Rye Nutrition: What Are The Health Benefits & Improve Your Waistline

History of Rye Flour What is rye? Rye, or Secale..

Rye Nutrition

Rye Nutrition: What Are The Health Benefits & Improve Your Waistline

History of Rye Flour

What is rye?

Rye, or Secale Cereale, is not as popular as other cereal grains.

This long, slender grain, in the same family as barley and wheat. While having a history dating back to 400 B.C. or earlier, is actually one of the newer cultivated grains.

It was first harvested wild, found in Central Asia mainly around Turkey and northern points of Asia and Europe later on, after the Bronze Age.

Rye was first found growing wild among fields of wheat and barley. There have been findings of cultivated fields from ancient Romans, as well as Neolithic periods.

Rye is drought-resistant and can flourish in poor soils, so it was a useful crop in the Middle Ages, especially in Northern and Central Europe. 

Rye became the most common cereal grain in Nordic culture during the Iron Age and remains a steady grain in that culture’s diet today.

Many Nordic farmhouses cooked rye breads using sourdoughs and malt syrup sweeteners. Poland, Russia, Germany and many other Central European countries have rich histories in making breads from rye because of the spread of the crop and its ease of growing.

As well as the propensity for the breads made with rye flour to last much longer once baked.

Rye was brought to America by Dutch and English travelers, after being coevolved with barley and wheat to what we now know as modern barley. 

What is rye?

Rye grass can be grown easily even in a nutrient-poor soils. Unlike wheat, rye grows well in dry and cold climate. The wheat and the rye grain strongly resemble.

Rye grain, however, is higher, with more pointy shape, and rye wheat ears have a larger volume than ones of the wheat. Rye classes averaged 150 cm. high with colors ranging from yellowish brown to grayish green.

This is subject to attack by specific fungus called ergot. They produce toxic alkaloids. Therefore, the practice of harvesting grain necessarily involves removing the pulp shell of rye grains and cleaning before the next stage of processing.

With this practice, part of the useful vitamins and minerals is lost. But the process ensures the elimination of potential toxic ingredients.

Nutritional composition and properties:

50 g of rye contain:

  • 72% of the Guideline Daily Allowance (PMF) of Manganese,
  • 19% of PMF tryptophan,
  • 18% of the PMF of the phosphorus and 15% of Magnesium,
  • large amount of fiber – 33% of the PMF.
  • 34.6 g Carbohydrates,
  • 7.35 grams Protein and
  • 1.25 g Fat.
  • Rye is a good source of B complex vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9.
  • The more dark a rye flour is, the higher its fiber content!


Health Benefits Of Rye Nutrition

Weight Loss Efforts

Rye is often considered a superior grain to wheat or barley in terms of weight loss efforts.

The type of fiber in rye is somewhat unique, in that it is extremely binding with water molecules, meaning that it makes you feel full very quickly.

The problem with being on a diet is that you are often hungry, so you inevitably give in.

However, by removing the feeling of hunger and creating some sense of satiety.

The type of fiber found in it can keep you from snacking in between meals or overeating, which are two surefire ways to mess up your weight loss program!

Respiratory Health

Although childhood asthma is often overlooked as a health epidemic that should be cured, but isn’t. Rye can significantly reduce the chances of developing childhood asthma.

Research conducted at a number of school showed that those children who regularly had grains, like rye, in their diet.

Were more than 60% less likely to develop childhood asthma than those children who didn’t have grains in their diet.

Rye is rich in minerals and vitamins

Rye flour contains 30% more iron, twice the Potassium and three times more Sodium than regular bread!

This bread is among the most recommended food for anemia. Above all, it is a treasure trove of vitamins.

The outer layer of the endosperm rye grains, just like wheat, is rich in minerals and vitamins, especially those of the B group.

Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and the occurrence of gallstones

Studies have found that people, who regularly consume this bread, have 30% less chance of getting heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases compared to consumers of white bread.

Consumption of foods rich in insoluble fiber, protect against gallstones.

Study from 2009 showed that the consumption of rye products reduces the risk of gallstones by 13%.

Fibers protect the body by binding with toxins and leading them out of the system thus reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.

Diabetes Aid

When it comes to blood sugar, diabetics must always be concerned and watch what they eat and when they eat it.

Huge spikes and drops in blood sugar can be dangerous, and can even cause diabetic shock, asphyxiation, and a number of other very unpleasant outcomes.

Wheat actually causes more of a spike in the insulin level in the body.

As it is made of smaller molecules that are quickly and easily broken down into simple sugar, which causes the increase in insulin.

Rye, however, which is composed of larger molecules, is not broken down as quickly and therefore has less of an effect on blood sugar.

Gene Regulation

It’s recently been shown that while everyone has certain genes in the body that make that person more susceptible to various conditions.

Diet and lifestyle can help train these genes to be “down-regulated.”

Studies have shown by replacing an oat-wheat-potato diet with rye products can actually help down-regulate genes that can lead to diabetes and other serious health issues.

In fact, research has shown that patients on a predominantly oat-wheat-potato diet have actually up-regulated genes associated with negative health outcomes, making rye a much better option.

Rye flour has a lower glycemic index and is recommended for type 2 diabetes

The increased viscosity of the food mass leads to delayed digestion of starch contained in rye flour.

Therefore, the rise of blood glucose after consumption of rye flour is less compared to that produced from wheat flour.

The low glycemic index of rye breads contribute to a stable level of blood glucose and makes rye breads suitable food for type 2 diabetes sufferers and reduce the risk of its development.

In 8 years of research by the US Food and Drug Administration, including over 41,000 participants, it was found that consumption of whole grains and mainly rye.

Is associated with an impressive 31% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic Performance

Research performed at the University of Kuopio have shown that rye can result in the down-regulating of genes, particularly if they are damaging or harmful. Such as those that can cause insulin or other chronic genes.

As compared to other grains in the same family, it appears to be the best at optimizing metabolic performance of our cells, even at the earliest stages of gene development.

High in fibre 

Rye flour is twice as high in fibre as wheat flour, containing 14g of fibre per 100g of the whole grain variety.

We currently average an intake of only 18g of fibre a day but should be eating around 30g a day, according to the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. 

“Eating more rye-based foods makes it easier to reach your recommended fibre intake and reap the health benefits,” says Rob Hobson. 

Studies show high-fibre diets can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, as well as improving digestive health.

Rye Nutrition

Rye Bread Vs. Multigrain Bread

Calories, Fat and Protein

A slice of rye bread contains 83 calories and 1 gram of fat, of which almost none is saturated fat.

One slice of multigrain bread has 69 calories and 1.1 grams of fat, of which less than 0.5 grams is saturated. Rye bread contains 2.7 grams of protein per slice.

That’s 6 percent of the 46 grams of protein women should include as part of a healthy daily diet and 5 percent of the 56 grams men need each day.

Multigrain bread delivers 3.5 grams of protein per slice.


A slice of either rye or multigrain bread contains 1.9 grams of dietary fiber.

That’s 8 percent of the 25 grams women should have each day, and 5 percent of the 38 grams men need on a daily basis.

Getting enough fiber promotes normal digestion, which can reduce your chances of becoming constipated or developing hemorrhoids.

Fiber can help lower your cholesterol, too, which can decrease your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.

Additionally, including enough fiber in your diet can help you manage your weight because it promotes a feeling of fullness, which might encourage you to eat less.


A slice of rye bread delivers 0.91 milligrams of iron.

Which is 11 percent of the 8 milligrams men should have on a daily basis and 5 percent of the 18 milligrams women need each day.

Iron promotes a healthy immune system and helps transport oxygen throughout your body. A slice of multigrain bread contains 0.65 milligrams of iron.

Rye and multigrain bread both supply about 1 milligram of niacin, which supports healthy skin and digestion, per serving.

That’s 7 percent of the 14 milligrams of niacin women need each day, and 6 percent of the 16 milligrams men should have.

Each type of bread also contains a small amount of folate.a

A vitamin that can decrease the risk of birth defects; this makes it especially important for women of child-bearing age.

Side effects of eating too much rye

Rye is perfectly safe to be consumed in a moderate amount as either rye bread or other bakery products for most people. However, excessive consumption may lead to adverse effects.

  • Rye is a close relative to the wheat. The gluten content of rye grain makes it not suitable for people with gluten allergy, intolerance and celiac diseases.
  • Excessive intake of dietary fibre from rye within a short amount of time may cause flatulence, bloating and intestinal gas. Gradually increase your fibre intake so that your gut bacteria have time to adjust to the fibre.


Rye Nutrition

The Perfect Rye Bread Recipe


  • (Makes 1 round loaf)
  • 500g rye flour, plus extra to dust
  • 10g fine salt
  • 50g cracked rye or rye flakes
  • 50g pumpkin, sunflower or other seeds (optional)
  • 35g fresh yeast, or 10g fast-action yeast
  • 1 tbsp treacle or molasses



Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and pour over 400ml boiling water. Mix together into a paste, and leave to cool a little.

If using fresh yeast, cream it together with a little of the treacle until liquid. Then add to the paste along with the cracked rye and seeds if using. If you’re using fast action yeast, add it as is. Add just enough water to bring it all together into a dough that’s soft, but not too sticky – about 50-75ml should do it.

Lightly grease a work surface and work the dough for about five minutes until it feels smooth and everything is well mixed together.

Lightly flour a bowl or proofing basket. Form the dough into a ball shape by turning it on the work surface while tucking the bottom edge underneath. Then put it into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave somewhere relatively warm. But draught-free, preferably overnight, until roughly 1.5 times the size (it probably won’t double).

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7 and put a roasting tray in the bottom. Boil a kettle. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and turn the dough out on to it so the floured base is on top. Slash with a knife.

Put in the oven, then – working very quickly – half-fill the roasting tin with boiling water. Bake for about 35 minutes until the loaf is well browned on top and the base sounds fairly hollow. Allow to cool on a rack before slicing.

Rye bread: how do you feel about its distinctive flavour and unapologetically heavy texture.

And why isn’t it more popular in this country? For fans who have already mastered a basic loaf such as this.

Which of the many other varieties would you recommend we try?

Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT
Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

We eat clean, are always motivated and helpout beginners in need. We sell guides on Cutting, Bulking and Muscle Building. Checkout our website!

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