Facebook Pixel

Poi to the World: The Hawaiian Superfood

By HERWriter
Rate This
superfood-of-hawaii-poi Top Photo Group/Thinkstock

Unfortunately, the above creative headline was not penned by this writer. "Poi to the World" was the company motto of Craig Walsh’s now defunct Hawaiian company called the Poi Company which made poi and other poi products.

Let’s back up a minute and discuss poi. What is poi?

Poi is known as the soul food of Hawaii. Poi is made from taro, which is also called kalo.

You may be more familiar with taro chips which are the purple chips located in your potato chip aisle at the grocery store.

Taro is eaten all over the world, however only Hawaiians eat and make poi. Poi is the result of taro being cooked, smashed and mixed with water.

Poi is a staple in the Hawaiian diet and poi is eaten with our fingers. Hence the names one-finger, two-finger or three-finger poi. The most revered type of poi is the two-finger poi.

The names refer to the consistency of the poi. Poi looks like purple pudding. Think of poi as the vegetable or rice serving on your dinner plate. Generally, poi is served with breadfruit, a fish or pork, and seaweed.

Babies and the elderly eat poi for its high nutritional value and to ease digestion.

Historians believe poi was brought to the Hawaiian Islands by early Polynesian settlers. During their long, dangerous journey, these settlers transported and lived on taro when they paddled to the Islands.

It is believed ancient Hawaiians consumed five to 15 pounds of poi per day. That is a lot of poi!

Poi is considered sacred and when a bowl of poi was presented, all dinner table arguments must come to an instant halt.

Now, the magical nutritional value of poi. Poi is:

• Hypoallergenic
• Rich in calcium
• Rich in potassium
• Rich in phosphorus
• Rich in magnesium
• A good source of B vitamins
• A good source of vitamins A and C
• A beneficial carbohydrate food which is high in fiber
• A slow-release energy food source
• Used to settle the stomach
• Mixed with ripe noni fruit and applied topically for boils
• Mixed with pia (arrowroot starch) and taken for diarrhea
• Used undiluted poi as a poultice on infected sores

This HERWriter sampled poi with her fingers.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Diet & Nutrition

Get Email Updates

Diet & Nutrition Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!