By now, we've all seen our friends' posts (and some of us might have even tried this new fad ourselves). Poke, pronounced "poh-keh," is no longer a secret for our generation. However, as this new dish continues to gain popularity, looking more into it is sort of mandatory. Is poke healthy? Or does it just look healthy? In order to figure this out, I started asking the real questions around here.

What are the ingredients inside your average poke bowl?

Khalel De Castro

Usually (with the exception of modern and hipster variations) most poke bowls contain a combination of raw tuna, soy sauce, peppers, sesame oil, rice, and either garlic or onion. 

A regular serving size, (which according to SFGATE, should be the "size of a halved baseball") has 149 calories. Even though this is a really good calorie count for a dish, you can move the number a bit by playing with the amount of sesame oil you add. Don't forget, however, healthy is more than just a calorie count.

Is there any nutritional value in this dish?

seafood, vegetable
Allie Yamashiro

Absolutely. As I said before, a healthy dish has more than just a low calorie count. A regular poke serving also has about 24 grams of protein, and vitamins B-12, C, and D, magnesium, potassium, folate, iron, manganese, zinc, and niacin.

Also, according to dietitian Sharon Palmer, RDN and author of "The Plant-Powered Diet," who talked to,"Fish is a very healthy protein source — it's lower in saturated fat and higher in healthy omega-3s than most meat."

Omega-3s are fatty acids that are essential for cognitive and behavioral brain function, and may also lower one's risk of contracting chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and arthritis. So you could say that getting a dose of omega-3s is pretty important, and luckily, poke's got it. 

Some people may worry about the mercury levels found in poke, but just make sure to choose fish with with low mercury levels and save your ahi tuna for special occasions (like Fridays). However, the benefits of increasing your omega-3s overshadows your risk for mercury contamination anyways, according to an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Can I customize it and make it even healthier?

Sure. Creativity is encouraged when it comes to this dish. Usually people add avocado, cucumber, greens, zucchini noodles, or Sriracha aioli to their bowls. If you're looking to really customize it further, you could even exchange your raw tuna for salmon or another fish.

So, is poke healthy?

As long as you keep your portions to the size mentioned above and add nutritional ingredients (not just loads of soy sauce and rice), poke can be very healthy. A poke bowl is the perfect solution for your hunger and an easy lunch option. The best part about it? You don't always have to buy your poke bowl, it's extremely easy to make your own.