Audrey Hunt's passion for nutrition began the day she was diagnosed with diabetes. She's a vegetarian and advocate for healthy living.
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To my surprise, I learned that what I thought was real cheese had been replaced by nutritional yeast.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?
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?
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.
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
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 23, 2019:
How wonderful to hear that you're willing to include nutritional yeast in your diet! I just finished a bowl of organic popcorn sprinkled with my supply of nutritional yeast.
Also, thanks for recommending the website for ordering nutritional yeast. I'll be sure to give it a try.
Gregory DeVictor from Pittsburgh, PA on November 23, 2019:
Audrey, I reread this article to learn all that I could again about nutritional yeast. The nutritional data that you included in your article is fantastic, and you cover the topic thoroughly. I am going to purchase some nutritional yeast from VitaCost.com, an online retailer that I’ve used before and trust.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on February 24, 2019:
Thank you for the information regarding improved eye care. As I researched the health benefits for nutritional yeast, the eyes were not mentioned. I will do further research and when I come upon information to support improved eye care, I will include this in my article.
Thank you for being here and for bringing this to my attention.
Peace and joy to you.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 23, 2019:
Hello, Audey Hunt, I do do not know one should add nutritional yeast to pop-corns, though I add it to soups, salads, rice, and bean. I will dry it on my popcorn today. Thanks for sharing and pointing out all the wonderful and natural health benefits. But I do not ever notice you point out eye health in the story. A good nutritional yeast will significantly improve eye health. Many thanks, and best to you.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 04, 2018:
Happy 4th of July. Hope you're enjoying this holiday. I'm pleased that you were introduced to Nutritional Yeast through my article. I love the stuff and sprinkle plenty of it on my scrambled eggs, salads and even cauliflower.
How convenient to have a Whole Foods nearby. My closest one is 45 minutes away. Thanks so much for being here!
Gregory DeVictor from Pittsburgh, PA on July 04, 2018:
Audrey, thank you for an informative article. I knew absolutely nothing about Nutritional Yeast until I read your hub. I love cheese but don’t eat it any more because of the calories and saturated fat. Therefore, Nutritional Yeast sounds like a perfect alternative to cheese. Thanks too for noting that the yeast can be added to sauces. Oh yes, Whole Foods sounds like the best place to buy the Nutritional Yeast. Fortunately, there is a Whole Foods store near me.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 20, 2016:
Thanks Katie! Appreciate it.
kbdressman from Harlem, New York on November 20, 2016:
Oooooh, "cheesy" cauliflower sounds really really good! We'll let you know how it goes!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 20, 2016:
I use nutritional yeast in place of cheese for lasagna, pasta dishes, cauliflower and even mash potatoes. If I don't tell anyone they don't know the difference. To introduce your husband to nutritional yeast you may want to use half cheese and half nutritional yeast.
Let me know what the results are. :)
kbdressman from Harlem, New York on November 20, 2016:
Thank you for this hub! I have a couple of friends who swear by it, but they've never been able to explain what it is very well so I've been hesitant to try it. My husband LOVES pasta. I'll have to see if I can talk him into trying some nutritional yeast with it next time!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 24, 2016:
Have you had a chance to try the nutritional yeast? I'm working on dropping 10 pounds so I whipped up some cauliflower, added some herbs and baked it in the oven with plenty of nutritional yeast sprinkled on the top. It was sooooo good and very filling. I ate the entire serving which only had about 60 calories!
Thanks dear Paula,
I hope your visit to the doctor went well. I, too use Braggs vinegar. I mix it with my smart water (high PH) and it keeps my energy up. I find it also decreases my appetite. I've been finding all sorts of ways to use the nutritional yeast. Hope you have an opportunity to try this healthy addition.
Thanks Sha. Really appreciate your being here!
I purchase my nutritional yeast at my local organic produce market or whole foods. I'm also going to order the Bragg's from amazon. I've been finding all kinds of uses for this healthy food.
Thanks my dear friend. Appreciate your support.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 23, 2016:
I love sprinkling nutritional yeast on cauliflower and broccoli. The lasagna my kids prepared for me had not one bit of cheese...just the nutritional yeast. I could not tell the difference. Thanks for the share my friend.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2016:
The fact that it tastes cheesy got my attention! After reading this it is certainly worth a try! Will give this a share.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 13, 2016:
Very nice to know you are supplying the nutrients your body needs with nutritional yeast. Thanks for being here Alicia.
Hello my friend. I hope all is going well in your world. I've been shaken by my younger sister's disease and struggle with dementia. So very difficult to deal with. I'm sure you understand. Thank you dear lady for reading my hub.
I, too, can hardly resist cheese - any kind of cheese. Nutritional yeast helps. And the health benefits are just wonderful! So are you!
Dr. Pran Rangdan
I'm glad to hear you will give nutritional yeast a try. Hopefully you will be open to alerting your patents. I'm grateful for your comments and thank you.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 24, 2016:
Now I have to find this and try it, thank you for telling us about it.
Blessings and hugs dear friend.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 18, 2016:
Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I always look forward to "seeing you." Think I'll hop on over to your neck-of-the-woods to see what's going on!
I'm so grateful for the nice comments. It's such a good feeling to be appreciated like this. My best to you!
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 27, 2016:
Audrey, I've never heard of nutritional yeast, but it sounds wonderful. I'm actually, having a physical and complete blood work and screenings done over the next few weeks (I haven't been to a doctor in years). I'll definitely ask my doctor about this.
Thanks for the wonderful information. I love that Bragg makes this product. I use their apple cider vinegar, so I trust their brand.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 11, 2016:
So pleased to know you are going to give nutritional yeast a try. I added a tablespoon to some sautéed kale for my dinner and it gave the taste a delicious boost. Thanks so much.
Suzie from Carson City on June 05, 2016:
Audrey....I am really shocked that I was not familiar with "nutritional yeast!" I'm always reading & researching supplements and nutrition. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this powerful addition to our diets! I'm going to the site I order my health & beauty products from and adding this to my next list for sure!
Have a nice evening, Audrey....(I'll let you know what I think once I've used this!) Peace, Paula
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 05, 2016:
Thank you so much for sharing my hub. I really do appreciate this kind gesture. Nutritional yeast is such a marvelous addition on our nutritional journey for better health. I hope you notice a difference and be sure to let me know. Give it a few weeks to build up in your system.
Luv you my hub sister.
Dr Pran Rangan from Kanpur (UP), India on June 03, 2016:
Your have explained so well about the value of nutritional yeast. It seems that it is loaded with nutrition and is quite beneficial to health. I will definitely try it myself before recommending to patients and others.
I never eat buttered popcorn though they are quite tasty.
Thanks Audrey for sharing a useful information.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 01, 2016:
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your taking time to read my hub about Nutritional Yeast. I've noticed an increase in my energy since adding this food to my diet.
Good health to you my friend.
I, too, am lactose intolerant. I wish I had known about this healthy food years ago. Thanks for your comments and stay healthy.
Hello my friend. Always a joy to see you. Tell me how did you come to learn you are gluten intolerant? I'm wondering if maybe I am too. Have you tried "Ezekial Sprouted Bread?" It's gluten free. It comes in 3 different choices. I like the raisin cinnamon. It's yummy toasted and with a little butter (my butter is made from yogurt.) Do let me know how you learned that you are gluten intolerant.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 01, 2016:
Audrey, you make a great case for nutritional yeast. Thanks for all this good information about its value to our health. I love cheese too much, so you have given me a healthy alternative which I am happy to embrace.
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on May 31, 2016:
Great to see you, Audrey ~ informative hub, thanks for sharing. Hugs, Maria
Schools Caguas on May 31, 2016:
All ready read this article.I can new information known .I hope your next article will published as early as possible.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 30, 2016:
Hi Karen. How are things down in Georgia? Thanks for reading my hub on Nutritional Yeast. So glad you enjoyed it. I learned a lot myself doing tons of research. :)
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 30, 2016:
I love the taste of nutritional yeast. It's a very useful substance, especially for vegans. Thanks for sharing all the information, Audrey.
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on May 30, 2016:
Thank you very much Audrey, I purchased NY about 2 months ago. I used it a few times but now, I will start using it everyday since reading this article. You've made my day with this one. You are a blessing. Keep up the good work my dear.
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 30, 2016:
Nice to see you looking so healthy, and thanks for sharing your secret.
P.S. I want to know where Vellur "voted up". I had the impression that HP did away with voting, and some other benefits we used to enjoy.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 30, 2016:
Interesting and informative, learned a lot about yeast and why we should include it in our diet. Thank you for sharing and voted up.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 30, 2016:
Wow, Audrey, this is news to me! I've heard of yeast, but not Nutritional Yeast, and boy do I need to incorporate it into my diet.
I know that movie theatre popcorn is to die for ...literally.
You've presented an insightful hub here full of important nutritional information.
Thank you for sharing, and now I will share everywhere to help get the word out.
Blessings, sweet woman
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 30, 2016:
All the way though reading this, I was saying, " Is it gluten free? " I was happy to read at the bottom that is gluten free, which I must have. I will certainly try this. I am a health nut since I became gluten intolerant. Thanks so much. I have never heard of this...
Kiss andTales on May 30, 2016:
I so enjoyed and very much appreciated your hub.
I did not know of nooch.
I can use it in my life I am lactose intolerance.
Like the solutions of substitutes.
Also the many health benifits is just wonderful to know.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful hub on nooch.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 30, 2016:
Very useful and informative hub about nutritional yeast. I am aware of the normal yeast that we use but this looks different and very high in nutritional value. I will look for it and try it.
Thank you for sharing this well written and presented hub!
Karen Hellier from Georgia on May 29, 2016:
Wow I had no idea that nutritional yeast had so many benefits. Thanks for sharing this with us.