All About the NUTRITIONAL YEAST
Nutritional Yeast: What it is, The health benefits and How to use it.
With its awesome cheesy flavour and impressive nutritional profile, the popularity of Nutritional Yeast is quickly growing! So what is it, why is it so amazing and how do you eat it?
L-R: 1)Baked potato, homemade bruschetta with garden tomatoes, veggie “chicken” and nutritional yeast. 2)Hemp noodles, mashed avocado and nutritional yeast. 3)Hassleback potatoes topped with coconut “bacon” and nutritional yeast. 3)Popcorn, olive oil and Nutritional Yeast(my personal fav).
Nutritional Yeast is a great way to get Vitamin B12 in your diet however it’s important to remember that B12 is NOT naturally occurring in it, meaning that Nutritional Yeast must be fortified with B12. This is important to understand because NOT ALL NUTRITIONAL YEAST IS FORTIFIED. So if you are eating this yeast primarily as a means to increase B12 you need to make sure that it in fact DOES have B12 added to it (bulk nutritional yeast usually doesn’t btw) by reading the package or contacting the company. It’s also important to mention that it’s not just those on a plant-based or animal product restricted diet that need to think about B12 deficiency:
•All adults over age 50 should consider supplementing B12 regardless of diet due to gastritis (as we age our stomach doesnt make as much acid) and decreases ability to absorb B12• Anyone with digestive issues including celiac disease, crohns disease, pancreas dysfunction, history of bowel or stomach surgery or IBS symptoms•Anyone with a history of prolonged use of certain medications, including heartburn medicines such as proton pump inhibitors (like omeprazole, pantoprazole, etc…) and H2 blockers (like ranitidine, famotidine, cimetidine, etc…). Metformin, the common diabetes drug, may also lower B12 absorption. (Institute of Medicine,2017). Low B12 levels are a serious health concern so make sure you are getting enough and if in doubt a simple blood test can tell you!
• Nutritional yeast is NOT an “active” yeast (which can continue to grow in your stomach once consumed) and not to be confused with brewers yeast or baking yeast. It is made from sugar cane and beet molasses and grows from fungi as the sugar feeds the yeast cells for energy.
• Often termed as a “hippy food” nutritional yeast or “nooch” for short, is becoming more and more common and can be found in most grocery stores. It is truly a superfood and you would be hard pressed to find any downsides to making it an addition to your diet.
•It is packed with nutrients, protein and minerals and is especially great for those concerned about a B vitamin deficiency. Although vegetarians and vegans are often thought to be the only groups having to be concerned with getting enough b vitamins it is unfortunately a fact that even those that consume meat and animal products are often deficient as well due to stress (which depletes b vits) and poor digestive health. B vitamins are absolutely essential for good metabolism (weight control), hair/skin/nails, balanced mood and a host of other body functions.
•One Tbsp of nutritional yeast contains a full spectrum of B vitamins including your complete RDI of b12 (fortified). 2 Tbsp contains 9g of complete protein (that’s more than a cup of milk and extremely rare for a plant based food!)
•Nutritional Yeast is extremely high in folic acid (important for women of child bearing age), fibre, iron, selenium and zinc. In addition to having anti inflammatory, anti viral and immune boosting properties. It’s also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and fight cancerous cells.
Basically…this yeast is nutritionally amazing AND tastes fantastic…so go ahead and sprinkle it on everything!!!!