What Are the Benefits of Eating Bread for Your Health?

selective focus photography of sliced bread

How many foods can you think of that are all of the following: healthy, affordable, easy to find, and versatile? Eggs might come to mind, or perhaps canned vegetables, potatoes, or tuna.

But what about bread?

Bread is a food that, through years of fad dietary trends and misinformation, has gotten a bit of a bad reputation. A reputation that’s also undeserved!

1. Bread can decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.

Start off with a lesser-known bread fact: there’s a science-backed link between high-fiber diets and a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

found that high-fiber foods, such as rye bread, diluted colonic contents and altered the metabolism of gut bacteria. You may have heard before that fiber is important for your digestion or that it “helps keep you regular”. Not only was this proven to be true, but one of the side effects of improved bowel function was that it decreased the levels of certain compounds known to be risk markers for colon cancer.

You may have also heard that white bread and other refined grains increase the risk of cancer. However, this is a bit misleading. The research backing this claim was largely based on self-reported evidence and the fact that white bread, which has gone through a more intensive refinement process than other types of bread, has a lower fiber content.

This, however, brings us to our next point:

2. All bread contains fiber

White bread still contains fiber, just in smaller amounts than whole-grain bread. The refining process that gives white bread its appealingly soft texture and sweet, mild flavor is the same process that removes some of the beneficial fiber and nutrients from the wheat it originates from.

Depending on your age and gender, the average person can still receive around six to ten percent of their daily recommended fiber intake by eating four slices of white bread per day.

An important part of a balanced diet is diversity. If you’re still worried about missing nutrients, popular sandwich toppings – fried eggs, peanut butter, avocado, or lettuce, for example – can help make up for the lower nutritional content while still allowing you to eat the bread you prefer.

3. Bread is low in fat

Bread, in general, is a low-fat food. It has a simple production process with a short list of ingredients – none of which are particularly fatty or harmful to your health.

One slice of white bread contains an average of 0.6g of fat. An average slice of brown bread contains 0.7g, and whole grain is estimated to contain 0.9g.

Additionally, most breads are low in sugar and contain B vitamins. Vitamins B1 and B3 are important for maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and nails, while Folate, another B-group vitamin, can help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

4. Bread is beneficial for your mental health

Back to some of the lesser-known facts, bread actually is good for your mental state – and we’re not just talking about the sense of satisfaction that comes from biting into a tasty slice when you’re hungry!

Bread is full of carbohydrates, which are essential for your brain’s health. Carbs are your brain’s primary fuel source, literally giving you the energy to think.

5. Bread can boost serotonin levels

Mental energy isn’t the only brain boost bread has to offer, though – complex carbohydrates also boost serotonin production levels! This is because complex carbohydrates boost your insulin levels temporarily. More insulin production means more amino acid production, and that means more tryptophan. This very important amino acid is integral to serotonin production, and serotonin, in turn, helps with mood regulation.

Many common mood disorders, including depression, are associated with low serotonin levels. Unfortunately, we can’t claim that the cure for depression is as simple as eating a slice of bread – but we will maintain that a balanced diet is important nonetheless for managing symptoms!

6. Bread is one of the foods that can promote the Human Growth Hormone

To tie everything together, I would like to explain how bread affects the Human Growth Hormone or HGH. Previously, we’ve talked about cancer prevention, the importance of carbohydrates, and how insulin affects serotonin production. Somewhere in the middle of all of this is HGH.

Although whole grain bread causes a small insulin increase, it’s still considered a low glycemic food. This means that it won’t spike your insulin to abnormally high or unhealthy levels and is useful for balancing blood sugar. High glycemic foods inhibit the production of HGH, a hormone found in the hypothalamus of your brain, which helps stimulate the production of protein cells. It helps regulate your metabolism. HGH is also believed to reduce the effects of aging, probably due to its role in stimulating the growth of strong bones and cartilage during youth.

At every age, HGH is necessary to maintain your bones and muscat structure, boost energy, burn fat, and effectively utilize protein. It also has an impact on your mental state. One month of HGH therapy is enough to decrease stress and reduce anxiety.

HGH can be administered via medical injection. The for this method varies from person to person, with an estimated minimum of one month before noteworthy results can be seen. However, not everyone qualifies for the injection, which requires a medical evaluation to obtain, nor does every person like the thought of being poked with needles.