can be made crispy, chewy, and crunchy in the manner one would like to consume it. Poha is made by combining various ingredients and a blend of spices to make kanda poha, poha cutlet, poha dosa, poha chivda, sprouts poha, and aalo poha to name a few.

Nutritional Value of Poha

Being rich in carbohydrates along with fiber, poha also holds a good micronutrient profile. It consists of minerals like iron, magnesium which are good for the circulatory system, healthy bones and muscle health. It also contains phosphorus, copper, pantothenic acid, manganese. Poha contains 87% carbohydrates, 9% protein, and 4% fat

Poha nutrition facts (100gms raw)

















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Calories in Poha

The calories in poha depend on the preparation of the dish. 100gms of poha provides 354kcal. The addition of vegetables, sprouts, coconut dry, peanuts increases the nutritional value. Depending upon weight and health goals, the dish of poha can be prepared accordingly. Packed with nutrition, it is a perfect breakfast, mid evening snack for the entire family since it is a good choice for all age groups.

Health Benefits of Poha

Poha not only makes a tasty meal but is also loaded with various health benefits:

  • Weight loss - Balancing out poha with vegetables, sprouts makes it a low calorie option which is great for individuals looking to drop a few pounds. The fiber content in poha also keeps one satiated for longer
  • Management of blood glucose - It has a glycemic index between 38 – 64 depending on how it's made. This is lower as compared to the other rice varieties making it a better choice for the management of blood glucose.
  • Blood pressure control – Due to its potassium content, it is beneficial for patients suffering from hypertension. The low sodium content also makes it a good bet for hypertensive individuals.
  • For muscle building – Poha is a good source of carbohydrates making it a good pre-workout meal giving enough energy to fuel the exercise regimen.

Types of Poha Rice

There are three varieties of poha available in the market today, the traditional white poha and red, brown poha which is commonly used in South India. Pohas also vary in thickness, with thin, medium and thick being the ones.

  • White poha – It's made of white rice with the husk, bran and germ layers removed to make flattened rice. It's easy to digest
  • Red Poha – Made with red rice and is high in fiber which keeps one full for longer. It's loaded with antioxidants. The taste of red poha is slightly nuttier, it also takes more time to cook.
  • Brown poha – This variety is made of brown rice. It contains iron, zinc and potassium

Alternate Name of Poha and its GI Tags

Poha is known by different names across India. It is recognized by various Geographical Indication tags throughout India. The commonly known tags are Poha Chiwda coming from Madhya Pradesh, for West Bengal tagged as Chira, Poha and Murhi. These tags are given for recognition, production, and promotional purposes. In accordance with the region, it is also called as chura, aval, flattened rice and atukulu. This also shows that poha is loved by people all over India and is called by various names native to the place.

How to Make Poha for Supper

To enjoy an evening snack, poha can be made in various types by adding a blend of ingredients and flavours. Here are a few easy-to-go methods that will help to make a tasty and appetizing poha dish.

  • Masala Poha: Heat oil and add cumin seeds, mustard, curry leaves and saute. Add onion, green chilies, garlic and ginger. Let it onions turn transparent, add some chopped tomatoes, turmeric, salt and soaked poha. Let it cook well. Once done squeeze a few drops of lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves
  • Mix vegetable colorful poha: Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add onion, carrot, green peas, french beans, potato, capsicum, and let it cook for a few minutes. Now add the poha, and cook it well. Garnish with coriander leaves and a few drops of lime
  • Sprouts poha: Heat oil in a vessel, add mustard and cumin seeds, onion, tomato and sautee. Now add pre soaked and boiled sprouts. Mix well, then add the poha, little water and cook. Once done enjoy!
  • Sweet poha: This can be made like a poha sheera or a poha kheer. Soak the poha in water. Heat some ghee in a pan, add almonds, walnuts, pistachios, poha and mix well. Then add some jaggery, milk and cook. Drizzle some cardamom powder, mix and consume.


Poha is not just an easy to manage dish but nutritious for all age groups. It can be tailored in various methods by taste bud preferences and health goals. This venerable dish has traversed countless generations, its tradition firmly rooted in the breakfast rituals of today. Its enduring popularity owes much to its rich nutritional profile, boasting an abundance of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These elements, renowned for their health benefits, continue to draw enthusiasts to this timeless morning repast, ensuring its cherished place in the culinary tapestry of our heritage. Let's pass this on to the generations to come and make this a part of our balanced diets.



Sidra Patel

Nutritionist & Lifestyle Consultant

Founder: Eating Smart with Sidra Patel