Nutritional yeast, which many people confuse with Brewer’s yeast, is a good source of supplemental protein and B12. Discover the other health benefits of nutritional yeast.
Most people haven’t heard of nutritional yeast, but it’s popular with the health food crowd – particularly vegans who use it as a source of B12. Vitamin B12 is only found in meat and dairy foods, and nutritional yeast may be the sole source of B12 for people who don’t eat animal foods. Nutritional yeast is surprisingly nutritious, and recently more non-vegans have been adding it to their diet for its nutritional value. What are the health benefits of nutritional yeast?
Nutritional Yeast: What is It?
Nutritional yeast is essentially a yeast that’s deactivated. It’s often confused with Brewer’s yeast which is live yeast used in the making of beer. Brewer’s yeast is offered at most health food stores and natural food markets as a supplement because it’s high in B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is also sold in bulk at natural food markets and health food stores – in the form of a yellow powder that has a cheesy taste to it. Because of its cheesy flavor, it’s often used to make vegan cheese products.
It’s a Good Protein Source
Most people already get enough protein in their diet, but vegetarians and vegans need a little extra help in this department. Nutritional yeast boasts fourteen grams of protein in a single ounce with only 79 calories – and it’s completely fat free. Adding nutritional yeast to recipes is a good way to get protein if you’re cutting back on meat for health reasons.
It’s an Excellent Source of Fiber
An ounce of nutritional yeast has a whopping seven grams of fiber which is more than a quarter of the day’s recommended intake. Fiber is important for heart health and healthy intestines and most people don’t get enough of it.
It’s Rich in B Vitamins
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins – and one of the only non-animal sources of B12. B12 is important for healthy red blood cell production and is vital for normal nerve function since it maintains the myelin sheath that insulates nerve cells. A deficiency in B12 can cause irreversible nerve damage. One caveat. Not all nutritional yeast is a good source of B12, so it’s important to do a little investigation before buying it.
How to Use Nutritional Yeast for Better Health
Nutritional yeast can be added to gravies to give them a cheesy flavor and it’s a good substitute for parmesan cheese powder in Caesar salads, spaghetti, and on pizza. It can be sprinkled on popcorn as a healthier alternative to butter. Try adding a little to a bowl of soup for extra protein, fiber, and B vitamins. It’s best to use only a small amount since the flavor can be overpowering if you add too much. Enjoy experimenting with this healthy and nutritious vegan favorite.