While all grains are similar, we love learning about what makes them different from each other. It helps give us an idea why and how we should incorporate different grains into our diets. Let’s take a look at what makes rye special.
Rye is considered an excellent source of fiber, one half cup providing about 33-50% of our daily value! In fact, it has the second highest fiber content of all the grains on this website (Barley is highest). BUT What is especially cool about rye is that it contains an abnormal amount of fiber in the endosperm, not just the bran. This makes it different from the other grains and means it’s lower on the glycemic index.
Coming in at 12.5g/half cup, rye is considered an excellent source of protein for both men and women. Protein is vital for every single cell in your body. We need protein in order to repair cells or create new ones. It’s also important for growth in fetuses, children and teenagers.
Vitamins and Minerals
Rye is an excellent source (meaning it contains 20% or more of the daily value) of 10 different vitamins and minerals. It is a good source (Meaning it contains between 10 and 19% of the daily value) of 4 more. Let’s look a bit closer at that!
- Thiamin (0.3mg or 25%) – Also known as Vitamin B1, thiamin is important for metabolism and proper nerve function.
- Niacin (3.6mg or 23%) – Vitamin B3, or niacin, is another vitamin needed for metabolism. It’s also necessary for skin health and the nervous and digestive systems.
- Pantothenic Acid (1.3mg or 26%) – This vitamin is, yet again, super important for metabolism.
- Zinc (3.2mg or 29%) – This mineral is really a jack of all trades. It’s important for the creation of protein and other genetic materials. It also helps our bodies perceive taste, heal wounds, grow, mature sexually, and fight disease. It aids men in the production of sperm and women in the development of the fetus.
- Copper (0.4mg or 44%) – We need small amounts of copper in order to metabolize iron.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (132.5mg or 27-53%)
- Magnesium (102mg or 24%) – It’s hard to find a system that doesn’t need magnesium. It’s necessary for our bones, muscle contraction, protein creation, nerve transmission, and immune systems.
- Phosphorus (316mg or 25%) – Phosphorus is very important to maintain the health of our bones and teeth. It is also present in every cell and helps to maintain balance with the acidity.
- Manganese (2.3mg or 100%) – This mineral makes up part of many of the enzymes that keep our bodies functioning.
- Selenium (29.9mg or 54%) – This mineral is an antioxidant that protects against free radicals.
- Riboflavin (0.2mg or 15%) – Also known as Vitamin B2, niacin is also an important vitamin for metabolism. It is also necessary to vision and skin health.
- Folate (50.5mg or 13%) – This vitamin is necessary for the creation of DNA and cells, especially red blood cells.
- Iron (2.3mg or 13%) – Iron is part of the hemoglobin molecule found in our red blood cells that takes oxygen to the rest of the body.
- Vitamin B6 (0.3mg or 18%) – This vitamin is another one we need to metabolize our food, but it is also important to the creation of red blood cells.
You still with me? Impressed yet? Rye has an impressive nutrient profile and we can enhance how much of that our body can use by using sourdough, soaking, or sprouting!