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What is Nutritional Yeast, And What Are Its Health Benefits?

Nutritional Yeast

For thousands of years, yeast has played an important part in the human diet. This yeast is essential in bread, beer, and many other foods. A new type of yeast has been introduced to the market: nutritional yeast.

This yeast can increase energy levels, boost immunity, and provide other health benefits. Nutritional yeast tastes great as a substitute for cheese for those who eat plant-based foods.

In this article, let’s learn about what is nutritional yeast. What are its health benefits? And how you can incorporate it into your nutrition and healthy diet.

What is Nutritional Yeast? And Why Is It Important?

Saccharomyces cerevisiae specie makes nutritional yeast. Brewer’s yeast is another yeast species. While people often use these terms interchangeably, but it is important to understand that nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are not the same.

Manufacturers have the option to grow nutritional yeast using a variety of sources such as blackstrap molasses, whey, or sugar beets.

Nutritional yeast is made up of dead yeast cells. It is what makes it different from the yeast used in baking bread.

Nutritional yeast is dairy-free and often gluten-free. Nutritional yeast can be used as a supplement for people with food intolerances and other food sensitivities. It is also low-fat and contains no sugar or soy.

There are two types of nutritional yeast.

Fortified Nutritional Yeast

It contains extra vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, magnesium, and Folic acid to improve the nutrient contents.

Unfortified Nutritional Yeast

It only contains the vitamins or minerals that the yeast naturally produced during the process of production, such as iron and zinc.

Nutritional Content Of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality proteins. The typical one-quarter cup of nutritional yeast contains:

3 grams of fiber

8.2 grams of protein

60 calories

11.85 mg of vitamin B-1 (thiamine)

9.70 mg of vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)

5.90 mg of Vitamin B-6

17.60 mcg of vitamin B-12

It also contains vitamin B-3, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Fortified nutritional yeast also has large amounts of Vitamin B12 and Folic acid (B9), which assist in building and maintaining DNA and the red blood cells in the human body. Some varieties are not supplemented, so don’t forget to read the label for nutritional information.

Advantages And Side Effects Of Nutritional Yeast On Health 

Nutritional yeast is a fantastic source of minerals and vitamins. It also has all nine amino acids essential to life, making it a complete protein similar to those found in animal products.

A man sitting in front of a large sandwich

Complete proteins are essential nutrients that help in body functions, such as the repair of tissues and absorption of nutrients. They also can help in preventing the loss of muscle.

Other health benefits that could be derived from nutritional yeast are:

Energy Booster

Some manufacturers fortify nutrition yeast by adding vitamin B-12; however, not all have it, so it’s important to read the label. Vitamin B-12 can help increase the energy level, and a deficiency of this vitamin may cause fatigue and weakness.

Nutritional yeast is beneficial for vegans and vegetarians when it contains vitamin B-12 since the vitamin is mainly found naturally in animal products.

How much nutritional yeast per day? It is totally up to you.

However, Adults require about 2.4 mg of mcg of vitamin B-12 daily. One-quarter cup of nutritional yeast can provide 7 times that amount.

Supports Heart Health

The fiber found in nutritional yeast beta-glucan can lower cholesterol levels. It is also a low-glycemic food that is rich in chromium, an element that can help control blood sugar levels.

Maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Supports Immune System

Beta-glucan also is believed to improve our immune system. A study showed that those people who ate nutritional yeast are 25 percent less likely to get colds as compared to those who didn’t. People who got sick after consuming nutritional yeast had fewer severe symptoms and fewer sleep difficulties.

Nutritional yeast is also rich in levels of antioxidants. These could have anticancer properties and boost many immune responses.

Boost Hair, Skin And Nail Health

A few studies suggest that nutritional yeast could help combat dry nails and hair loss. It could also help to reduce acne and treat other common skin issues, especially in adolescents.

Side Effects And Risks

Despite the many benefits nutritional yeast can provide, but it’s not suitable for all. Researchers have suggested that people who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) or glaucoma and hypertension stay away from nutritional yeast since it can increase the severity of their symptoms.

Anyone suffering from an allergy or sensitivity to yeast must also be careful to stay clear of any contact with nutritional yeast.

Furthermore, some researchers claim that people with an increased risk of developing gout should avoid nutritional yeast.

Read More: Six Top Effective Weight Loss Tips

Final Words

Why is nutrition important? Nutritional yeast is an extremely nutritious, vegan food item with several health benefits.

It allows you to easily add more proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your meals. It’s often used for flavoring ingredients for cheese sauces made from vegan ingredients and as a topping to salads and soups.

Research suggests that nutritional yeast could reduce cholesterol and improve immunity. However, further research is required.

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