What is rye?

RyeWhile many people might have heard from rye, not everyone is aware of what rye is what it is used for. Rye is a hearty and rich grain. The grain has been consumed for centuries by communities all over the world. Rye is not as commonly sold in supermarkets as wheat and other cereals. However, it is absolutely worth taking a look at because of its many health benefits.


The scientific name of rye is Secale cereale. From this name it becomes clear that rye is a cereal grain. Rye might look like wheat but it is not the same. Rye is longer and more slender compared to wheat. Rye can also have different colors. For example, the color of rye can range from a yellow brown color to more of a grey color. Rye can also be bought in different forms. You will be able to find it in its whole form or as a cracked grain. Rye is also commonly available as flour or flakes. If you buy rye as flakes you will notice that it looks very similar to oats. The taste of rye can be described to be a deep and hardy taste. Also, you will notice that it has a bit of a nourishing taste as well.  Rye is considered to be a gluten product. This is due to the fact that rye contains secalins. Secalins is a protein which is considered to be a form of gluten. Thus this products is not recommended for people who have a gluten allergy. However, when rye flour is used in baking, it contains much less gluten compared to barley and wheat. Many people are familiar with rye bread or pumpernickel bread. The main ingredient in these types of bread is rye. If you are familiar with these types of bread, you will now that these breads are often more compact and dense compared to other types of bread. This is due to the fact that the gluten in rye are less elastic compared to the gluten which are found in wheat. This implies that rye holds less gas during the leavening process. Compared to wheat flour, rye contains a higher quantity of nutrients. This is due to the fact that wheat is often sold refined while rye is not. The endosperm of rye is made of up the germ and bran. However, it is difficult to separate the two from each other. It is for this reason that rye is sold in its whole form.


As mentioned, rye is not as popular as other cereal grains. Rye belongs to the same family as wheat and barley. This long and slender grain has a long history. It is estimated that the origins of rye go back till 400 BC. It could also be the case that the grain was cultivated before this time. Rye is considered to be one of the newer types of grains which is cultivated. Rye was first harvested wild in various parts of the world. For example, evidence suggests that rye was first found in Central Asia. More specifically, it was found around the region of Turkey. Also, rye was found it the northern parts of both Asia and Europe. However, it was only found in these regions after the period of the Bronze Age. The first time rye was found was when it was growing wild in the fields of barley and wheat. Various studies have suggested that cultivated fields of rye were found in the period of ancient Romans as well as during the Neolithic periods. Rye has a few unique characteristics. For example, it can flourish in poor soils. This made it an incredibly useful crop during the period of the Middle Ages. This was especially the case for countries situated in Central and Northern Europe. Moreover, rye is also drought-resistant. During the period of the Iron Age, rye became the most commonly consumed types of cereal grain. For many people who have adopted the Nordic culture, rye still plays an important part in their everyday diet. Currently, many Nordic farmhouses still use rye to make rye breads. Often they combine sourdoughs with malt syrup sweeteners. Other countries which also have a rich history which involves rye. For example, Germany, Russia and Poland all used rye to make breads. Also, there are many Central European countries which used rue since it was easy to grow. The propensity of rye was also another reason for many people to use rye. This is because rye flour would last for a long period of time once it is baked. Rye was first introduced to the United States by  travelers who came from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Rye was used and was coevolved in combination with barley and wheat. This eventually led to modern barley which is commonly consumed.

Health benefits

Since rye has been consumed for many years, it is not surprising that it has many health benefits. One of the many health benefits of rye is that is can help to increase you feeling of fullness. The next section will talk specifically about weight loss with regards to rye. When you try to lose weight, it means that you should burn more calories than you take in. However, when you eat less it could mean that you experience a feeling of hunger more often. Rye bread is therefore a great dietary supplement because it can help you to feel fuller from meals. In this way you will not be consuming unhealthy and sweet snacks which will serve as a limitation in you trying to lose weight. If you usually consume wheat bread, which is the type of bread which most people consume, try and replace it with rye bread. These findings have been confirmed by various studies. For example, a study which was published in the Nutrition Journal found that people who consume rye bread instead of wheat bread experience a reduced feeling of hunger for eight hours. Thus, rye bread is especially recommended in the morning. It will not only help you stay full throughout the day, but you also start your day with a healthy set of nutrients. Another health benefit of rye is that it can help to balance the blood sugar levels. If you have spikes in your blood sugar levels, then rye can help to moderate these spikes. Rye is especially helpful in this case when it is consumed in its refined form. A study which was conducted in 2010 found that rye can improve a person’s sensitivity to insulin. Another study which was conducted in 2014 on this similar topic found that rye bread has a positive effect on insulin and blood sugar levels. This study was conducted in relation to white-wheat bread. Whole-grain rye bread was found to provide the most beneficial effect on blood sugar levels compared to white-wheat bread.

Weight loss

As mentioned in the previous section, rye can play an important role when you are trying to lose weight. A slice of rye bread contains an average of about 70 calories. This serving of bread usually counts as one serving of whole grains. A thin slice of rye crisp bread, on the other hand, only contains 22 calories. If you want to lose weight, try and replace your current type of bread with rye bread. You can have rye bread in the morning with eggs for breakfast. In the afternoon you can combine rye bread with a few slices of deli turkey or chicken. If you prefer having rye at dinner, this is of course also an option. You can have rye bread on the side of a salad or on the side of soup. However it is important to remember that you should not simply add rye bread to your current diet. In that way, you will actually gain weight instead of lose weight. Rye bread should therefore serve as a replacement for your current type of bread. It is also important to note that rye has a different flavor compared to wheat. The taste of rye is often described to be sharper compared to the taste of wheat. Ryes which are darker got their deep color from the use of whole rye berries. These rye berries also included the fiber bran and germ. However, many are not colored with instant coffee, molasses or with cocoa.

Rye flour vs. wheat flour

While the previous sections have addressed some of the differences between rye and wheat, this particular section will talk about the specific differences between rye flour and wheat flour. Compared to wheat flour, rye flour has a larger concentration of proline. Proline is an amino acid which plays an important role in building proteins in the body. The concentration of this particular amino acid also distinguishes itself from wheat since it has shown less growth  of acrylamide. This  particular compound has been linked to the formation of cells which are considered to be cancerous. Another difference between the two types of bread is that wheat bread usually contains more protein compared to rye bread. Rye bread, on the other hand, contains more fiber compared to wheat bread.  Moreover, wheat flour overall promotes a higher insulin response compared to rye flour. This implies that wheat is often stored as fat when it is consumed more often than rye. Thus, as mentioned before, it is recommended to eat more rye bread instead of wheat bread if you are trying to lose weight. Rye and rye brans have also been found to contain higher concentrations of lignans compared to the concentration of lignans which is present in wheat and other types of grains.

How to select and store

You will be able to find rye in the supermarket. You will be able to find it both in its whole form as well as in rye flour. Many supermarkets also sell rye bread. However, if your local supermarket does not sell rye bread, you might want to pay a visit to a bakery since they usually sell rye bread. When buying rye flour in bulk, it is important to check that the packaging is not damaged or has been exposed to water. Also, avoid container which show evidence of moisture. An important thing to keep in mind when buying rye bread is that often rye bread might not actually contain rye flour. Often it is the case that rye bread contains wheat bread with caramel coloring. Thus, to make sure that rye bread actually contains rye flour, it is important to read the label. When storing rye flour, make sure to put it in an airtight container. Store the container is a cool, dark and dry place. In this place you will be able to store it for a couple of months.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 3287x
Added: 12-02-2017 00:34
Last modified: 05-05-2017 18:23

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