Annie walked into the kitchen Sunday morning, where LJ was making breakfast. He kissed her good morning and asked if she’d like toast. “Yes, sourdough, please. Thanks.”
LJ reached for the bread in the fridge, “This is interesting; here’s a rye sourdough. Why, rye?”
“Do you mean, why is there rye in the sourdough bread?”
“Remember we’ve been reading more about the importance of the gut-brain axis? Your gut (intestinal tract) and brain communicate through the vagus nerve, the largest nerve in your body. Their mutual goal is to make sure the other is well. (A good explanation of the importance and how the gut-brain axis works can be found at https://www.dietvsdisease.org/gut-brain-axis/.)
Certain high-fiber foods such as rye sourdough bread increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which supports good brain health. The gut has around 80% of the body’s immune cells and more neurons than the entire spinal cord. The endocrine cells in the intestinal wall make the gut the largest endocrine organ. It works together with the trillions of gut microbiota that send messages to the brain that influence cognition, function, behavior, pain, and mood. The gut-brain axis is essential to our overall health.
Sourdough bread is made through a fermentation process that produces lactic acid, which enhances the vitamins and minerals within the bread, making it easier to absorb these nutrients. Rye contains manganese (brain function), magnesium (muscle movement), phosphorus (strong bones), calcium (promotes weight loss), vitamin E (healthy skin), and the B vitamins (red blood cell formation). It has high fiber content, which helps reduce blood sugar spikes. Rye is also low in gluten making rye sourdough ideal for the gluten intolerant.”
“So we’re only eating rye or whole-grain sourdough?”
“Yes, because sourdough made with refined white flour is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine leading to blood sugar spikes; not good for your brain or gut,” Annie said as she handed LJ a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. He thoughtfully paused and then added another slice of rye sourdough to the toaster.