May 23, 2024
Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast – The Superfood You May Not Have Heard About

Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast that is usually grown on molasses or sugar cane. Unlike brewer’s yeast, it is not used in alcoholic fermentation. Instead, it is used as a food supplement with a distinctive nutty, cheesy flavor. While nutritional yeast may not be a popular ingredient yet, it is gaining popularity among health-conscious individuals for its nutrient-dense properties and health benefits.

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast which has been harvested and heated to kill. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It can be consumed similarly to Parmesan or Vegan cheese as a topping for popcorn, pasta, salads or any other dish where you would use cheese. Nutritional yeast comes in both flakes and powder form and has a distinctive nutty, cheese-like flavor. Some key things to know about nutritional yeast:

– It is high in B-complex vitamins like riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and cobalamin (B12).

Nutritional Yeast is packed with minerals like iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and chromium.

– It is gluten-free and does not cause yeast infections due to the deactivation process.

– Commonly known as “nooch”, it is gaining popularity as a vegan substitute for dairy cheese.

– Colors range from light yellow to golden depending on the brand and variety.

The Nutritional Powerhouse

Due to its nutrient density, nutritional yeast has gained the reputation of being a “nutritional powerhouse”. A one tablespoon serving contains:

– 2 grams of protein
– 2 mg of iron (11% DV)
– 1.5 mg of magnesium (7% DV)
– 120 mcg of folate (30% DV)
– 3.5 mg of niacin (18% DV)

The B vitamins in nutritional yeast are highly bioavailable to the body. In particular, it is one of the only reliable non-meat sources of vitamin B12, which is important for nervous system and red blood cell health. The mineral content also supports energy levels, blood health and metabolic function. Overall, regular consumption can help fill nutrient gaps in the diet.

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

The impressive nutrient profile of nutritional yeast translates to several health benefits:

Heart Health – The selenium, chromium, fiber and B vitamins help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Immunity Boost – The B vitamins, zinc, selenium and manganese support white blood cell function and antibody production.

Blood Health – Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body while folate and B12 are involved in red blood cell formation.

Bone Health – Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc mineral duo aid bone strength and density.

Skin & Hair Health – Biotin, zinc and vitamins aid cell turnover and growth for healthy skin and hair.

Digestive Health – Fiber promotes gut bacteria balance and regularity.

Nervous System – B1, B6, B12, zinc and iron nourish brain cells and myelin sheaths.

With these extensive benefits, regular consumption of nutritional yeast can help boost overall wellness from the inside out. More research is still underway on other potential anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Preparation and Usage Ideas

Nutritional yeast has a versatile nature and there are many tasty ways to incorporate it into your diet:

Topping for Popcorn – A dash lends a cheesy, savory flavor to plain popcorn.

Spice Mixes – Can be added to taco seasoning, cajun seasoning or any spice blend for nutrition.

Pasta Sauces – Stir a Tbsp into tomato or cashew-based sauces for a creamier texture.

Casseroles – Great addition to lasagna, mac n cheese or other bakes for flavor and protein.

salad dressings – Makes vinaigrettes creamier or can be blended into ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Omelets – A sprinkle adds b-vitamins to plain or veggie omelets.

Smoothies – Add a tsp for a nutrition boost without altering taste.

As a Condiment – Use like Parmesan or hot sauce to sprinkle on soups, grains or eggs.

You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk bins, vitamin aisle or natural section of well-stock. Look for brands with no added oil, salt or sugar. With its cheese-like flavor and high nutritional value, nutritional yeast is definitely emerging as a superfood power player in kitchens and diets everywhere.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it