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Rye: 9 Amazing Health Benefits & Ways To Eat It

Did you know that whiskey is made from rye? Rye is a whole grain which is packed full of nutrition and health benefits [1] . It contains a protein called secalins, a form of gluten which makes it a gluten grain.

Rye is used for preparing rye flour, rye beer, and some vodkas. Rye flour is considered more nutritious than barley or wheat flour because the germ and the bran are very hard to remove during the milling process [2] . This allows all the nutrients to stay in the rye flour.

Nutritional Value Of Rye

100 g of rye contains 256 kcal (energy) and it also contains:

  • 6.98 g protein
  • 2.33 g total lipid (fat)
  • 48.84 g carbohydrate
  • 5.8 g fibre
  • 70 mg calcium
  • 2.93 mg iron
  • 651 mg sodium
  • 510 mg potassium

Types Of Rye

According to the Whole Grains Council, rye comes in many forms which are:

1. Rye berries

2. Cracked rye or rye chops

3. Rye flakes

Health Benefits Of Rye

1. Reduces body weight

Rye has an impact on body weight largely; it prevents weight gain and lowers the risk of obesity. According to a study, rye improves insulin sensitivity and lowers total plasma cholesterol [3] . Another study also showed that consuming rye bread in the morning and afternoon decreases hunger and satiety levels as compared to wheat bread because rye bread contains the highest amount of bran [4] .

13 Healthy Whole Grains & Why You Should Eat Them

2. Controls diabetes

Another benefit of rye is it can help regulate and improve the blood glucose level. Scientists at Lund University in Sweden analyzed the effects of rye in healthy people during breakfast meals. They found that whole grain rye products, especially sourdough rye bread were effective in controlling glucose level and improving insulin activity [5] .

3. Lowers inflammation

Rye can lower inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome. Inflammation increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted by scientists, patients with metabolic syndrome were put on a 12-week diet. The group was divided into two - the first group was fed with oat, wheat bread and potato diet, and the second group was fed with rye bread and pasta. The study concluded that the second group who were fed with rye bread and pasta showed less inflammation as compared to the first group [6] .

4. Provides energy

Rye provides energy and controls appetite when eaten during breakfast. Rye being a whole grain cereal keeps you full and satisfied for longer than refined grains. In a study conducted by the researchers, healthy adults were fed with rye porridge during breakfast and refined wheat pasta for lunch. They found that consumption of rye porridge had a higher satiety level for up to 8 hours compared to refined wheat [7] .

5. Prevents cancer

Whole grain rye contains cancer-fighting properties which are soluble and insoluble fibre, phytic acid, resistant starch, polyphenols, saponins and protease inhibitors. All these help in preventing the cancer cells from spreading. Rye products made from whole grain rye flour has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk [8] .

6. Contributes to heart health

Whole grains including rye are very good for your heart health as they contain high amounts of phytonutrients and fibre. Studies have shown that people who eat three or more servings of whole grain foods daily have a 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduced risk of heart disease [9] .

7. Aids in gene regulation

It is the genes that make you susceptible to different health conditions and disorders. Scientists studied gene expression in 47 middle-aged adults who ate either an oat, wheat, bread, potato diet or a rye, pasta diet for 12 weeks. They found that whole grain rye and pasta diet could help downregulate genes that can lead to serious health conditions [10] .

8. Improves digestive health

Consuming whole grain rye has the ability to improve gut microbiota and enhance digestion. The fibre and polyphenols in rye are said to increase healthy gut bacteria, thereby improving gut microbiota [11] .

9. Prevents gallstones

Excess bile acids containing too much cholesterol lead to gallstones formation. To prevent the risk of gallstones, eating whole grain rye products is considered beneficial as they contain a high amount of insoluble fibre. The fibre boosts the elimination of waste from the intestine and reduces the amount of bile acids in the stomach [12] .

Selecting And Storing Rye

Dark rye flour is considered to be more healthy and nutritious because it contains the nutrient-rich kernel. Store rye flour and grains in a sealed container and keep it in a cool place.

Ways To Consume Rye

  • You can have rye flakes for breakfast by mixing it with yogurt and berries.
  • Replace wheat flour with rye flour for making pancakes, bread, muffins, etc.
  • You can add rye berries as a topping in salads, or as a base in casserole dishes.

Home-made Rye Bread Recipe [13]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 ½ tbsp yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup rye flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp cornstarch
  • Cornmeal for dusting

Method:

  • In a bowl mix the yeast, water, salt, caraway seeds, and rye flour. Combine all-purpose flour and make it into a dough.

Transfer it into a light greased bowl and cover it for 1 hour.

  • After 1 hour, shape the dough into a loaf by stretching it with both your hands.
  • Dust a wooden cutting board with cornmeal and put the loaf on it. Let it rise for another 40 minutes.
  • Preheat a baking stone in the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan below the baking stone.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup water and brush it on the loaf and cut parallel lines on the top.
  • Bake it for 30 minutes.
  • View Article References
    1. [1] Bondia-Pons, I., Aura, A. M., Vuorela, S., Kolehmainen, M., Mykkänen, H., & Poutanen, K. (2009). Rye phenolics in nutrition and health. Journal of cereal science, 49(3), 323-336.
    2. [2] Heiniö, R. L., Liukkonen, K. H., Katina, K., Myllymäki, O., & Poutanen, K. (2003). Milling fractionation of rye produces different sensory profiles of both flour and bread. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 36(6), 577-583.
    3. [3] Andersson, U., Rosén, L., Östman, E., Ström, K., Wierup, N., Björck, I., & Holm, C. (2010). Metabolic effects of whole grain wheat and whole grain rye in the C57BL/6J mouse. Nutrition, 26(2), 230-239.
    4. [4] Isaksson, H., Fredriksson, H., Andersson, R., Olsson, J., & Åman, P. (2009). Effect of rye bread breakfasts on subjective hunger and satiety: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 8(1), 39.
    5. [5] Rosén, L. A., Silva, L. O., Andersson, U. K., Holm, C., Ostman, E. M., & Björck, I. M. (2009). Endosperm and whole grain rye breads are characterized by low post-prandial insulin response and a beneficial blood glucose profile. Nutrition journal, 8, 42.
    6. [6] Kallio, P., Kolehmainen, M., Laaksonen, D. E., Pulkkinen, L., Atalay, M., Mykkänen, H., ... & Niskanen, L. (2008). Inflammation markers are modulated by responses to diets differing in postprandial insulin responses in individuals with the metabolic syndrome. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(5), 1497-1503.
    7. [7] Isaksson, H., Sundberg, B., Aman, P., Fredriksson, H., & Olsson, J. (2008). Whole grain rye porridge breakfast improves satiety compared to refined wheat bread breakfast. Food & nutrition research, 52, 10.3402/fnr.v52i0.1809.
    8. [8] Adlercreutz H. (2010). Can rye intake decrease risk of human breast cancer?. Food & nutrition research, 54, 10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5231.
    9. [9] Mellen, P. B., Walsh, T. F., & Herrington, D. M. (2008). Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 18(4), 283-290.
    10. [10] Kallio, P., Kolehmainen, M., Laaksonen, D. E., Kekäläinen, J., Salopuro, T., Sivenius, K., ... & Poutanen, K. S. (2007). Dietary carbohydrate modification induces alterations in gene expression in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in persons with the metabolic syndrome: the FUNGENUT Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(5), 1417-1427.
    11. [11] Ounnas, F., Privé, F., Salen, P., Gaci, N., Tottey, W., Calani, L., ... & Brugère, J. F. (2016). Whole rye consumption improves blood and liver n-3 fatty acid profile and gut microbiota composition in rats. PLoS One, 11(2), e0148118.
    12. [12] Zhangt, J. X., Lundin, E., Reuterving, C. O., Hallmans, G., Stenling, R., Westerlund, E., & Åman, P. (1994). Effects of rye bran, oat bran and soya-bean fibre on bile composition, gallstone formation, gall-bladder morphology and serum cholesterol in Syrian golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). British journal of nutrition, 71(6), 861-870.
    13. [13] Home-made rye bread. Retrieved from https://thestayathomechef.com/rye-bread/

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