Rye sourdough—used for baking rye bread—is rich in lactic acid bacteria that help the gut microbiome, the 'universe' of bacteria, and also control insulin metabolism, so reducing the risk for diabetes.
It also triggers a positive chain reaction that lowers the amount of oxygen the heart muscles need, which may reduce the risk of stroke, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland say.
Although the health benefits of rye have been known for a long time, scientists haven't researched the biological processes that happen when we eat it.
The Finnish researchers have started to put that right with tests on laboratory mice. From their results, they found that rye has bioactive compounds, or phytochemicals, that work as antioxidants, and their health benefits are amplified by gut bacteria.