Top 10 Health Benefits of Rye

Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain. It is a cereal grain similar to wheat and barley. It is a member of the wheat (Triticeae) and closely related to barley (genus Hordeum). Rye, also known as secale cereal is an extremely versatile grain. Rye was first cultivated by the people of 400BC in the regions of South and Southwest Asia and nowadays Turkey. It is widely consumed and considered as food for the poor for centuries as people can grow it anywhere.

Rye is used to preparing flour, bread, crispbread, whiskeys, and animal fodder. Rye grass is different from rye. You can use it as hay for livestock. They contain antioxidants, phytonutrient, vitamins and minerals. Rye can aid weight loss and prevent various types of cancer. Rye can regulate blood sugar levels and reduce risk of diabetes. Rye contains antioxidants which can also combat free radicals.

 Must – Known Facts About Rye:

  • Rye is rich in fiber, which promotes weight loss.
  • They are high in insoluble fiber and it can help avoid gallstones.
  • The fiber present in rye reduces the secretion of bile acids, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers triglycerides.
  • Rye fiber can bind to toxins in the colon. Then remove the toxins from the body. 
  • Rye contains beta-glucans, which reduces the elevated levels of LDL in the blood.
  • Rye is rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Rye seeds are rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant activity.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Rye: 

Rye is a highly nutritious and extremely healthy whole grain that comes with a load of health benefits. Here are some must-known facts about it:-

  • Promotes weight loss: Rye bread contains 4 times the fiber and 20% fewer calories than present in the white bread. Rye bread suppresses your appetite, eventually promotes weight loss. Rye bread can decrease your hunger for as long as 8-10 hours. Because of this reason, it will help you lose body fat and lose inches from your waist.
  • Regulates blood sugar level: Rye bread and rye flakes help control postprandial blood glucose levels. Rye benefits the hormonal responses in diabetics. It can even cut the risk of type 2 diabetes. Rye contains an enormous amount of fiber which also helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Prevents heart disease: Rye is a whole grain, and we know that whole grains are good for the heart. They are replete with fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and cuts down the risk of heart disease. Taking 20-30 grams of fiber a day is ideal for the heart. This means one should take at least 3 servings of rye a day. Rye is also high in magnesium, which lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks. 
  • Prevents cancer: Whole grains like rye can protect against colorectal cancer. Whole grain rye can also reduce the levels of bile acids in the stomach. And this cuts the risk of colon cancer by as much as 28% according to a study. Rye can reduce the risk of breast cancer as well .All of this is possible because of the high levels of fiber and antioxidants in rye.
  • Promotes digestive health:  Rye is replete with fiber which enhances your digestive health. It also helps in waste elimination and treating constipation. Rye is a well-known prebiotic which boosts the levels of gut-friendly bacteria. And this improves your digestive health. Fibers present in rye have a high water binding capacity that produces a pronounced feeling of fullness. It will eventually help protect your digestive health by discouraging you from overeating. The fiber in rye can also boost your metabolism.
  • Improves skin health: Rye flour works as an excellent skin cleanser. You simply apply the flour to your face after you take a bath and wash it off after 15-20 minutes. Rye contains other minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which help beat the signs of early aging. Rye flour also works well on wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes. Rye contains antioxidants which combat the free radicals. This also contributes to premature aging.
  • Improves hair health: Rye works well for hair health. You can use Rye flour as a shampoo. Rye flour can make your hair smooth and strong. You can use a mixture of rye flour and water replacing your shampoo. Wash after massaging it on your hair for 5-10 minutes. The magnesium present in rye can promote hair growth. Washing your hair regularly with rye flour can give you long and healthy hair. 
  • Strengthens bones and teeth: Rye contains a vast amount of calcium and magnesium and it is a significant source of manganese. Rye also contains a small amount of phosphorus. These minerals help to build strong bones and teeth.
  • Remove toxins: Rye helps eliminate toxins through its fiber content. Fiber aids in waste elimination, which can free your body from toxins.
  • Fights inflammation: Rye reduces inflammation caused by metabolic syndrome. As inflammation can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, this property can cut diabetes risk.

Nutrition Facts of Rye (100gm):

  • Energy: 1,414 kilojoules (338 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates: 75.88 grams 
  • Sugars: 0.98 gram
  • Dietary fiber: 15. 3 grams
  • Fat : 1.65 grams 
  • Protein: 10.34 grams
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.3 milligrams 
  • Riboflavin (B2) : 0.4 milligrams 
  • Niacin (B3) : 4 milligrams 
  • Pantothenic acid (B5) : 1 milligrams 
  • Vitamin B6 : 0.3 milligrams
  • Folate (B9): 38 micrograms 
  • Choline: 32 milligrams 
  • Vitamin E: 1 milligrams 
  • Vitamin K : 6.2 micrograms 
  • Calcium: 24 milligrams 
  • Iron: 3.4 milligrams 
  • Magnesium: 110 milligrams 
  • Manganese: 3 milligrams 
  • Phosphorus: 334  milligrams 
  • Potassium: 510 milligrams 
  • Sodium: 2 milligrams 
  • Zinc: 3 milligrams
  • Water: 10.7 grams
  • Selenium: 14 micrograms 

Different Types of Rye :

There are mainly 6 types of rye:

  • White Rye Flour: They are same as the wholemeal rye but without the bran. Also, they lack in original nutrients of rye. White rye is widely used in biscuits.
  • Cream or Light Rye Flour: Light rye uses flour made only of the endosperm ground into fine flour. Light rye flour is also used to make rye quick breads and biscuits. Light rye bread absorbs less water than dark rye. As a result, it becomes lighter after baking. 
  • Medium Rye Flour: If we include more bran, then we get “medium rye flour,” which exhibits the favor of the rye. 
  • Dark Rye Flour: They contain 100% of the original bran. They are usually “greige” color with bits of bran and germ in it.   
  • Rye Meal: Rye meal or “whole grain rye flour,” contains all the bran and germ of the original rye kernel. Rye meals can be ground fine, medium, or coarse.
  • Pumpernickel Flour or Meal: Pumpernickel flour is a traditional rye bread found in Germany and made from ground whole rye berries and rye flour. Traditionally, people boil this rye berry and steam it to make soft enough to make the bread. At the end, it looks like a dark and fairly heavy loaf of bread. Naturally, it has a slightly sweet taste.

Risks of Consuming too Much Rye:

Consuming rye in excess can have side effects of which some are potentially serious and some merely annoying. 

  • Rye contains gluten. This gluten content of rye grain makes it unsuitable for patients with gluten allergy, intolerance and celiac diseases.
  • Rye is high in dietary fibers. Excessive intake of dietary fibre from rye within a short amount of time causes flatulence, bloating and intestinal gas. 
  • Rye breads are high in added sugar to enhance their taste.  This added sugar is unhealthy and can prevent weight loss.
  • Rye bread contains phytic acid which is an antinutrient that can hinder the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.
  • Inhalation of rye flour may cause occupational asthma in bakers. So, bakers who are suffering from rhino conjunctivitis and asthma should avoid rye flour.
  • Presence of high fructan content in rye bread induces gastrointestinal symptoms.

Best Ways to Eat Rye:

You can eat rye in various delicious ways. Some of the recipes are: 

  1. You can make homemade rye bread by combining yeast, water, salt, caraway, and the rye flour in a bowl. Now, add the all-purpose flour and cover it with a dish towel and let it rise until it doubles. Do not forget to preheat a baking stone in the oven to 450° F. Now dissolve the cornstarch in one-fourth cup of water. Microwave it for 45 seconds. Now bake the loaf on the stone. Now close the oven door and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  2. You can make Blueberry Pie with Rye Crust. In this blueberry pie you can make small circles cut out of the rye crust.
  3. You can make Sandwiches with rye bread as well which are healthier than wheat bread.
  4. Banana-Rye Muffins are extremely tender because of the rye flour. They are intensely perfumed with banana as well. Using dark rye will make it softer and tastier.
  5. You can use Rye flour in delicious and healthy biscuits and cakes like seeded rye biscuits. Take 100g rye flour, pinch of salt, any available seeds like black sesame, flax and poppy seeds. Use plenty of seeds as they help the texture. Take a spoon of oil of your choice. Give Water to make a fairly dry mix. Now bake the mixture at 200C for 5-10 minutes. Your biscuits are ready to eat. 
  6. Make Rye Crisps with Tomatoes and Sardines by preparing a bright herb mayo and spread on rye crisps.

How to Select and Store Rye: 


Proper selection is necessary to ensure maximum benefits from rye.

  • First of all check the expiry date before taking the pack.
  • Ensure the pack is the freshest. 
  • If you are picking rye from a bulk bin, sniff to check if the grains are fresh. 
  • If they smell oily or anything else, just pass them by.


Proper storage is also a very important factor to ensure rye’s freshness and flavor till you use it

  • Store the grains in a sealed container and mark the date.
  • You can put it in the refrigerator and use the grains within 6 months

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rye:

Q: What is rye used for?

Answer: Rye’s edible grain is chiefly used to make rye bread and rye whiskey. It is high in carbohydrates and dietary fibre. They also provide small quantities of protein, potassium, and B vitamins.

Q: Is Rye healthier than wheat?

Answer: Rye is more nutritious than wheat. Rye bread leads to greater fullness and has less of an impact on blood sugar than wheat bread

Q: Can you eat rye raw?

Answer: The best grains for raw food dishes are oats, rye and wheat. They become grains becomes soft and pleasant to eat when soaked for a little while. 

Q: Is rye bread better for weight loss?

Answer: Rye can control diabetes, aid in weight loss and fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

Q: Is Rye better than oats?

Answer: Wheat and oats are high in protein compared to rye. Rye is high in dietary fiber and sugars and oats is high in fat.