The Nutritional Value of Nutritional Yeast: What It Is and How to Use It
What Is Nutritional Yeast And How Do You Use It?
If you like cheese you're sure to like the taste of nutritional yeast. This healthy, nutritional boosting ingredient isn't just for vegans. Are you lactose intolerant, love cheese and can't have it or maybe want to reduce the amount of fat in your diet? Perhaps you simply want to start treating your body at least as good as you do your car so your inner engine will run better.
Well, I've found this cheesy - tasting wonder also known as "Nooch" and its an answer to your prayers for better health. As you read on you'll discover the best uses for Nutritional Yeast, how it's grown and processed and you'll find a treasure full of nutrients to keep you in top condition.
There is power in this superfood. If you're looking for longevity, limiting toxins in your body or just feeling bad for no apparent reason, you'll want to give this wonder food a try. It's totally versatile and can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on cereal or eggs and added to any recipe in place of cheese. So for a healthier body and mind let me introduce you to my new friend, Nutritional Yeast.
How I Discovered Nutritional Yeast
I was first introduced to this magical nutritional ingredient by my own family. It was on mother's day and as part of the celebration, a vegan lasagna dinner was thoughtfully prepared for me. Let me tell you this spinach lasagna was to die for. I couldn't believe this dish was cheese free. I could taste, what I thought was Parmesan cheese bursting with flavor against my tongue.
To my surprise, I learned that what I thought was real cheese had been replaced by nutritional yeast. Now I'm a believer. And there's more good news. Just get a load of the nutritional value found in this nourishing wonder.
Give Your Body The High-Grade Fuel It Deserves
What's not to like with this super-healthy food? Just look at these nutritional benefits:
- Need B vitamins? You'll get a load of them. The B vitamin family is a key player in maintaining optimal health and keeping you energized
- Nutritional yeast helps to maintain good food metabolism. Metabolism converts the fuel in the food we eat into the energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing.
- You'll make your nervous system happy with each teaspoonful of this cheese-like flavor food. When you think of your brain, spinal cord, sensory organs and all the nerves that connect the body, this is your nervous system.
- Your body needs to regenerate the red blood cells and this is one way to do it. The primary function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all body tissues.
- Want more protein? Forget about processed protein powders. This gem is a complete protein in itself with 55% high-quality protein. Protein builds and repairs bodies tissue.
- You'll find 18 amino acids in nutritional yeast. Wow! Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
- Your body will love you for the 15 minerals found in flake or powdered form. The body uses minerals to regulate your heartbeat, build bones and make hormones.
- If you suffer from intestinal problems nutritional yeast maintains ideal intestinal ecology.
- We all know the importance of a healthy liver. It improves liver health and function.
- It improves blood production.
- It helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels.
- The protein and fiber content promote satiety at meals. A small serving of nutritional yeast provides 3 grams of fiber.
Next up: The Benefits Of Using Nutritional Yeast.
Nutritional Yeast: Just Look At These Benefits!
Per one heaping tablespoon
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
640% Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Why Should I Include Nutritional Yeast In My Diet?
Nutritional yeast is a plant-based source of protein. Although it's a staple in many vegan kitchens, including mine, nutritional yeast has become popular with non-vegans. One reason for this popularity is for the protein and fiber found within. It helps us feel full quicker and longer - a real plus for anyone watching their weight.
And, if you're looking for a way to boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol levels as well as protecting yourself from cancer, look no further. It's the compounds beta-1,3 glucan, trehalose, mannan as well as glutathione found in this wonder-food that does the trick.
This is reasoning enough for me to make it a daily staple. I sprinkle a helping on my eggs and enjoy it on kale.
Curious about how Nutritional Yeast is grown? Come with me and we'll take a quick tour beginning with the seeding process.
How Is Nutritional Yeast Grown And Processed?
- First comes the seeding: All Lesaffre (marketer for yeast products) nutritional yeast products start with a pure parent yeast culture of non-genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Technicians prepare the culture in the laboratory following strict quality control procedures. The seed yeast is grown in sterile flasks and then transferred to large stainless steel fermentation tanks, where it will be cultivated.
- Cultivation: During the cultivation process, the temperature, pH and “diet” of the yeast are carefully controlled in order to create the optimal growing conditions. The yeast is “fed” a purified medium of nutrients and air.
- Harvesting: Once the growing process is complete, the fermented yeast liquid is passed through a centrifuge, which concentrates and thoroughly washes the yeast cells. The resultant product is an off-white liquid called "nutritional yeast cream."
- Fortification: Here is my favorite part of the entire process. The nutritional yeast cream is then pasteurized, which renders the yeast inactive. While this is going on, vitamins such as B vitamins, or minerals may be added to enhance the nutritional profile of the yeast.
- Drying: And finally, the yeast is dried on roller drum dryers and sized. Then, it is ready to ship to customers.
Growth Cycle of Nutritional Yeast Summary
So here's a quick summary of how nutritional yeast is grown and processed:
- Each batch of nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of cane and beet molasses for a period of seven days. B-vitamins are added during the process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow.
- When harvested, the yeast is washed, pasteurized, and dried on roller drum dryers before it is ready for market. It is then used by food manufacturers in food products, added to boost the nutrient levels in pet foods, and simply packaged for sale in natural food stores.
That's about it. But there's one more thing I want to make clear.
What Is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae?
Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It has been instrumental in winemaking, baking, and brewing since way before you were born - during ancient times. It is believed to have been originally isolated from the skin of grapes.
Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, otherwise known as baker’s yeast, is one of the many model organisms studied in laboratories all over the world. Because its genome has been sequenced, its genetics are easily manipulated, and it is easy to maintain in the lab, this species of yeast has been an invaluable resource in the understanding of fundamental cellular processes such as cell division and cell death.
It's one of the most intensively studied eukaryotic model organisms in molecular and cell biology, much like Escherichia coli as the mode bacterium. It is the microorganism behind the most common type of fermentation. Saccharomyces Cerevisiae cells are round to ovoid, 5–10 um in diameter. It reproduces by a division process known as budding.
The Difference Between Active Yeast And Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional Yeast and Active Yeast (Brewers Yeast) are not the same things. They are completely different.
Active yeast works as a leavening agent in bread and other baked goods. Use it to make your baked goods rise when baking bread or cinnamon rolls.
On the other hand, nutritional yeast doesn't make things rise so you won't want to use it for that purpose. Here's what it will do:
- Adding it to a sauce or topping it gives a nutty-cheesy flavor.
- Sprinkled on popcorn gives a delicious cheese taste. Much healthier than adding theater butter. (See more about theater butter in the section below.)
This yeast is different from the yeast you use in baking because it doesn't foam or froth. Because it's inactive, it can't cause dough or bread to ferment or rise. You can often find nutritional yeast in the bulk bin of your local health food store.
How Unhealthy Is Theater Popcorn?
I grew up in the local movie theater. Every Saturday you could bet your life that the three "Kerr" children could be found at the movies. For the price of a quarter, you could pay for an admission ticket, purchase a large popcorn and still have enough change for a cola and some candy.
I still treat myself to movies, on occasion but with one big exception. I never ask for butter on popcorn and even skip the popcorn entirely. Here's why:
- A small popcorn without butter from AMC will cost you 225 calories and 11 grams of fat. If this surprises you just look at the next fact.
- A medium size is loaded with 430 calories and 20 grams of fat.
- A large size popcorn without butter is packed with 1,030 calories and 41 grams of fat.
If your favorite movie is shown at a Regal Cinemas it gets even scarier.
- A small un-buttered popcorn will range from 325 calories and 27 grams of fat to 670 calories and 34 grams of fat. Both AMC and Regal Cinemas pop their corn using coconut oil.
Now here's the scoop on buttered popcorn.
- The butter you're digesting isn't butter at all. It happens to be non-hydrogenated soybean oil that’s been colored and flavored, and each tablespoon contains about 130 calories.
Surprising information isn't it? I smuggle in my own popcorn sprinkled with a small amount of sea salt and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast powder or flakes. The taste is great and it's so much healthier.
What Will You Do?
Now That You Have The Scoop On Buttered Popcorn What Is Your Plan?
Get The Scoop On Nutritional Yeast
10 Key Facts To Remember About Nutritional Yeast
Let's take a minute to review a few important facts about Nutritional Yeast.
- Good alternative for lactose-intolerant diet.
- Has a cheesy taste.
- Is a toxin fighter.
- Helps to maintain optimal cholesterol levels.
- Builds the immune system
- Loaded with B vitamins.
- Promotes a healthy liver
- High in Protein
- High in Fiber
- May help to promote healthy eyes.
Although Nutritional Yeast is rich in certain nutrients, it's deficient in others that we need for a good balance. Nutritional Yeast has a high phosphorous content and can deplete the body of calcium. Lately, some manufactures include added calcium which I personally appreciate.
Which Answer Do You Choose?
Now That You've Been Introduced To Nutritional Yeast Will You Add This To Your Diet?
Summing It Up
Most of you probably haven't heard about Nutritional Yeast until now. I highly recommend you give it a try. I add it to mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and other vegetables for a nice buttery taste without the fat or calories. I also use it as a salt replacement and even feed it to my dog. Let's face it - I'm hooked.
Do not over-do it. Gradually introduce this food to your diet and get the 'green light' from your PCP (Primary Care Physician.)
Nutritional Yeast can be found in Health Food Stores and even major food chains such as Whole Foods and Walmart. It can also be found online, however, I recommend ordering it from a good, qualified source.
For a gluten-free diet, Nutritional Yeast contains no gluten or MSG.
As with many foods, there can be side effects. Always check with your primary doctor before introducing Nutritional Yeast into your present diet. If you get the ok signal, be sure to take it easy when you first start using Nutritional Yeast. Do it gradually. Also please heed the following:
- Itching may occur in some people along with bloating and gas formation.
- People with mold allergy also find it difficult to digest and may experience stomach cramps due to its similarity to molds.
- This yeast also has high amounts of glutamate (similar to MSG.)
- Anyone dealing with yeast infection of any kind should avoid using this product in any form.
- Check the label to make sure calcium has been added.
Warning: Always check with your doctor before introducing Nutritional Yeast into your diet.
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition."
― Thomas Edison
Resource and Useful Information
Thank you for being here. I invite you to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below. I read every comment and will leave my reply.
May you enjoy good health in every way.
Audrey Hunt aka vocalcoach
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Audrey Hunt