What do you think of when someone mentions yeast. If you’re like most people, you picture dough rising in your mind. Baking bread or some other scrumptious baked goods. But there is another type of yeast increasing in popularity… especially among VEGANS or PLANT-BASED EATERS. It’s known as NUTRITIONAL YEAST or nooch! You may be wondering what is nutritional yeast for?
About Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is similar to the yeast used in baking, but it undergoes a heating and drying process. This procedure inactivates the yeast. You would need to use active yeast for baking. Nutritional yeast hails from a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is the yeast that provides so many gifts to mankind: wine, beer, and bread.
But Don’t confuse nutritional yeast with brewer’s yeast. They are completely different. There is a special process used to create each type of yeast. You can grow nutritional yeast from a number of sources. Sugar cane, molasses, and sugar beets are commonly used in the process. Brewer’s yeast is usually grown on barley.
Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of beer making. It is also used to make bread. It has a bitter taste. Nutritional yeast offers a cheesy nutty flavor for your pallet. Nutritional yeast is also better for you. It has a much high nutritional value (hence its name). It is an excellent source of B- complex vitamins.
Most people associate yeast with baking bread.
Vegan… Just What The Doctor Ordered!
Nutritional yeast is all the rage in the vegan and plant-based eating communities. The main reason… It is high in vitamin B12. This is an important B vitamin that people usually receive from animal sources. The truth of the matter, B12 is produced by soil microbes... and the soil must contain the mineral cobalt!
The animals eat grass or other plants growing in cobalt-rich soil… hopefully… so they can pass this critical vitamin on to you… if you eat meat. Animals don’t produce vitamin B12, so it relies completely relies on the mineral cobalt. Since the soils are being depleted, and vegetables have all the remnants of soil removed before it hits the shelves, EVERYONE (not just Vegans) should consider finding a healthy source of the vitamin- B12.
I’m Batty for Vitamin B 12!
What happens when you don’t have enough vitamin B12? Anemia for starters. This is when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. You will begin to feel sluggish and tired. You’ll have trouble getting off the couch. You won’t be able to think fast on your feet and you’ll start forgetting where your keys are… or where the remote is if you’re still on the couch!
Nerve damage is also a possibility. This is a long term effect of a vitamin B12 deficiency. A common sign, when this is happening, is when paresthesia sets in. This is a sensation that feels likes pins and needles are being stuck into your skin.
Depression and dementia are possibilities when you’re low on B12. Optic neuropathy is also possible. Again, this is a result of nerve damage. This could impair your vision. Vitamin B12 plays a huge role in maintaining health. Blue-green Algae from Klamath Lake is also an excellent source of vitamin B12.
Don’t be nervous… just a picture of your neural network!
Empowered By Nutrients!
By now, you know about vitamin B12… the superstar in the yeast world. But, what other nutrients find a home in yeast? Well, that sort of depends. It is a common practice among manufacturers to fortify their yeast. This means some nutrients are manufactured or man-made.
As yeast cells grow, they naturally produce vitamins and minerals. You can find your vitamin B-complex vitamins in yeast. One tablespoon of yeast contains 30 to 180% of your recommended daily’s for B vitamins. (B1 ,B2 ,B3, B5, B6, and B12)
You can’t have vitamins without their significant other… MINERALS. It contains iron, selenium, and zinc. Lately, a lot of attention has been given to zinc to fight COVID. Zinc is extremely important for your immune system. Selenium has antioxidant properties and beneficial for cellular health. Iron is important for red blood cell production.
Beta-glucans take refuge in nutritional yeast. Beta-glucans are a form of soluble found on the cell walls of plants, bacteria, fungi, yeast, lichens, and algae. These fibrous wonders love your heart to health and help lower cholesterol.
Now nearly everyone is concerned about protein... maybe a little too much. Believe it or not… you can find plenty of it in the plant kingdom. One tablespoon of yeast provides your body with 2 grams of protein. You will also find all nine of the essential amino acids… amino acids are required for the synthesis of protein for your body.
The Problem With Fortified Vitamins and Minerals!
Anytime you consume synthetic foods you are veering away from whole-foods. Your body processes vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food way, way better than when it’s in a whole food form. Think about it. Your body has evolved over thousands upon thousands of years to get to the present moment.
In only a small sliver of time, mankind in all of its “brilliance” has decided to create its own food by altering what nature has provided for our use. Processed foods have created a worldwide health epidemic. Fortified yeast is still food. Manufacturers have just tossed in some synthetic vitamins and minerals which is entirely unnecessary.
This is a marketing ploy commonly used to boost sales. This has become commonplace in commodities like water. People just don’t know how their bodies process food. Doctors are not normally well-informed in nutrition. It is all about prescription meds in modern medicine.
Don’t get me wrong. I love marketing, but I also love ethics. There is a lot of misinformation going on in the world today because of greed. It’s possible to have a free market society based on honesty and integrity, but we will have to evolve more as a species.
So, man-manufactured vitamins are not only uncalled for, they may be toxic and harmful to your body. Non-fortified yeast supplies your body with a fair amount of nutrients in which your body knows what to do with.
What Else Can Yeast Help You With?
Immune System – Yeast acts as a probiotic to help fight off bad gut bacteria. Yeast helps keep your digestive system balanced and healthy. This enables your immune system to do its work.
Natural components that make up nutritional yeast also help build up your immune system… just revisit the discussion on nutrients above.
Digestion – Are you familiar with the term probiotic. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that exists in certain foods like yogurt and yeast. Don’t let bacteria freak you out. There are good and bad bacteria The good helps clear out the bad. They perform like Jedi knights defeating the dark side. This will also aid in nutrient absorption.
Saccharomyces boulardii (yikes) is a yeast that behaves like a probiotic. It helps govern your intestinal tract and guard against incoming pathogens. It helps keep your immune system and your intestinal barriers going strong. Doctors have recognized that intestinal barrier defects are behind many gastrointestinal diseases.
More Energy – The vitamin B12 content in nutritional yeast may help you avoid fatigue. B12 helps in red blood cell production. Red blood cells supply your body with oxygen. Oxygen helps break down sugars. This process will create the energy you need to get things done.
The B-complex vitamins also help convert food into energy which in turn helps charge your metabolism.
Antiviral and Antibacterial – Nutritional yeast is the 4th most prescribed herbal in Germany, according to Dr. Seymour Pomper, for its antibacterial properties. It has been shown to be one of the best solutions to combat chronic candida. It has also been useful in taking on E.coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus.
After Workout Recovery – Nutritional yeast may help restore white blood cells that are lost during workouts. Cell restoration stimulates muscle recovery. It may also help reduce inflammation. Zinc is also present in nutritional yeast which is a good mineral for muscle regeneration.
Is Yeast An Animal?
Yeast is actually a fungus. It is a single-cell organism. To qualify for animal status, one must have multiple cells. Yeast are not able to move which an animal characteristic. Yeast also can’t reproduce.
1… 2… 3… Side Effects!
Let’s face it. Some people are just allergic to certain foods, while everyone else gobbles down with impunity!f Nutritional yeast is no exception. It’s considered safe by most people, but it could cause problems for someone that is sensitive to yeast products or it may interact with certain medications.
If you suffer from Chron’s disease or if you have any irritable bowel problems, steer clear of nutritional yeast. The yeast may worsen these types of conditions.
People who experience agonizing migraines should be careful with yeast products. It contains an amino acid called tyramine which may trigger headaches.
Overdoing yeast could trigger some digestive discomfort. Go easy on it until you can determine how your body responds.
A certain class of anti-depressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors may cause a negative reaction with yeast. Antifungal drugs and some narcotics may interact with yeast. Diabetics should also be careful with yeast since certain medications. These could also lead to a bad reaction.
How To Use, Yes Please!
You can find nutritional yeast in flakes or powdered form. It has a nutty or cheese-like flavor. The easiest way is to sprinkle it on food like a seasoning. Try some on potatoes, popcorn, vegetables, and salads.
Want Some Recipes?
Vegan Nutritional Yeast Recipes
21 Ways to use Nutritional Yeast
23 Delicious Ways to Use Nutritional Yeast
Meatless Mondays Featuring Nutritional Yeast
How To Store Nutritional Yeast
Choose a cool, dark location for storage. You can also place your yeast in the fridge. Counter-top ceramic jars will also work. Nutritional yeast has a two-year shelf life.
I like to use nutritional yeast on popcorn and potatoes. I also make homemade garden burgers in a food processor every week. I usually add about half a cup of yeast to the mix. Home-made garden burgers are delicious and nutritious by the way.
I have sworn off meat and dairy for health considerations. My health has drastically improved after being in dire straights. I feel wonderful and am astounded by how I can concentrate on writing or reading into the late hours of the night. My brain used to get super foggy and I was sleepy all the time. I would never go back to eating as I did before.
Changing how I eat has led me to many new ways of meal preparation. Yeast is another wonderful idea to get some serious healthy nutrients into my body. I have yet to find a real cheese substitute (a major addiction for me before). Some people swear by the “cheese” recipes that use nutritional yeast and cashews. It hasn’t really worked for me that way. I will continue to sprinkle it on some food as a spice alternative.
Anyway, if you are looking for a healthy way to add B12, try some nutritional yeast.
Thanks for reading, many blessings… Brian
I am in no way diagnosing any cures for any diseases and conditions. Nutritional yeast is a natural food source and like many food sources offer nutrition when consumed. It is a medical fact that certain vitamins and minerals aid in certain functions of the body. My intent here is to report after investigating numerous sources of data and always look for medical research and studies to back it up.
8 Replies to “What is Nutritional Yeast For? Is It Good For You?”
This is such an interesting and important article. My parents would absolutely love this article as they are well up on using yeast, but I don’t think they fully understand all the health benefits that yeast can give you. I am going to share this article with them and I am sure that when they finish reading it, they will be using yeast a lot more in their cooking. They will probably look into some of your delicious recommendations for where to use yeast.
I will encourage my parents to comment on your article and if they have any questions then I’ll tell them to get in touch with you. If that is OK with you?
Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
All the best,
Hi Tom. I always answer back any questions from my post’s comments. Thanks for your feedback.
I wasn’t aware of the benefits of yeast, let alone the different varieties. I am anemic so maybe I suffer from vitamin B-12 deficiency in some manner. However, I can’t remember if I experience any of the other effects of B-12 deficiency! LOL! Just kidding! I don’t feel I do though! Can you take just a B-12 pill to boost your levels? I will look into adding more yeast into my diet. Thanks for the great info!
Hello Yvette. You can find b12 on amazon in liquid form. You can also get B12 from blue-green algae. Thanks for reading.
Thank you for sharing this informative article and certainly learned something today.
To be honest yeast to me referred to making bread and I’d never heard of Nutritional Yeast until today.
I know quite a bit about B12 deficiency as a friend as this condition and believe every few months has to have an injection.
I understand that Lambs Liver is a great source for B12 but which is best, raw or cooked?
I like the idea of sprinkling the flakes especially on a cereal and will certainly be looking into this further.
Once again thanks.
Thanks for your comments. I have heard animal livers are a good source of B12, but I choose to stay on a plant-based diet. I have never felt better and don’t intend to ever go back to eating animals. I never like the smell of cow’s liver back when I used to eat beef. Blue-green algae is also an excellent source of B12. I have some first thing in the morning and never get sick anymore.
Amazing and most informative article, truly nutritional yeast can do wonders to our body.
It is a great source of vitamins and minerals, it provides nutrients that assist in functions like tissue repair, nutrient absorption, improve digestions and help the body fight against diseases.
It provides enormous benefits to our body and is free of gluten, soy, sugar, making it a great dietary addition.
This article truly explained the nutritional and health benefits of yeast, thanks for suggesting creative ways to add yeast to our diet.
Greate diet tips