Is Pho Healthy? Benefits and Side Effects


Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese broth-based soup that has recently gained world traction. Its popularity has spread overseas due to both Vietnamese emigration and a rising number of tourists going home to receive their daily fix of pho.

Traditional pho is prepared by simmering beef bones, ginger, onions, and other spices in a broth that simmers slowly on low heat for at least several hours.


A variety of herbs, such as cilantro and basil, are then added to the rice noodles, called Banh pho. In the end, thinly sliced meat and chicken are incorporated into the hot broth.

In addition to noodles and herbs, pho comes with a spicy broth that’s packed with noodles. It is often eaten as a breakfast dish in Vietnam, but it’s delicious any time of day!





There are wide variety of Asian soups exist, what makes pho special?

  • In traditional Pho preparations, bone broth (usually beef) gives the soup an earthy flavor and texture unique from ramen and far from the vegetable soup your grandmother makes.
  • In today’s world, of course, vegetable stocks are frequently used to make pho, which makes it a healthy one as well!
  • Anise, ginger, onions, chilies, onions, and more are infused into the broth, making it incredibly flavorful.
  • Pho is a dish that’s cooked slowly. A long-cooked pho is said to be the best.
  • Often, soy sauce, tamari, or fish sauce are also added to the mix for an added layer of flavor that provides an exotic taste and aroma.


  • Serving size: 500 calories
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 20 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of carbs from pho

Besides vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and sodium, pho soup nutrition also contains other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

In addition, the content of these minerals varies according to the types of ingredients: a meat-based broth will have more sodium than a vegetable-based broth, for example.

Benefits Of Eating Pho (Pros)

  • In some cultures, pho is considered a form of healing broth. This hearty soup will keep away winter illnesses or revive you after catching a cold or flu.
  • A bowl of pho offers several health benefits, so let’s examine these advantages in more detail and discover their sources.
  • Bone broth may improve joint health. Bone broth contains factors that may be beneficial for joint health, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen. In regular diets, only small amounts of these substances are available.
  • Ginger reduces inflammation. Research suggests gingerol may help relieve joint inflammation and pain by reducing inflammation and inflammation-causing compounds.
  • Vegetables and herbs are highly nutritious. Many potent anti-inflammatory compounds in the herbs and vegetables that make up pho, including Thai basil, cilantro, green onions, and chilies.


It is said that pho is good for the stomach because of the ginger in it and its refreshing, wholesome qualities.

You can consume pho when you feel sick to alleviate stomach pains, keep you full, and prepare you for a fight against the illness.

The incredible array of vitamins and minerals keeps your gut healthy and strong over the long term.


Pho is primarily ginger-based, and ginger gives the soup some of its most rejuvenating qualities.

For anyone who is feeling down, ginger’s a great pick-me-up! Ginger also contains antioxidant properties.

Additionally, ginger can ease joint pain and prevent nausea – and it may even benefit weight loss!


You can easily pack a lot of protein into pho regardless of whether you eat meat, vegetables, or veganism. In addition to traditional meat-heavy pho, vegetables and vegans can enjoy tofu substitutes in place of the meat.

As a resource for protein, tofu is also low in calories and fat and rapidly absorbs the deep flavors of the broth.


People with gluten intolerances can benefit from knowing that pho is gluten-free (at least, when made traditionally).

Rice noodles are traditionally used in cooking pho, and they do not contain gluten.

It’s essential to be careful when preparing pho at home since egg noodles and other types of noodles are not gluten-free.


The 500 calories in a bowl of noodle soup can be consumed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner without feeling stuffed.

The calories in this recipe can be further reduced if you choose to eat only the vegetables and the veggie broth.

Add pho into your meal plans for people on a diet or looking to control their weight for health reasons so that you stay energized and maintain a low-calorie intake.

Pho side effects (Cons)

However, you should keep a few things in mind when eating pho.

Calorie intake adds up quickly

 High-calorie intake
High-calorie intake

Pho has a calorie content that can vary depending on the type of noodles and cut of meat used.

Make sure you choose a rice noodle that’s higher in fiber, such as those made with brown rice, to keep calories low. Feeling full after eating more fiber can help you eat fewer calories overall.

Aside from adding more vegetables, such as mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, and dark leafy greens, you can also increase the fiber and nutrients in the diet.

Choosing a leaner cut, such as top round, will help you reduce fat and calories from meat. Chicken and tofu are also good protein options.

By decreasing the number of noodles and including more vegetables, you can help fill up faster, reducing the chances of overeating.

It contains high levels of sodium

 Sodium (salt)
Sodium (salt)

Pho, especially those prepared commercially, can contain high levels of sodium.

Based on a 1-cup (240-ml) serving of soup broth, most soups and bases contain close to 1,000 mg of sodium.

It is recommended that you do not exceed 2,300 mg per day as part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans produced by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture.

Just one serving of pho can provide you with about half of your daily sodium requirements.
Some populations are affected by too much salt consumption, with high blood pressure being the most prominent adverse effect.

Making bone broth yourself or buying low-sodium versions is the best way to reduce the amount of sodium in pho.


Vietnamese Pho is a soup made from broth, rice noodles, plants, and meat or tofu.

Nutritional ingredients and high protein content may make it beneficial for joint health, like reducing inflammation.

Even so, it is still high in sodium and calories, so portion size is essential.

By the way, take it into your own hands today and prepare a healthy bowl of pho at your home.

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