Health Benefits of Rye Bread

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People are becoming health conscious nowadays because of the existence of processed food and genetically modified foods.

Processed foods and unhealthy foods can cause many fatal diseases. Also, it can destroy a person’s appearance and figure.

That’s why people must have a careful selection with what they eat. Eat foods that are rich in minerals and fiber to cleanse the toxins in the body. One of the healthiest foods to eat is rye bread.

General Information About Rye

Rye is a grass that’s similar to wheat and barley. It is included in a Graminae family, which is also known as true grasses.

It is historically known as a grain of the poor because it can grow in almost everywhere. Rye can survive growing in poor soils that are why it is easier to grow and to harvest.

Rye has been useful in farming for growing other crops as well. Their deep roots help in preventing soil erosion and weed growths.

It can be found almost everywhere. But it is more abundant in America and in Russia. Russia holds the title of the biggest producer and consumer of rye.

People find it useful in making bread and alcoholic beverages like bourbon, rye whiskey, and vodka. It is also used to feed livestock animals.

Some eat the rye berries like oatmeal. They boil the berries to be eaten as an alternative to cereal, or as a salad ingredient. Because of this, rye currently ranks as the fifth of the most consumed cereals on Earth.

It has been said that rye bread makes a person eat less. It is because rye is made up of carb-rich grain that can make a person feel full.

It is considered as a better and healthier alternative to wheat flour because it contains less gluten. In addition to that, it has more nutrients compare to wheat flour because it is harder to process which causes them to retain most of their ingredients.

It contains vitamins and nutrients like calcium, potassium, fiber, Vitamin E, and iron. All of these are known to prevent some fatal diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Take Note That Not All Rye Breads are Safe

Ergot is an agricultural fungus that infects ryes.

Ergot is sometimes used as a medicinal ingredient that prevents some menopausal symptoms and too much menstrual bleeding.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is edible and safe. Only some chemicals that can be found in this fungus are used for medicine.

This is considered as a poison. It is dangerous to consume this without doctor’s prescription. This is especially dangerous for pregnant women, and people with heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease.

Eating rye bread that is infected with this fungus may lead to ergot poisoning called ergotism which is fatal. A person with ergotism causes the person to suffer before death.

Someone who is poisoned with it may experience vomiting, nausea, muscle pain, numbness, weakness, itching, and irregular heartbeat. If not prevented it may lead to convulsions, gangrene, spasm, confusion, and death.

In addition to that, rye has gluten too just like wheat. Although its gluten content is less compared to wheat, it is still dangerous for people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity.

What are the Difference Between Light Rye, Dark Rye, Pumpernickel, and Marbled Rye Bread?

Unknown to some people, there are some differences between rye bread and used interchangeably by some.

It is important to know the differences of each because each has different fiber component depending on where it came from.

Light rye bread comes from the grounded center endosperm of a rye berry. The flour used to make this doesn’t contain bran, germ, or an outer seed coat. For this reason, its color is lighter compared to the others of its kind.

There are two ways to make dark rye bread. The first one comes from the grounded center endosperm of a rye berry, which is the same as the procedure to make the light one. However, to make the color darker, manufacturers add food colorings like coffee or cocoa powder.

The other process to make a dark rye bread is by using the flour made from the grounded center and an outer layer of the endosperm of rye berries. It has a dark pigment that makes a rye bread’s color darker.

The real pumpernickel is made through flour made from coarsely ground whole rye berries that make the bread dark and flavorful.

Other bread makers don’t use the flour made from grounded whole rye berries to bake pumpernickel bread. Instead, they imitate it by using the breadcrumbs from the other rye bread.

Marbled rye bread is made from the light rye dough and dark rye dough that are rolled together to form a single bread.


Health Benefits of Rye


Body Weight Reduction

Rye contains non-soluble fiber that’s made up of a kind of carb called noncellulose polysaccharides that has a high water-binding capacity.

For this reason, rye bread is highly recommended for people who want to lose weight because it gives a feeling of fullness, causing them to eat less.

Lund University conducted a study about this by using mice. Mice were fed with wheat or rye.

After 22 weeks, the researchers had found that mice that were fed with whole wheat rye loss some weight and cholesterol. They had also found out that there was improved insulin sensitivity.

Prevents Gallstone Formation

Foods that are rich in fiber, especially insoluble fiber, reduce the risk of gallstone formation. Experts believe that insoluble fiber makes intestines work faster when a food is taken in.

A faster intestinal metabolism causes the other parts of the body to react in a positive way.  Bile acid secretion will be reduced, and there’ll be an increase in insulin sensitivity. Excessive amounts of bile acids contribute to gallstone formation.

Furthermore, it has also been shown that a fast intestinal transit time lowers the tendency of triglyceride formation, which is also known as blood fats.

There was a study conducted by the Nurses Health Study in over 69,000 women. They found out that those women who ate the most fiber, whether soluble or insoluble had a lower risk of developing gallstones compared to those who ate the least amount of fiber.

Interestingly, the researchers also found out that the ones who consumed food with insoluble fiber were the ones who had greater protection against gallstone formation. They’re 17% more protected than those women who ate the fewest amount of fiber.

Lower Risk to Acquire Type Two Diabetes

There’s a huge difference between type one and type two diabetes. Type-one diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, in which the cells that are responsible for insulin production are destroyed.  The symptoms of this diabetes commonly appear in childhood.

Type-two diabetes is also known as adult onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In Type-two diabetes, the body becomes insulin-resistant that causes the pancreas to release less insulin. Insulin is the only hormone that regulates body’s use of glucose and fat to convert them to energy.

Whole grains and rye are good sources of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that plays an active role in the activity of almost 300 enzymes. It includes the enzymes that are responsible for insulin production.

An 8-year trial was conducted to over 41,000 Black Women’s Health Study participants. They found out that black women who ate whole grains had 31% lower risk to develop type-two diabetes. This led the researchers to conclude that magnesium-rich foods like ryes promote healthy blood sugar control.

In addition to that, some researchers suggest that foods that can suppress hunger are important for people with type-two diabetes. Lund University scientists conducted an experiment on 12 healthy breakfasts based on different rye flours.

These 12 healthy subjects were cooked through different cooking methods, such as boiling, and baking. The scientists wanted to see which among these healthy breakfast treats can control blood sugar and suppress the appetite the most.

They found out that endosperm and whole grain rye bread like sourdough and authentic pumpernickel bread are the best ones that can control appetite and blood sugar.

Researchers of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala also conducted a study on 16 people. They were fed rye bread with different levels of bran and wheat bread. They were asked to rate their appetite after 8 hours.

The researchers found that the rye bread breakfast decreases these people’s desire to eat compared to the wheat bread breakfast. They also found out that the rye bread with the highest level of bran gives the strongest effect.

Another study was conducted by Finnish researchers from the University of Kuopio on the health of post-menopausal women. The Finnish researchers were trying to figure out the effects of wheat bread and different types of rye bread on insulin and other hormones that are responsible for blood sugar regulation of these women.

These other hormones include GIP and GLP1, which is also known as glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide 1. These are produced in the gastrointestinal tract to boost the effect of insulin during a meal.

The studies show that these hormones were at the lower level after eating rye bread than after eating wheat bread. However, they also discovered that all types of rye bread produced almost the same result.

The findings only prove that rye bread is healthier alternatives than wheat bread because rye bread produces low insulin response and improve blood glucose level.  Moreover, rye bread can satisfy the appetite longer compare to wheat bread.

Rye Breads Lowers the Risk for Cardiovascular and Gastrointestinal Diseases

We are aware the rye bread is rich in fiber. It is also known that high-fiber diet promotes cardiovascular and gastrointestinal wellness. It is because fibers have this special ability to bind with toxins and bile salts.

Gastrointestinal toxins include cancer-causing chemicals. Fibers help by removing them out of the body.

Fibers also help the body to lower its cholesterol level. Fibers do this by taking out the bile salts, forcing the body to produce more bile. For this reason, cholesterol has to be broken down to produce bile.

Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

Post-menopausal women and elderly people are prone to cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.  So it is just reasonable that people at this age should be more careful with what they eat.

There was a 3-year study conducted in over 200 menopausal women with cardiovascular diseases.

According to American Heart Journal, those women who ate at least 6 servings of whole grains per week showed less progression in plaque build-up in blood vessels. The results also showed that there was less progression of the narrowing of the blood vessels’ diameter.

Other studies were made by Harvard Researchers and Physicians Health Study to find out the effects of cereals on the risk of heart failure. They found out that those men who ate whole-grain cereals every morning had 29% lower risk of heart failure compare to those who don’t.

The study only proves that fibers can’t totally cure cardiovascular diseases on post-menopausal women, but they help to prevent them from becoming worse.

Rye Breads Can Possibly Reduce the Risk of Developing Childhood Asthma

Some childhood asthma is said to be a genetical disease. Thankfully, one research found that children who ate whole grains regularly were 60% less likely to develop asthma.

Rye Breads Help Ease Menopausal Symptoms

When a woman is in her menopausal period, her body produces less or more female hormones.

These hormonal changes may lead to painful menopausal symptoms that include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, bone loss, and fatigue.  This may also lead to bleeding and bloat when there’s an excessive production of estrogen.

Rye bread contains a special ingredient that can combat these symptoms. Rye consists of phytoestrogenic chemical compounds that imitate the activity of natural estrogen that can help in maintaining normal estrogen levels.

Ryes’ chemical compounds also help in blocking out the increase in estrogen production. The rye lignans do this by occupying estrogen receptors.

Whole Grain Foods Protects Women From Breast Cancer

Menopausal women are the ones who are at risk of developing breast cancer due to their hormonal imbalance. Excessive estrogen production doesn’t just lead to irritating menopausal symptoms but may also put the person at risk of having a breast cancer.

Over 35,000 people participated in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. The researchers were trying to find out how many the fibers the participants ate. They saw that whole-grain foods that are rich in fibers such as rye, can help to protect women against breast cancer.

They found out that menopausal women who eat fiber-rich foods have 52% lower risk of developing a breast cancer compared to those who ate foods with least amount of fiber. Also, it has also been found that eating whole grain foods reduce the risk of breast cancer for about 41%.

Rye Breads Reduces Inflammation Due to Metabolic Syndrome

Inflammations due to metabolic syndrome increase a person’s risk of having type-two diabetes. That’s why people who have metabolic syndrome have to also be careful with their diet.

A group of scientist from the University of Kuopio studied 47 adults with metabolic syndrome.

These people were divided into two groups. The first groups had to undergo high post-meal insulin response diet, which consists of oat, wheat bread, and potato. The second group was given a low post-meal insulin response diet, which consists of rye bread and pasta.

After the study, these researchers found that those who ate the low post-meal insulin response diet showed less inflammation compared to those who ate a high post-meal insulin response diet. This led the researchers to conclude that choosing the right cereal foods play a huge role in preventing the risk of having diabetes to those with metabolic syndrome.

Rye Bread May Down-Regulate Dangerous Genes

Genetics plays a crucial role in determining the traits and characteristics of a person. This also includes diseases where a person is more prone at.  The only option that a person can do is to change his lifestyle and diet to prevent this disease from coming out.

According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Kuopio from Finland studied 47 adults who were divided into two groups. The first group was given wheat bread, oats, and potato diet, and the second group was given rye bread and pasta diet.

They found that those who ate rye bread and pasta showed 71 down-regulated genes, and the one who ate wheat bread and potato showed 62 up-regulated genes which are related to stress.


Conclusion


Rye bread is a healthier alternative to wheat bread because of its nutritional value.

Along with proper diet and exercise, one can live a healthy lifestyle. It’s just that people must choose the right food to eat according to what their body needs. One of the best options is rye bread because of the positive things that it can do to the body.

Now that you know the benefits of rye bread, you can make your own at home in your bread machine!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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