Yeast has been a part of the human diet for several centuries. This fungus is in foods such as bread and beverages such as beer. However, not many are aware of the benefits of consuming a variant known as nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast is ideal for people coping with food allergies since it is dairy-free. It is obtained from the yeast species called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Manufacturers can cultivate this yeast from many sources, such as sugar beets, blackstrap molasses, and whey. Nutritional yeast may resemble regular yeast, but it undergoes drying and heating that alters its composition. It is also devoid of sugar.
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Nutritional yeast can be of two types, fortified and unfortified. In the latter, manufacturers add synthetic vitamins and minerals to enhance the nutritional value. It is the most common type and contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and protein. It is also high in fiber, calcium, and iron.
The health benefits of nutritional yeast
- Energy boost — Nutritional yeast can be good for anyone who wants to stay healthy. However, it is more beneficial for people on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It is fortified with vitamin B-12, which is hard to find outside of animal protein. A small amount of nutritional yeast is enough to fulfill the daily B-12 requirements of adults.
- Immunity boost — Those with a weak immune system can consume this yeast. Its intake helps with inflammation triggered by a bacterial infection.
- Skin and hair health — Studies have indicated that eating food enriched with nutritional yeast may help with hair loss issues and brittle nails.
- Good for pregnant women — Nutritional yeast may be good for pregnant women as it contains folic acid which is a healthy supplement.
- Powerful antioxidants — Nutritional yeast contains the antioxidants selenomethionine and glutathione. These help your body cells fight free radicals which reduce the risk of developing serious ailments.
Some animal and human studies have indicated that consuming nutritional yeast can also be good for lowering cholesterol. However, more extensive and advanced studies are required to confirm the findings.
How to use nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is available in many forms and can be used in several ways. It has a nutty flavor and can be added to salads, pasta, and vegetable dishes as a seasoning. It can also be used as an alternative to sauces, cheeses, and butter. It should be taken in moderation as the recommended daily amount is just two tablespoons.
Nutritional yeast should be stored in a dark and cool place in an air-tight container to enhance shelf life. If stored correctly, it can last up to two years.