9 reasons to make rye the grain event in your diet
Although wheat products reign supreme on supermarket shelves, rye products are jostling for space. Rye is a cereal grain similar to wheat but with a slightly different taste and texture. Like wheat, rye kernels can be ground into flour for use in baking. So what’s the big deal? Should we swap wheat for rye? Read on to find out why rye...
Bake with rye: simple rye recipes to harness the health benefits
1. Harness those hormones
Next time you’re feeling hormonal, reach for the rye! Rye is packed with ‘phytoestrogens’, plant molecules that improve hormonal balance in women. In the body, phytoestrogens act in a way which is similar to natural estrogens and, although their effect is weaker, this can help to balance estrogen levels. It is thought that phytoestrogens may even help to reduce the dreaded hot flushes or other uncomfortable symptoms caused by plummeting estrogen levels during menopause. Phew! 2. Curb your appetite
Do you ever eat bread only to feel hungry shortly afterwards? Want to feel full, flatten that stomach, thin those thighs, whittle down that waist and drop inches? Research in Sweden found that rye can help with weight loss by increasing satiety. Volunteers who consumed rye bread for breakfast felt less hunger throughout the day than those who consumed whole grain wheat bread. Dark rye bread made with rye bran was found to be the most successful in reducing hunger. Researchers are unclear as to why rye suppresses the appetite more than wheat bread since both are excellent sources of fibre. One explanation is that the fibre in rye bread has an unusually high water binding capacity that expands during digestion and produces a pronounced feeling of fullness.
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3. Banish the mid-morning energy slumpRye is low on the glycaemic index - a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating rye leads to better blood-sugar control than eating wheat. Eating a rye-based breakfast should ensure your energy levels will stay high and see you through to lunch.
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4. Better for diabetics
Several studies have shown that eating rye bread reduces the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. Rye bread generates a lower insulin response than wheat bread due to its higher fibre content and structure. The starch granules in rye bread form a less porous and mechanically firmer matrix than in wheat bread. This translates into a much greater particle size being swallowed when rye bread is eaten compared to wheat, which slows the rate at which the starch is digested into sugar. Rye’s ability to promote feelings of fullness may also help diabetics eat less which can also have a beneficial effect.
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5. Keep your heart healthy
Rye bread is an excellent source of soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Although fibre 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. We heart rye!
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6. Protect against breast cancer
When researchers looked at the amount of fibre eaten by 35,972 participants in the UK Women's Cohort Study, they found a diet rich in fibre from whole grains, such as rye, offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. Pre-menopausal women eating the most fibre (more than 30g daily) more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer, enjoying a 52% lower risk of breast cancer compared with women whose diets supplied the least fibre.
Fibre supplied by whole grains such as those found in rye products offered the most protection. Pre-menopausal women eating the most wholegrain fibre had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared with those with the lowest whole grain fibre intake.
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7. Protect against colon cancer
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.
8. Prevent gallstones
A US study showed that eating foods high in insoluble fibre, such as rye, could help protect women against developing gallstones. Researchers found that women who consumed the most insoluble fibre had a 17% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming the least fibre-rich foods.
9. Rye is a nutritional powerhouse
Worried about getting adequate vitamins and minerals from your diet? Rye packs a serious nutritional punch, causing some to dub it the ‘supergrain’. Rye supplies high levels of iron, calcium, potassium and zinc as well as vitamin E and a variety of B vitamins.
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Convinced of the benefits of rye but unsure how to include it in your diet? Here’s how to ramp up your rye intake and put the super into your grain:
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