One of those grains that you probably eat more of than you think, rye is a common crop that’s used in foods such as cereals and is also given to livestock to eat. Rye has been a staple of the culinary world for thousands of years now, dating back to the Middle Ages and beyond. These days, rye is most common in European countries such as Germany and Poland, but extends across the Atlantic to Canada, one of the world’s leading producers.
Rye has gotten a bad reputation by some over the past decade or so with the gluten free phenomenon that has been sweeping the world. However, we’re here to tell you that rye can be your friend as long as you don’t have celiac disease. Don’t believe us? Well, let’s have a look at the nutritional breakdown of rye, and all of the great health benefits that you can get from eating it in your diet.
Nutrition of Rye
With one ounce of rye, you can expect to get fewer than 100 calories, but still hit around 10 percent of your daily recommendation for protein and 16 percent for your daily dietary fiber needs. There’s a very low amount of fat in rye with less than a gram, and you’ll be getting some important nutrients, to boot. While there’s not one vitamin that really stands out, rye is a good source (around five to 10 percent daily value) of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
As for the minerals, manganese is a huge one here with nearly 40 percent of your daily value. Selenium and phosphorus are also important at more than 10 percent, while you’re getting a good amount of magnesium, zinc and copper, as well. There are also smaller amounts of calcium, iron and potassium. Lastly, there’s no cholesterol found in rye, with almost no sugar to speak of.
There are some certain foods that you should be eating if you want to lose weight, and rye is certainly among them. Rye isn’t too high in calories per ounce, while carrying a ton of fiber. This is going to help you feel full throughout the day without having to binge on sugary snacks that might derail your diet. The fiber you find in rye is actually a bit different than most, too, as it doesn’t take very long at all to make you feel full due to its ability to meld with water.
The fiber content will also help to improve your digestive system (more on that in a bit) to accelerate your metabolism. When you’re watching your calorie count and increasing fiber, you’ll feel like you have more energy while burning fat and calories without much effort. So when you get a craving for bread, make sure to stick with the rye brand to feel fuller for longer and get a weight loss kick.
Another way that you can lose weight faster than usual is by making sure that your blood sugar is perfectly in line. Rye has been shown to help with regulating your insulin levels, and is low on the glycemic index. This will help you to avoid spikes and crashes in your blood sugar that are typically related to diabetes and poor insulin management, as it doesn’t get broken down quite as fast as other similar foods.
Studies have even showed that patients who eat foods based on rye flour have a lower resting insulin compared to those that don’t. The best food out of all in the study was rye bread, which was shown to control blood sugar with great effectiveness, while also helping patients to feel full and not crave unhealthy foods that could mess up their insulin levels.
We briefly mentioned how much fiber can help your digestive system, but it really can’t be understated just how beneficial fiber can be. When you get more fiber in your system, you’re creating more probiotics that attack toxins throughout the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. For those that suffer from fiber deficient related problems such as diarrhea, constipation or bloating, this is great news.
Fiber has been linked with other benefits, as well, including a reduced risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer. Another digestive problem that has become more common with a diet high in processed foods is gallstones. Since rye contains a necessary amount of fiber to help your system, you can expect to lower your chances of gallstones, especially if you’ve had them in the past.
One thing that happens when you control your blood sugar and lose weight is improving your overall heart health. Rye helps you to do both of those things, while also adding in additional benefits that will help your heart. Rye has been linked with lower levels in cholesterol when eaten six times per week, with drops in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease or stroke.
Fiber plays another big part in helping your heart, as it can eliminate some of the plaque build-up in your arteries and increase the diameter of these passages. In one study, more than 2,000 patients were tested to see the effects of rye on the heart. It turned out that those that got enough reduced their chances of heart failure by nearly 30 percent, which is something we should all strive for.
Outside of heart disease, rye has been tested for its effects on other serious and potentially lethal ailments. Among them was cancer, and there were many different forms that were affected (in a good way) by adding more rye to a diet. Lowered risks of breast cancer, prostate cancer and more were all linked to adding more rye because of antioxidants that included phenolics. The biggest change came with postmenopausal women, who lowered their chances of breast cancer by more than 30 percent among more than 50,000 patients.
Summing it Up
With all of these great benefits that you get from eating more rye in your diet, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything negative that can happen. Well, if you’re not used to eating a diet that’s high in fiber, it can cause some temporary intestinal discomfort for a couple of days as your body gets used to working more efficiently. This is actually a good sign that you’re improving your body, so you shouldn’t panic unless there’s some dreadful pain there.
You’ll also want to watch how you get rye into your diet. Rye bread is the most common way of doing this, but not all rye bread is made the same. There could be some sugars packed into rye bread, and even high fructose corn syrup. Make sure to avoid these if you can, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor by getting more rye into your diet without adding anything negative. Outside of those minor issues, feel free to enjoy rye and start reaping the benefits as soon as you can!