Compared to wheat and barley, rye flour takes the cake as the most nutritious grain. While rye is not a gluten-free flour, it does offer many health benefits. Rye flour contains phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and folate, among other vitamins and minerals. Thanks to these nutrients, rye flour health benefits include the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, control glucose and even fight cancer.
Rye Flour Health Benefits
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Rye flour health benefits include the ability to naturally lower cholesterol levels. It also has positive effects on the digestive system. When digested, rye works to suppress weight gain and lower the risk of obesity. Studies have shown that rye flour health benefits include improved insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels. (1)
2. Helps Control Glucose
Rye flour health benefits include the ability to regulate glucose in the body. Research has shown that rye flours are able to naturally improve glycemic profiles, stabilize insulin responses and improve insulin sensitivity. Studies suggest that adding rye flour to your diet can help lower the risk of diabetes. (2)
3. Helps Control Appetite
Rye flour health benefits include the ability to increase satiety after a meal and help control appetite. Thanks to the fiber it contains, rye flour promotes a satisfied feeling, which can help reduce snacking and overeating.
4. Fights Inflammation
Rye flour health benefits include the ability to fight inflammation. One study found that in patients with metabolic syndrome, rye was able to improve insulin responses after meals. The study also showed that by reducing inflammation levels, rye flour was beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes.
5. Regulates Genes
Research has shown that rye flour health benefits include gene regulation. Replacing wheat with rye products can help naturally regulate genes that make a person more susceptible to health conditions, such as diabetes. (3)
6. Lowers the Risk of Gallstones
Rye flour health benefits include the ability to reduce the risk of gallstones. Rye contains insoluble fiber that promotes regular bowel movements and reduces the amount of bile acids in the stomach that can lead to gallstones. High-fiber foods like rye are beneficial in improving the overall health of the digestive system. (4)
7. Fights Cancer
Rye flour is known as a cancer-fighting food. It contains high amounts of polyphenols, saponins, phytic acid and other compounds that work to prevent cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. Thanks to these compounds, rye flour health benefits include the ability to help fight and prevent cancer. The phytonutrients in rye also work to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Rye Flour vs. Wheat Flour
While both rye and wheat contain gluten, rye has a much higher concentration of essential amino acids and other nutrients that work to fight disease, including cancer. Rye also contains more fiber and about 20% less calories than wheat. Another benefit of rye is its ability to promote a lower insulin response than wheat. Swapping wheat for rye can help lower inflammation levels and reduce your risk of diabetes.