Nutritional yeast is a strain of deactivated yeast that offers a nutritional boost. It has quite a strong flavor, making it a popular choice for flavoring food and for the production of vegan substitutes for cheese. It is widely available and is increasingly popular as a rich source of nutrition. It comes in dried form, usually as flakes or powder. Let’s take a look at the main benefits of this intriguing foodstuff and how you can add it to your regular diet.
Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
As well as being packed with nutritional vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, nutritional yeast is free from soy, free from gluten, free from dairy, low on calories, fat, and sodium. This means that when you use it, you are adding lots of beneficial nutrition without adding lots of fat, sugar, or sodium. It can be a great addition to the daily diet for those who are on restrictive diets, have special dietary requirements, or are simply seeking to increase the amount of nutrition they are getting.
B-Vitamin Boost – It can sometimes be very difficult for some people to get all of the B vitamins they need from their daily diet. Nutritional yeast is rich in these essential vitamins, and it is often fortified to boost the vitamin B content even further. Vitamin B12 is commonly added to nutritional yeast, but not every brand does this, so always check the labels. The high levels of B12 in many brands of nutritional yeast are one of the reasons it is very popular with people who choose not to, or cannot, eat meat. For vegans, getting enough vitamin B12 can be particularly difficult. Nutritional yeast delivers this crucial nutrient in a form that is bioavailable and easy to add to the daily diet. A healthy B12 level can mean healthy energy levels, an efficient metabolism, and a boost to the general health and wellbeing.
Protein Power – Nutritional Yeast is packed with all of the important amino acids required for health. It contains all of the essential amino acids, including those that the body cannot produce itself. For all those who struggle to get enough protein in their daily diet, this can be a great solution. Protein is essential for cell function, growth, and healing. Proteins are the building blocks of cells, and without an adequate supply of protein to the body, it cannot function properly.
Awesome Antioxidants – Antioxidants are so important in the human body. They fight against the effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The damage caused by free radicals can cause a number of chronic conditions as a person ages, and so the protective effect of antioxidants is essential for health and wellness. Nutritional yeast contains selenomethionine and glutathione, two powerful antioxidant compounds that the body uses to combat oxidative stress. This may even help reduce inflammation in the body.
Beta-Glucan – Nutritional yeast contains beta-glucan. This is a polysaccharide that functions as soluble fiber in the human body. It is generally found in yeast, cereals, and in some mushrooms. Lots of exciting research is ongoing into the role of beta-glucan, but it is known to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels by lowering them. It can also have a beneficial effect on blood sugar balance and even a protective impact on the immune system. Beta-glucan is often associated with good heart health, and it is often taken as a supplement for this very reason.
Multi-Mineral Magic – Nutritional yeast also contains a good range of other important vitamins and minerals, not least those trace minerals that we all need but don’t always get enough of. It is a good source of manganese, selenium, and zinc, amongst others. These trace minerals are so important for the everyday healthy functioning of cells. Without them, we can suffer from deficiencies that can cause symptoms ranging from the mildly irritating to the genuinely disruptive. Getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals from food every single day is one of the most important things a person can do to maintain their everyday health.
How to Incorporate Nutritional Yeast in your Diet
It is relatively easy to add some nutritional yeast to your daily food intake. Because it is so nutritionally dense, you don’t have to eat a lot of it in order to reap the rewards. There is no need to prepare nutritional yeast in a particular way; simply sprinkle it over foods such as pasta, soup, sauces, or even popcorn! It actually works really well as a thickener for sauces. It can also be used to add a nutty, cheesy flavor to vegan cheese dishes. Just remember to store it in a dark cupboard away from any source of heat or moisture so that it stays good; it can last for a number of years, but always check the guidance on the packaging for information on how to use, how much to use and how to store it. Note also that any form of yeast is not suitable for those who have a yeast allergy or those with problems absorbing certain nutrition. It should be used as part of a healthy and varied diet. For tailored advice, check in with your medical professional before adding something to your diet as a supplement.
Give it a Try
If you want a boost, then this could be the ideal way to get it; nutritional yeast is one of the easiest ways to improve your nutritional intake. However, use caution; check with your doctor to make sure there is no reason you cannot take it, and always follow the guidance on how much you should have. If you want to find out more about your nutritional requirements and how to meet them, then check out https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition.