Everything You Need To Know About Nutritional Yeast, Its Health Benefits and Uses
You may have heard of nutritional yeast or come across it via vegan influencers in social media, or your nearest veggie café menu, but what is nutritional yeast? The addition of nutritional yeast and its integration into modern society has been an absolute game-changer for the vegan community, who swear by the product to change the level of almost any vegan dish. In the most simple terms vegan nutritional yeast is almost like a cheese substitute, Parmesan cheese to be exact, the only difference is that it is one hundred percent plant-based and natural, and without any additives, it automatically poses a cheese-like flavor. Not only is it a great way to elevate a dish, but the nutritional yeast information is full of good nutrients and many health benefits, which is what really made it popular within the veggie community. In this article, I’m going to be explaining to you exactly what nutritional yeast is, all the nutritional information and health benefits as well as a multitude of different ways you can incorporate it into your diet.
Is Nutritional Yeast Good for You?
Before we can really dive into numerous nutritional yeast facts and the multitude of benefits of national yeast, let me just explain a little more about what it really is and why it has been claimed to be so good for you. Nutritional Yeast is a yeast species just like that of bakers yeast used to make bread and brewers yeast used to make alcoholic beverages such as beer, however, is it quite a different product that gets produced at the end of the day. Different from other forms of yeast, nutritional yeast is grown specifically to be used as a food product, meaning the final product does not contain any live bacteria as the yeast cells are killed throughout the manufacturing process. As a result, the yeast produced has a savory flavor with an almost cheesy and nutty undertone which is most commonly used in cooking. The nutritional yeast that we would most typically see at our grocery stores is known as fortified nutritional yeast, meaning that added vitamins are added to boost the overall nutrient content of the product, it is also naturally low in sugar, dairy-free, and vegan, and does nutritional yeast contain gluten? Another no, it’s naturally gluten-free too and suitable for everyone!
What Are the Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?
The nutritional yeast health benefits are pretty wide in range and only act to increase its popularity. For everyone and especially vegans vitamin B12 is almost always lacking or entirely missing from our diets, however, nutritional yeast and B12 go hand in hand. Not only does it contain vitamin B12 but a range of other vitamins b’s too. The fortified versions of nutritional yeast are rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and of course Vitamin B12, which is a strong contributor to why vegans swear by the product. That is not all the benefits of nutritional yeast, some other health rewarding benefits you can expect to find from nutritional yeast include:
The protein in nutritional yeast actually contains all nine amino acids which are essential for the body. Just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains around 2 grams of protein, which is a lot especially for those following a plant-based diet.
Not only is the nutritional yeast vitamins content extremely high, but it also contains some important minerals. Minerals that can be found in nutritional yeast include zinc, selenium, manganese, and molybdenum which are all great for the immune system, the digestive system, and growth.
All of these important health-related nutritional yeast facts are what make it just a hit amongst my fellow vegans, as not only just to enhance cooked meals but provides essential health benefits that allow one’s body to keep strong and healthy no matter the diet.
How To Use Nutritional Yeast
There are many ways to use nutritional yeast, firstly your yeast should be stored in a cool and dark area in order to preserve the vitamins and minerals it contains, it should also always be sealed and any moisture should be kept out. Some ideas in which you could use nutritional yeast within your diet include :
- Sprinkled over pasta (a substitute for Parmesan)
- Sprinkled of popcorn (for a cheesy flavor)
- Mixed into soups, stews, and curries
- For the creation of vegan sauces
- For creating the ultimate mac and cheese
- As a thickener
- Within baked savory goods
The bottom line is that the nutritional yeast uses will ultimately give you a nutty and cheesy like flavor which can literally be put on whatever your heart desires, whether that be pizza, pasta dishes, warming chilly or an Indian inspired dhal let your heart run wild you can never really have too much and at the end of the day it’s perfect for you too.
Nutritional Yeast Pros and Cons
While we have spoken a lot about nutritional yeast, what it is, and how to use it there are a few elements of the nutrient-rich seasoning that we haven’t yet touched on. Not only does nutritional yeast contain the great nutrient, but it also can give a wider range of benefits and sometimes not such benefits which include:
Can Help Lower Cholesterol
An ingredient known as Beta-Glucan is commonly found in nutritional yeast and is known for its ability to help lower cholesterol.
Help Boost Immunity
The two main types of carbohydrates found in nutritional yeast are most well known for their ability to help strengthen the immune system and overall increase the body’s chance of fighting disease. These ingredients or bacterias can help stop bacteria in the intestines, fight infections and remove harmful toxins that may enter the body.
Helps Fight Cell Damage
Nutritional yeast contains some super-powerful antioxidants which help to fight the damage to one’s cells and protect them from experiencing any further damage, which can help your body fight harmful toxins and improve the health of your heart and defend against cancers.
Helps Prevent Deficiencies
Deficiencies are a problem many people face due to lack of nutrients in their diet, vegans are faced with this even more so, however, nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12 which massively contributes to having a healthy nervous system, lots of energy, and good creation of red blood cells.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day from this article, we can see that not only is nutritional yeast a great tasting addition to any vegan diet, but it is also perfect for you and beneficial to the overall health of one’s body, energy, and strength. So the next time you’re cooking yourself a delicious meal, why not take it to the next level and try adding some nutritional yeast and see what you think for yourself.
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