What Are the Health Benefits of German Pumpernickel Bread?

A traditional German bread, pumpernickel owes its heavy texture and rich flavor to the coarse rye flour, brown sugar and unsweetened cocoa used to make it. Pumpernickel counts toward your daily grain intake -- 6 ounces for women and 7 for men, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines -- with each two-slice serving providing 2 ounces of grains. German pumpernickel boosts your nutrient intake, providing phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins that benefit your health.

Niacin and Riboflavin

Incorporating German pumpernickel into your diet helps you consume more niacin and riboflavin, two B-complex vitamins that help you metabolize nutrients and produce fuel for your cells. Niacin also supports healthy cell growth and plays a role in cell communication, while riboflavin acts as an antioxidant and protects your cells from damage. A serving of two slices of pumpernickel bread contains 0.2 milligrams of riboflavin and 1.6 milligrams of niacin. This provides 18 percent of the daily riboflavin intake for women and 15 percent for men, along with 11 and 10 percent of the daily niacin intake for women and men, respectively, according to guidelines set by the Institute of Medicine.

Selenium and Copper

German pumpernickel also boosts your intake of the essential minerals selenium and copper. Copper helps you synthesize neurotransmitters -- chemicals involved in brain-cell communication -- and plays a role in producing melanin, a pigment that protects your skin from the sun. Like riboflavin, selenium acts as an antioxidant and prevents tissue damage. It also supports healthy blood vessel function and plays a role in muscle metabolism. Each two-slice serving of pumpernickel bread provides 149 micrograms of copper, or 17 percent of the recommended daily copper intake set by the Institute of Medicine. A serving also contains 13 micrograms of selenium, or 23 percent of your daily recommended intake.


Pumpernickel benefits your health because of its manganese content. Consuming two slices of pumpernickel bread boosts your manganese intake by 0.7 milligrams and provides 39 and 30 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and men, respectively, set by the Institute of Medicine. Your body uses manganese to convert food into fuel and to maintain healthy bones and connective tissue. It also supports brain function, helps you form blood clots and maintains your body's hormone balance.

Dietary Fiber

German pumpernickel can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight by increasing your fiber intake. Fiber helps you feel full after eating, and individuals who follow a diet high in fiber tend to carry less excess fat than those who don't, reports the Linus Pauling Institute. You'll also enjoy other health benefits associated with consuming fiber, including a lower risk of diverticular disease and Type 2 diabetes. A serving of two pumpernickel slices offers 3.4 grams of dietary fiber, which is 9 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for men and 13 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine.

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