RYE  – Nutritional Profile

Most cereal products available today are based around wheat s but rye is worth considering as an alternative due to its nutritional profile.  Separating the germ and the bran from the endosperm in rye is difficult which means that rye is unusually high in nutrients when compared to wheat flour.

­A typical serving of 170g contains 25g of protein, 118g of carbohydrates and releases 2370 calories of which 1900 come from carbohydrate and 319 from protein.  Rye contains 25g of dietary fibre in the same serving with a little over 4g of fat.  It also has a varied combination of vitamins including 14mcg vitamin A, 0.5mg Thiamine, 0.4mg Riboflavin, 7mg Niacin, 0.5mg vitamin b6, 4.4mg vitamin E, 10mcg vitamin K.

The mineral profile of rye contains calcium 56mg, copper 0,8mg, iron 5mg, magnesium 204mg, phosphorus 632 mg, and potassium 446g and a single 55g serving contains 72% RDA for manganese, 34% REDA for fibre and 15% RDA for magnesium.

RYE – Health Benefits

The fibre in rye is rich in polysaccharides which have the ability to retain very high levels of water.  A meal that is rich in Rye will leave you with a feeling of being satiated and so is very useful in weight control diets.  Insoluble fibre, as found  in rye has been shown in a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology  to lead to a 13% reduction in the risk of developing gallstones.  A direct link between slightly increased levels of intake (an additional 5g per day) and an extra 10% reduction in the risk was shown.

Whole grains such as rye have been shown to be particularly helpful in lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  An 8 year study in America involving 41,000 participants showed that there was a 31% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in those participants whose diet was rich in magnesium.  Whole grains are rich in magnesium and offer greater blood sugar control thus lowering the risk of the side effects of diabetes.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has also published a study that demonstrated that rye bread triggers a lower, and therefore more beneficial, insulin response when compared with wheat breads.  This has been attributed to a combination of the higher levels of fibre present in rye breads and less porous starch granules which makes particle size larger when food is swallowed.

Fibre is beneficial in a number of ways.  Firstly it promotes good gastro-intestinal health by absorbing toxins as it passes through the colon.  The toxins are then not causing inflammation to the inside of the colon which is believed to be a precursor to forming cancerous cells.

Significant cardiovascular benefits have also been shown in postmenopausal women.  A three year study of 200 post-menopausal women showed that a regular wholegrain serving, six days a week, decreases high cholesterol levels, lowered high blood pressure and other symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

Recent research has looked at the relationship between cancer incidence and whole grains.  A Cornell University study has linked whole grains such as rye with reduced risk of cancer due to the high levels of phytonutrients.  The effect of the antioxidant power of free phytonutrients has been known and measured for some time.  More recently techniques for measuring bound phytonutrients have become available.  Being bound to plant cell structures has meant there was no knowledge of them being released through digestion.  This has now been measured and has shown that whole grains such as rye have the similar levels of antioxidants as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fibre from rye has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on the likelihood of contracting breast cancer and colon cancer.

RYE – Product History

Rye is a cereal grain that is grown across much of Europe and in some smaller quantities in Canada and North America.  Russia is the largest producer, harvesting 3.6 million metric tonnes in 2005 followed by Poland and Germany with 3.4 million and 2.8 million metric tonnes respectively.

It can be used for animal forage and it is also widely eaten in northern and Eastern Europe. It is frequently used to make dark breads that have lower gluten content than wheat breads.