Have you had a piece of rye bread lately? If not, you may be missing out on some significant health benefits. Find out why.
When most people shop for bread, they automatically reach for a package of wheat bread. But there’s another type of bread that’s a better choice from a nutrition standpoint – rye bread. This bread which contains rye grain is usually darker in color with a strong, more distinct taste than wheat bread. It’s commonly used to make delicatessen sandwiches and is frequently enjoyed with corned beef or pastrami along with a generous serving of mustard. When it comes to health, rye may have some advantages over wheat. What are the health benefits of rye bread?
Can It Help With Weight Loss?
A new study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that a breakfast of rye bread may help with weight control. Researchers found that volunteers who ate rye bread for their morning meal experienced less hunger later in the day compared to those who ate wheat bread. The greatest hunger reducing effect was seen when rye bread made with rye bran was eaten. This feeling of satiety and fullness extended well past the lunch hour into the afternoon in volunteers eating rye bread whereas the wheat bread eaters experienced early afternoon hunger pangs. It’s unclear why rye has more of an appetite suppressing effect than wheat bread since both are good sources of fiber. The fiber in rye bread does have an unusually high water binding capacity which causes it to expand in the intestines. This could lead to a more pronounced sensation of fullness.
It May Be Better for Diabetics
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that rye bread may reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. Rye seems to improve the function of beta cells, the cells that secrete insulin, and helps to induce a better insulin response. Its ability to promote satiety may also help diabetics eat less which can have a beneficial effect on blood sugars.
It May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Rye bread is an excellent source of soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Although fiber content varies with the type of rye bread, some rye breads have as much as nine grams per slice. Rye bread is also a good source of magnesium which helps to control blood pressure and optimize the health of the heart.
Protection Against Cancer?
Rye is a good source of lignans, phytoestrogens that may protect breast tissue from the cancer promoting effects of estrogen. In addition, a Finnish study showed that rye bread eaters may enjoy some protection against colon cancer. It’s thought that rye binds bile acids that might induce a colon cancer so they can be eliminated from the body.
The Bottom Line
Rye bread has many health and nutritional benefits and is a tasty alternative to wheat bread. Don’t wait until your next trip to the deli to enjoy the many benefits of rye bread, pick up some at your local supermarket.