The Nutritional Boost You Would ‘Yeast’ Expect
Have you made a meal and thought to yourself, ‘You know what would make this even better? A sprinkle of yeast!’
Nope? I don’t blame you, and I would understand if you had a frown on your face, puzzled at the idea.
Nutritional Yeast first caught the attention of the vegan and vegetarian community back in the 1960s and 70s. Decades later, it has now sparked the interest of the rest of us, or at least those of us who are looking to amp up our healthy-eating lifestyle.
What is nutritional yeast?
It is exactly what you think it is.
It is deactivated yeast commonly used to thicken sauces; add a nutty, cheesy or umami flavour to dishes; or be an additional source of essential vitamins and minerals that people might not be getting from their preferred diet.
The difference between nutritional yeast and the yeast you would use to bake a loaf of bread comes down to whether it is active or not. The yeast you would use to make bread rise is active, dry yeast and cannot be eaten straight from the packet. If consumed as is, the yeast will continue to grow inside your digestive tract and steal nutrients from your body.
Despite coming from the same fungus, nutritional yeast has been heated at such a high temperature that it is no longer alive and activated. Deactivated yeast is safe to eat, and it will boost your body’s nutrients instead of depleting them.
What are the benefits of nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast has gained popularity amongst healthy eaters for being an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and high-quality proteins. It has high levels of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12 which helps boost energy. About 30 grams of nutritional yeast contains approximately 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fibre.
Research has shown that nutritional yeast helps support a healthy immune system, reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, combat brittle nails and hair loss and even improve the appearance of the skin. In addition, it can support a healthy pregnancy due to the folic acid found in this natural supplement.
How can you use nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast usually comes in the form of flakes or powder, and it has a savoury flavour to it. Most people tend to add it as a seasoning to various dishes like pasta, vegetables and salads.
However, nutritional yeast could be used in the following ways too:
- Sprinkled on popcorn instead of butter or salt
- Mixing it into risotto instead of parmesan cheese
- Using it in a vegan alternative to cheese sauce
- Using it adds that cheesy taste to a vegan macaroni and cheese dish.
- Stirring it into soups for added nutrients and flavour
- Adding it into scrambled eggs or tofu scramble
- Blending into a protein smoothie
Is nutritional yeast suitable for everyone?
While there is no denying that nutritional yeast is packed with goodness, this supplement is not suitable for everyone.
If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, or hypertension, you should avoid using nutritional yeast because it could worsen your symptoms.
If you have a yeast sensitivity or allergy, you should also avoid using nutritional yeast in your diet.