The Top 5 Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
If you’ve given up meat and dairy, it’s very likely you already know the wonders of nutritional yeast.. At least in terms of it being considered a beneficial addition to your diet, in order to prevent Vitamin B deficiencies, especially.
However, there are many, many more benefits of this interesting, flakey friend. This NB explores the top 5 and a lot more reasons you want and need to include it in your daily life.
Nutritional yeast (sometimes called “nooch” for short!) is a type of yeast that is grown specifically to be used as a food product.
Nooch has gained popularity in recent years due to its distinctive savory, cheese-like taste and its nutritional benefits. It’s often used as a flavoring ingredient in vegan and vegetarian dishes, in part because of its B vitamin content (more on nutrition below).
What IS Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is different from baking yeast, which is used to make bread rise.
Nutritional yeast is deactivated (more on that below) which means that it won’t cause bread or other baked goods to rise, but it does have a number of nutritional benefits.
One of the key nutritional benefits of nutritional yeast is that it’s a great source of B vitamins.
However, it’s important to note that most nooch comes either “fortified” (more to say on that below) or non-fortified.
Without adding anything to it, nutritional yeast naturally provides a nice array of B vits. Each product is different, technically, but you can expect to see levels around:
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1):11111111 6% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 111111114% of the DV
- Niacin (Vitamin B3): 111111111112% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 1111111111111111112% of the DV
- Folate (B9): 1111111111111111112% of the DV
This makes nutritional yeast a valuable ingredient for vegans and vegetarians who may be at risk for vitamin B deficiencies.
B12 does NOT occur naturally in nutritional yeast, but is often added in “fortified” versions. We have more to say about fortified vs unfortified below, though.
Overall, nutritional yeast is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber, and is low in calories.
You can sprinkle it on top of popcorn, add to sauces and gravies, or use it to make a vegan “cheese” sauce, cheeses and gravy.
So if you’re looking to add a little extra flavor and nutrition to your meals, nutritional yeast is definitely worth giving a try!
Before we explore the nutritional benefits more closely…
How Do They Make Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is, you guessed it, a type of yeast. 😀
The yeast is grown on a mixture of sugar cane and beet molasses, which provides the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow and multiply.
Once the yeast has reached maturity, it’s harvested and washed to remove any unwanted debris. Then, it’s heated in order to deactivate the yeast and stop it from growing any further. This process is what gives nutritional yeast its distinctive flaky texture.
After the deactivation process, the nutritional yeast is often fortified with additional B vitamins, including vitamin B12.
But that’s not always a good thing…
To fortify nutritional yeast, most manufacturers will usually add a synthetic form of B vitamins to the yeast flakes or powder. The type and amount of B vitamins added can vary depending on the brand, but typically include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians, who may be at risk for deficiency as it’s primarily found in animal products.
The form of vitamin B12 used to fortify nutritional yeast is typically cyanocobalamin, which is a man-made form of the vitamin, synthesized by bacteria, fungi, and algae.
Not everyone is okay with that. Besides, some of these synthetic vitamins can actually be sourced from animal flesh. Not cool.
On top of that, many brands are actually GMOs! The usual story: these “frankenstein” organisms make it easier and cheaper to produce greater quantities of inferior foods.
In your quest for the best foods to consume, make sure to find a non-GMO, non-fortified nooch for your best health.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast?
So, is nooch good for you? You bet!
Here are some of the top 5 nutritional benefits of nutritional yeast:
1. High in protein: Nutritional yeast is a good source of protein, containing approximately 9 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. That’s incredible!
And it’s what makes nooch a valuable source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans.
2. Rich in B vitamins: Nutritional yeast is a great, natural source of B vitamins. IF this would be your main source of B12, it may be a good option…
But if you’re getting your B12 from organic plant sources or separate supplements, we vote for a high-quality, unfortified and non-GMO form of nooch.
3. Low in calories: Nutritional yeast is relatively low in calories, with only around 60 calories per 2 tablespoons. This makes it a great way to add flavor to dishes without adding a lot of extra calories… Especially if you love a “cheesy” flavor.
4. Contains fiber: Nutritional yeast is also a good source of dietary fiber, with around 3 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons. That’s a pretty incredible ratio, for such a small portion. And, of course, fiber can help regulate digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
5. Rich in minerals: Nutritional yeast is a good source of several important minerals, including zinc, selenium, and molybdenum. These minerals play important roles in many bodily functions, such as immune function and DNA synthesis.
Overall, nutritional yeast is a nutrient-dense food that can provide a range of health benefits.
Nooch is definitely a great, if not an essential addition to vegan and vegetarian diets, as it can help prevent deficiencies so common in these diets.
Full nutritional breakdown: Here are the approximate amounts and percentages of the Daily Value (DV) for the minerals typically found in a 1 tablespoon (8-gram) serving of nutritional yeast:*
- Calcium: 1% DV
- Iron: 5% DV
- Magnesium: 2% DV
- Phosphorus: 4% DV
- Potassium: 2% DV
- Zinc: 4% DV
- Copper: 4% DV
- Manganese: 5% DV
- Selenium: 4% DV
*The amount of minerals in nutritional yeast can vary depending on the brand and the specific product.
Isn’t that incredible! You start sprinkling it on everything (like me) and you’re getting a great boost of some excellent B vits and minerals.
Now, you may have been including nutritional yeast in your diet for a long, long time if you’re already plant-based or plant-centered…
But if you want to create:
✅ The world’s creamiest vegan carbonara…
✅ Mac and cheese that will fool even the hardiest meat eaters…
✅ Nacho cheese dip that your whole family will go wild for…
✅ …and even stretchy vegan mozzarella cheese
Or if you want to:
😲 Detoxify from toxins like aluminum…
😲 Lower your cholesterol…
😲 Clean out and heal your gut…
😲 Control blood sugar, lower blood pressure ⁵² , and control your weight…
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There’s even more benefits of this special “nooch” described on their page, so I really encourage you to go check it out. >>Discover Noochy Licious Here
Can’t wait to try the mac & “cheese”!
P.S. If you already have a brand of nutritional yeast you love, you still might like to try this one as it’s so highly recommended, PLUS has a money-back guarantee if you don’t think it’s “all that”.
And for the resolute “not changing my brand no way no how” – you can get JUST a collection of great nooch RECIPES, here