The Many Benefits of Rye That Make it Healthier Than Wheat and Barley
Rye is a grass that is closely associated with wheatand barley and yet is superior to the two. It is an extremely versatile grain. Also known as secale cereal, rye is a grain from Russia, and was dominantly grown there, but now is available all across the world. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is intriguing to observe that such a tiny seed could be loaded with so many benefits. Importantly, it is full of the good carbohydrates that can make you feel fuller than wheat or barley and promote weight loss.
As a source of Vitamin E, rye helps in regulating the nervous system of the body and also contributes in improving the metabolism rate. This prevents the accumulation of fats and keeps the body weight in control. Since rye is tougher to refine than wheat, it retains much more of its nutrients and is known to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
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Rye is an excellent source of essential vitamins and soluble fibre. The human body lacks these vitamins and thus, these must be supplied by external sources such as rye. A high fiber diet is capable of lowering high cholesterol levels and that is what rye enables. The fiber also helps in the upkeep of the elasticity of blood vessels and prevents hardening of arteries and thus, promotes heart health. Stereotyped as a poverty grain, rye is capable of growing even in the poorest of soils. But its advantages must never be undermined.
As a storehouse of soluble fiber, rye possesses the ability to prevent the development of gallstones especially in women. It reduces the secretion of bile and increases the sensitivity of insulin. Rye grains are sources of copper, magnesium and phosphorous. Thus, it takes care of the production of red blood cells, and is excellent for people with diabetes.
Rye is found in many forms, ranging from rye berries also known as rye seeds, to sprouted rye and flour. More often than not, rye bread is used as an ideal breakfast combination. Rye is used not only to bake but is an essential ingredient for beverages too. Rye has very few calories compared to other grains and is a repository of manganese and carbohydrates that keep our energy levels high.
According to Shalini Manglani, Bangalore-based Nutritionist, “Rye is extremely rich in good carbohydrates and is a very hardy grain and thus, it facilitates weight loss. If you’re gluten intolerant or are following a prescribed gluten free diet plan, then rye must not be consumed.”
While it may not be good for people who are gluten intolerant, for the others and especially menopausal women rye makes for a great alternative to wheat. It has lignan that contains phytoestrogenic activity. They help prevent uncomfortable symptoms in women, such as hot flushes.
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You can start your day with a bowl of rye porridge. Rye cakes and muffins are also gaining popularity as it replaces refined flour. You can enjoy these treats without guilt. Rye bread is an ideal alternative, specially if you eat bread on a day to day basis. As intriguing as it may sound, rye has even been used to create whiskeys around the world.