The association of rye bread with superfood has been established a long time ago thanks to its numerous health benefits. The extensive use of rye in baking industry is typical for Northern European countries, with Russia and Poland being the biggest producers of rye. Rye bread has been praised not only for its super healthy nutrients, but also for amazing flavour. This is achieved due to a different preparation method which – unlike in case of wheat – enables to protect rye’s vital nutrients, such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and antioxidants.
Rye bread contains four times more fiber than white bread and is low in fat, which makes it a perfect addition to your diet. Rye bread is the best breakfast option because of its high content of fiber which helps to combat hunger and stay fuller for longer.
Despite the alarmingly increasing rates of obesity and chronic diseases, it is disappointing to note that most people are not aware of how a small change in eating habits can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing. Including rye bread in your diet reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, helps to maintain a healthy balanced diet and recent scientific studies have proven that it also plays a vital role in prevention of cancer.
These reasons alone should be enough to consider incorporating rye in your daily eating regime. The choice of rye breads in the UK is very narrow compared to the Nordic countries where you can choose from around 30 different varieties of rye bread. However, this trend is slowly evolving and you could even have a go on trying to make a rye bread at home (as I did – see my progress in the recipe section)!
The term superfood incorporates all food that has a high concentration of essential nutrients which are proven to have health benefits. The term has been often misused for marketing purposes, but now there are restriction applying to EU countries requiring them to comply with legal requirements if they want to label their products as ‘superfood’.
The nutritionists are still a bit apprehensive about the misuse of the term. Especially after 2007 the label ‘superfood’ was used to boost sales of certain exotic fruits, while diet experts warned that the fact that certain foods are bursting with a group of nutrients does not mean that they are excessively good for us or that our bodies can store the whole amount of nutrients we supply.
Currently the most popular examples of superfood include blueberries, apples, baked beans, broccoli, salmon, olive oil and brazil nuts. Superfood contains considerably more healthy nutrients than normal food, helps to prevent diseases, increases immunity system and helps to maintain a healthy diet. Incorporating superfood in your diet does not need to mean shopping for exotic fruit or stocking up pills which claim to have concentrated content of super nutrients. Just remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Further resources: to find more about superfood try this book by David Wolfe
The effect of rye on reduction of cholesterol was tested in various studies, which confirmed that including rye bread in your daily diet habits is an effective method of reducing the cholesterol levels. The study concluded that high fiber diet significantly reduces the cholesterol levels compared to low fiber diet.
Weight loss benefits
Rye bread has four times more fiber and less calories than standard white bread and therefore incorporating rye bread in your eating regime is an easy and effective way to lose weight without making any drastic changes in your meals. Rye bread also doesn’t cause the usual bloating and discomfort associated with white bread.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
A study in Finland confirmed that the plant sterols which are incorporated into rye bread reduce significantly the LDL cholesterol concentration as well as other factors for cardiovascular diseases within two weeks.
Another Finnish study tested the effect of rye bread on cancer prevention. After 17 people were eating 4,5 slices of rye bread every day for 4 weeks, the study concluded that the rye reduced levels of bile acids thought to promote colon cancer on average by 26%.
American study proved that incorporating foods high in fibre helps to avoid gallstones and this is because fiber speeds intestinal transit time and reduces the secretion of acids.