Vitamin B12, a water soluble vitamin, is found in meat and dairy foods. It is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain and the nervous system, not to mention red blood cell formation.
If you are a vegan or someone who avoids dairy foods, an excellent source of the vitamin is nutritional yeast. It would also benefit you if you are leading a stressful life as nutritional yeast is rich in B-complex vitamins, a proven stress buster.
Nutritional Yeast and Brewers Yeast
What is nutritional yeast? How is it different from Brewers yeast? The latter is live yeast popularly used in beer-making. Brewer’s yeast is usually grown to make nutritional supplements. It is rich in chromium, which is useful in regulating blood sugar levels.
It is cultivated on hops, grain, and malt which give rise to a bitter taste. To make it palatable, the bitterness level is lowered through special processing, sacrificing its nutritional quality. Sold in powdered form or tablets, it is popularly added into beverages and cereals.
Nutritional yeast, on the other hand, is a pasteurized form of yeast used as food supplement. It is available in health stores and natural food markets in the form of a yellow powder which tastes cheesy. Its flavor makes it suitable for the production of cheese products for vegans.
Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
What are the benefits of nutritional yeast? Apart from vitamin B12, nutritional yeast is an excellent source of protein. Vegetarians and vegans who are deprived of animal protein turn to nutritional yeast for their protein intake.
An ounce of nutritional yeast contains 14 grams of protein. What is more, it’s only about 79 calories and completely free of fat. As such, it is an excellent source of protein for those who want to cut down on meat intake for health reasons.
If you are looking for a good fiber source, nutritional yeast is what you should go for. Seven grams of fiber is what you get for an ounce of nutritional yeast. You would get at least a quarter of the daily intake to keep your heart and intestines healthy.
Good quality nutritional yeast also contains niacin, biotin, thiamin, folic acid, chromium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous.
Nutritional Yeast in Your Diet
When looking for nutritional yeast, go for those cultivated on molasses or sugar beets. This kind of yeast is free of gluten. It has a pleasant taste and does not require extensive processing for it to be edible. It is easy on your digestive system and is ideal for those with digestive problems.
You can sprinkle it in your spaghetti, soup or cereal. Use it for your popcorn, too. It is healthier than butter. You can also add nutritional yeast to your gravies for a palatable cheesy flavor.
If you have been using parmesan cheese powder in your Caesar salads and pizza, opt for nutritional yeast. In any case, use it moderately lest it overpowers the flavor of the original food.
Information on Brewer’s yeast - University of Maryland Medical Centre .- https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/brewers-yeast-000288.htm
Information on Nutritional Yeasts - https://www.bulkfoods.com/yeast.asp