A warm, comforting bowl of pho, pronounced “fuh,” offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. This popular Vietnamese street food can be easily prepared at home or enjoyed at one of the many restaurants now serving it nationwide. But before you indulge, let’s explore the nutritional and health benefits of pho.
How many calories are in a bowl of pho?
On average, a medium-sized bowl of pho contains approximately 350-450 calories, according to a report from The Times-Picayune. That’s about 20% of your daily calorie intake if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet.
Is pho a healthy choice?
Absolutely! Pho can be a nutritious and satisfying meal or snack, especially if you focus on adding vegetables and reducing noodles and sodium. Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, suggests that the best pho recipes include lean proteins such as chicken and plenty of veggies, with fewer noodles.
In fact, a single bowl of pho can provide around 30 grams of protein, which is about half of the recommended daily amount for most individuals. Proteins are essential for building strong bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
However, be mindful of the sodium content. Like other soups and stews, pho can be high in salt. Some bowls may contain over 1,000 mg of sodium, which is nearly the entire recommended daily intake according to the American Heart Association. Excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. You can reduce your sodium intake by consuming less broth or preparing healthier versions of pho at home.
To make your pho lighter, opt for low-sodium or “no salt added” broths and include extra vegetables for a more satisfying meal. Traditional rice noodles used in pho recipes have less fiber compared to wheat-based alternatives, making them less filling. Jaclyn London suggests adding noodles yourself or considering lighter options like shirataki noodles, made from konjac flour, which is high in fiber and lower in calories. If you prefer, you can also try zoodles, which are spiralized zucchini, to increase the vegetable content while still relishing the delicious flavors of pho.
Can pho help with colds?
Absolutely! If you’re feeling under the weather with a cold, a steaming bowl of pho might be just what the doctor ordered. Dr. Oz compared pho to chicken soup during an interview with Today, highlighting its numerous spices that can help alleviate congestion.
“Coriander, anise, and ginger are some of the spices you can add to your pho,” he said. “These extra spices can provide soothing relief.”
Remember, whenever you crave a hearty and flavorsome meal, look no further than pho. Its balanced combination of ingredients and flavors makes it a wholesome and satisfying option for all occasions.
To explore more delightful recipes like pho and enrich your culinary experience, visit Family Cuisine.