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Poha vs Idli: Which one is good for your health?

Poha and Idli are both popular breakfast options in Indian cuisine, but which one is healthier? Discover the nutritional benefits and differences between these two dishes to make an informed choice for your health.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: April 08, 2024 7:55 IST
Poha vs Idli
Image Source : GOOGLE Poha vs Idli: Which one is good for your health?

When it comes to traditional Indian breakfast options, two dishes that often find themselves in the morning rotation are poha and idli. Both beloved for their taste and simplicity, they also offer various health benefits. Whether you prefer poha or idli, both can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet when prepared mindfully and paired with nutritious accompaniments. So go ahead, savour the flavours of these traditional breakfast delights while keeping health in mind! But which one is better for your health? Let's take a closer look.

Benefits of Poha:

Poha, also known as flattened rice, is a popular breakfast choice in many Indian households. It is made by parboiling rice, then flattening it into light, dry flakes. Poha is often cooked with onions, potatoes, peanuts, and spices to enhance its flavour.

One of the significant advantages of poha is its ease of digestion. As it is rice that has been flattened, it is lighter on the stomach compared to other rice-based dishes. Additionally, poha is gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten intolerances or coeliac disease.

From a nutritional standpoint, poha is relatively low in calories and fat. It provides a good amount of carbohydrates, which are essential for energy, and some protein. However, it's not particularly high in fibre or other essential nutrients unless combined with vegetables and nuts.

Benefits of Idli:

Idli, a staple South Indian dish, is made from fermented rice and lentil batter. The batter is steamed to create soft, fluffy cakes. Idlis are typically served with coconut chutney and sambar, a flavourful lentil-based stew.

One of the primary health benefits of idli lies in its fermentation process. Fermentation increases the bioavailability of nutrients in the rice and lentils, making them easier to digest and absorb. It also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, which can support gut health.

Idlis are naturally low in fat and calories, making them a suitable option for those watching their weight. They are also a good source of protein, thanks to the combination of rice and lentils. Additionally, idlis are gluten-free, provided that the batter is made from gluten-free grains.

So, Which One is Better for Your Health?

Both poha and idli offer their own set of health benefits and can be part of a balanced diet. However, idli edges out slightly due to its fermentation process, which enhances nutrient absorption and promotes gut health. Additionally, idlis are lower in calories and higher in protein compared to poha.

That said, the healthiness of these dishes ultimately depends on how they are prepared. Opting for less oil and incorporating plenty of vegetables in poha can boost its nutritional value. Similarly, choosing whole grain rice and lentils for idli batter can enhance its fibre content.

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