Belfast Telegraph

Give rye a try and reap health benefits

If your morning toast is getting old or you're in the mood for a body boost, rye bread could be the answer, writes Max Freeman-Mills

Outside of Scandinavia, rye bread can be a bit of a niche proposition. The dense bread is beloved by the health-conscious among us though, and switching from wheat breads to rye could bring you a range of benefits.

Here are some of the reasons you should consider making it your sandwich standard...

1. It's full of fibre

We all know in theory that we should seek out high-fibre foods to help our digestion and cholesterol, among others reasons, but finding the right foods to hit our intake isn't always easy.

Handily, rye bread is incredibly high in fibre, with twice as much as most standard wheat-based breads.

Rhiannon Lambert a Harley Street nutritionist and author of Re-Nourish: A Simple Way to Eat Well (£19.99, Yellow Kite) says: "The additional fibre (in rye bread) may aid digestion and may also help you to feel nice and full for a longer period of time after a meal."

2. It'll fill you up for longer

Speaking of appetite, a study in Sweden, where rye bread is widely consumed, found that eating it as part of your breakfast not only makes you feel less hungry before lunch, but even has a knock-on effect afterwards.

Effectively, rye bread can help control your appetite and leave you feeling satiated all day, which should put it in pole position as your breakfast of choice ahead of a trying day - or if you know someone's scheduled a pesky lunchtime meeting.

3. It can lower your gluten intake

Rye unfortunately still contains some of the pesky proteins found in gluten grains, so those with an intolerance or coeliac disease should avoid it. However, if you're trying to cut down on gluten without avoiding it altogether, rye could be a perfect substitute to that early morning bagel.

It has lower levels than most white breads, which is partly why it's so dense, making it a great option for people who have a slight sensitivity.

4. It's packed with nutrients

Rye is a great source of iron and magnesium, offering more of each than most wheat, and even packs a bonus helping of zinc too.

If you're lacking in these vital nutrients, it can affect both your mood and your energy levels. Rye bread also contains around twice as much potassium as white bread, which is important for regulating blood pressure. "There is a lot more to a slice of bread than just carbohydrates to consider," says Lambert.

5. It could help to fight asthma

Parents around the world know the struggle of white bread versus brown bread.

But the benefits of rye bread for a child's health could make it worth persevering. A recent study found that children's diets play a significant role in the likelihood of their developing asthma and rye bread was named as a feature of the sort of diet that may be able to fight against such health risks.

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