All About Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is the new best thing. It’s a cheesy-flavored condiment that comes in the form of flakes. And it just so happens to be chalked-full of nutrients!

What is Nutritional Yeast?

So what exactly is nutritional yeast? It’s a non-active, cultured strain of yeast1, specifically part of the species: saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. Historically, this has been instrumental to winemaking, baking, and brewing since ancient times.

It’s usually grown on molasses and deactivated by heating and drying methods upon harvest1. Nutritional yeast is sold in the form of yellow flakes or powder and is most often used for its taste. It’s also an amazingly nutritious superfood!

What Are the Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?

One reason that nutritional yeast is so popular among the health-conscious community is for its taste! The plant product has a natural cheesy flavor that helps replicate common dairy dishes without the actual dairy.

  1. Vitamin B12

    Nutritional yeast is often fortified with vitamin B12. B12 helps maintain the health of nerve cells and form the protective covering of nerves2. A deficiency of the vitamin shows up as chronic fatigue, depression and stress. It can also leave one with a general runned-down feeling. Unless the products are enriched with the vitamin, animal products are the only food items that contain adequate amounts of this essential vitamin!

  2. Protein

    Nutritional yeast is also a great source of protein. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids which the body doesn’t naturally produce3. One tablespoon of Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast, contains 2 grams of protein. This same tablespoon also fulfills 72.5% of the vitamin B12 RDA4! This is a large amount of goodness for just 1 small tablespoon.

  3. Flavor

    Nutritional yeast is raved over by healthy eaters for its distinct cheesy taste even though it’s a completely plant-based product. It adds an awesome cheesy flavor to dishes without any of the bad effects of dairy cheese. This makes the product very valuable to vegans and those with a dairy intolerance. Nutritional Yeast also loses its form when heated, meaning it can create smooth cheese-flavored sauces.

  4. Vitamin Rich

    Along with vitamin B12, nutritional yeast is also a good source of the B vitamins: riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and folic acid1. Depending on the brand, 1 tablespoon may provide 30% (or more) of the RDA of these nutrients. Proper levels of these nutrients help the body fight disease, maintain strong bones, and keep the brain sharp.

Check out these recipes with nutritional yeast!

1Ruscigno, Matt. “Ask The EN Experts. What Is Nutritional Yeast And Is It Good For Me?.” Environmental Nutrition 36.9 (2013): 2. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Dec. 2016.
3Oaklander, Mandy. “Should I Eat Nutritional Yeast?.” Time.Com (2015): N.PAG. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Dec. 2016.

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