Nutritional Yeast: The Superfood of the Plant-Based Diet

As the vegan diet becomes more popular and mainstream, more and more people are discovering the benefits of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that is sold in a variety of forms, including flakes, powder, and tablets. 

It is a great source of protein and is high in B vitamins, including vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is a great way to make your dishes more flavorful, and it is especially great for vegan pizza! 

A comprehensive study by “The royal society of Chemistry” indicates that::

“Ready-to-eat snacks and breakfast cereal type products supplemented with chromium in the form of Nutritional Yeast could be used as vehicles for the amelioration of main physiological factors associated with metabolic syndrome (combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity)1.”

Nutritional yeast is a product that is similar to other nutritional yeast products except that it is fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. These additional added nutrients make it more like brewer’s yeast than plain nutritional yeast. 

This product is also available in a dry, flaky form. as opposed to the typical powder. The flake form is more versatile in that it can be sprinkled on top of foods as a topping – similar to Parmesan cheese, or it can be mixed into wet or dry ingredients.

According to a nutritionist from Concern Worldwide (INGO):

“Nutritional Yeast can be taken straight away unless having any problem of IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) or any other digestive system complications. It smoothened the metabolism which is significant for skin and hair. It also have anti ageing properties.”

Md Al Nasim
nutritional yeast

 History of Nutritional Yeast 

For centuries, people have been consuming a type of yeast known as nutritional yeast. This yeast is different from the yeast used in baking, as it is inactive and does not cause bread to rise. 

Nutritional yeast is usually dried and sold in flakes or as a powder. It is often used as a cheese substitute in vegan dishes and can be added to soups, salads, and sauces. 

The first use of nutritional yeast is thought to date back to the Ancient Egyptians, who used it to make a fermented beverage called khamir. Nutritional yeast later became popular in Europe, where it was used as a nutritional supplement for people who were unable to eat enough fresh foods. 

“The baking yeast industry introduced itself back at the edge of the 21st century2

– Source: tandofline

During World War II, nutritional yeast was used in Britain as a supplement for pregnant women and young children, as well as for people who were working in factories and had little time to eat proper meals. 

After the war, nutritional yeast became more widely available and began to be used in cooking, rather than just as a supplement. Today, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegetarian dishes, as well as in many savoury recipes. 

Nutritional yeast is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, and selenium. It is also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. For these reasons, nutritional yeast is often marketed as a health food. 

“Nutritional Yeast comprises Protein, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper and necessary Amino Acid3.”

–  Source: google scholar

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is used as a food additive and is a good source of protein. It is often sprinkled on popcorn and salads and is a good vegan substitute for cheese. 

Nutritional yeast is a popular seasoning that is often used to make vegan dishes more flavorful. 

It has many health benefits and is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Nutritional yeast is a yeast that is grown on molasses and then deactivated. The yeast is harvested and then dried and flaked. It comes in yellow powder or coloured flakes. 

Nutritional yeast is considered to be a good, “hot” food, meaning that it helps detoxify the body. Nutritional yeast is a common ingredient in the macrobiotic diet.

Related: VITAMINS FOR EUSTACHIAN TUBE DYSFUNCTION

plant based diet of nutritional yeast

Plant-Based Diet Benefits

There are many benefits to going plant-based, including the fact that you can eat all you want without gaining weight. Many people are doing this and they are in the best shape of their lives! 

Nutritional Yeast is a plant-based diet that is primarily comprised of plant foods, such as vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits. It promotes consuming foods that help the body naturally to live longer, having less pain and better mental clarity. 

Many people have been switching to a plant-based diet in order to help keep their weight in check. This has become a popular trend because they have been able to lose weight, gain more energy and live a healthier lifestyle. 

Nutritional yeast is a staple in the plant-based diet. It is an inactive yeast that has been grown on a nutrient-rich medium like a cane or beet sugar. It has a cheesy, nutty, and slightly salty flavour.

Nutritional yeast is pleasantly cheesy-tasting and melts on your tongue. It is one of the tastiest, most versatile ingredients you can use to add lots of flavours, protein, and B vitamins to any dish or meal. 

Some brands of nutritional yeast have added minerals, which you would need to include in your diet if you are not eating them otherwise.

 Many people are turning to plant-based diets because:

  • They are concerned with the environment and their health. 
  • They want to eat food that is grown without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. 
  • They want to eat food that is grown with minimal water and energy use. 
  • They want to eat food grown as close to home as possible. 
  • They want to eat food that has been genetically modified but not genetically engineered. 

Nutritional Yeast Health Benefits

The plant-based diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. There are many benefits to the plant-based diet, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. 

Plant-based foods are typically low in fat and high in fibre. A plant-based diet is associated with decreased rates of obesity, high blood cholesterol, and hypertension.

 The Health benefits of a plant-based diet are numerous. 

  • Plant-based diets are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, which means that they are much better for your heart. 
  • Plant-based diets are also low in salt, which can help prevent high blood pressure. 
  • Plant-based diets provide a lot of fibre. Fibre helps prevent obesity, reduces cholesterol levels and helps lower blood pressure.

Nutritional yeast is a great source of B-complex vitamins and minerals, including selenium, zinc, and chromium. It is also a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. 

Along with being a great source of vitamin B12, it is high in fibre, which can fend off hunger. Its high levels of folic acid can help prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, and may also help regulate blood sugar levels.

“The arrangement of selenomethionine selenoxide and the distinguishing proof of Se-S fortified S-(selenomethyl)- cysteine in documented nutritional yeast might be significant for brief and long term steadiness and dietary research4.” ( Selenium has cancer chemopreventive properties)

– Source: Royal society of chemistry

Health Benefits for Mind

 The health benefits for the mind have been studied and found to be plentiful.  Which includes increased levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This can help to improve mood, decrease anxiety, and boost sleep quality. 

Since it contains high amounts of B-vitamins, it can help to improve cognitive function. 

“Yeasts are superior probiotics over bacteria as they are naturally resistant to conventional antibacterial antibiotics. It has shown promising results when used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus-related diarrhoea, giardiasis and Crohn’s disease 5.”

– Source: Springer

A study conducted by the University of California found that the intake of B-vitamins can improve cognitive function. The study looked at a group of elderly adults who were given a daily dose of B-vitamins (2.5 mg of ascorbic acid, 25 mg of vitamin B, and 50 mg of Vitamin E ). After six weeks, they found that the group who took the B-vitamins had improved memory and were better at performing mental tasks.

food chain of nutritional yeast

Nutritional Yeast Uses

In recent years, the nutritional yeast industry has grown exponentially as people are becoming more conscious of their health and the foods they eat. Nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in many dishes and is often used to give dishes a cheesy flavour. 

It is a good source of protein and is high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, as well as a number of other minerals. Health food stores sell the yeast in large jars, so it can be purchased in bulk and stored for future use.

 You should use nutritional yeast for the following reason:

  • It is a great source of B vitamins, which help in the production of red blood cells.
  • It is a good source of protein and fibre, which helps to keep you full for longer. 
  • It tastes great and is, therefore, one of the most convenient and popular on-the-go snack options.
A study was conducted in Australia by “Huntington College of Health Sciences” on both children (with phenylketonuria)  and adults (non-insulin-dependent diabetics). After adding the nutritional yeast to their regular food chart, the blood selenium level notably increased for the children and the adults got their glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity improved6.

How does it Taste?

It tastes like a nutty, cheese-like flavour. It can be used to make vegan cheese sauces, but it is also used in vegan cooking to add a cheesy flavour to dishes.

It is a great substitute for cheese and it’s loaded with protein. It’s a great way to add a cheesy flavour to your dishes without the dairy. You can sprinkle it on your salads, pasta, and popcorn.

Nutritional Value of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a food product made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They are grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried. Yeast is a great source of protein, fibre, and B-vitamins.

 A lot of people are wondering about its nutritional value. This is because it is a popular food item that is often used to replace cheese.  It is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium, which are often deficiencies in the vegan diet. 

It should be noted that the level of Vit B-12 depends on how long it has been fermented. 

Availability

 In the past, it was only available in health food stores and was difficult to find. Now, there are many brands of nutritional yeast, and it is easy to find in most grocery stores. 

Side Effects on the Body

One of the most common side effects is a yeast infection. This is caused by the yeast’s production of alcohol that can increase the growth of candida. It is important to consult your physician before taking any dietary supplements.

It is a very popular food item that is used in many recipes. However, it can be difficult for some people to digest because it’s made from yeast. 

Yeast is a fungus that is grown in a lab, and it’s common for people to have sensitivities to fungi. If you have a known sensitivity to yeast, you may want to avoid products with diatomaceous earth.

While it is a great alternative to cheese, it is not as easy to digest. It is also a common allergen. It is important to be aware of the negative side of nutritional yeast. 

When is it Too Much? 

 The answer to this question is subjective. Some people might think it’s too much if they eat it every day, while others might think it’s too much if they eat it every day for a month. It’s important to know your body’s needs and what you can tolerate.

 If you make sure you’re listening to your body’s signals and don’t push yourself beyond your limits, you’ll do fine.

 The problem with too much yeast is that it can lead to an upset stomach, which can be a problem for those who are not used to eating it. Because to some extent, synthetic vitamins are used in the production of nutritional yeast.

recipes of nutritional yeast

How to Make Nutritional Yeast 

To make nutritional yeast at home, you will need a yeast culture, some sugar, and water. 

  • Begin by making a yeast starter. To do this, mix together 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. 
  • After 10 minutes, the mixture should be foamy. If it is not, your yeast is not active and you will need to start over with new yeast. 
  • Once you have a foamy starter, add 1 cup of flour and stir to combine. 
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours. 
  • After 24 hours, the mixture should have doubled in size and be very bubbly. 
  • Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain for a few hours. 
  • Once the yeast has drained, transfer it to a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. 
  • Transfer the paste to a clean jar and store it in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Nutritional Yeast Recipes

This unassuming ingredient is actually a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own.

Here are three easy recipes that feature nutritional yeast: 

1. Popcorn 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

Instructions: 

  • Heat the olive oil with medium heat in a big container.
  • Add the popcorn kernels and salt, and stir to combine. 
  • Cover the pot and cook the popcorn until the kernels are popped about 3-5 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and sprinkle the yeast over the popcorn. Serve immediately. 

2. Mashed Potatoes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups boiled potatoes 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions: 

  • Mash the boiled potatoes in a large bowl. 
  • Add the yeast, milk, and butter, and mix until smooth. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 

3. Pasta 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pasta 

Instructions: 

  • Since the package has its own instructions, cook the pasta as it said.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. 
  • Drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

FAQ

Why nutritional yeast is not good for you?

If you have some common allergen or sensitivity to yeast, it is recommended to avoid this type of yeast.

What is nutritional yeast made of?

It is a food product made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 

Does nutritional yeast make you gain weight?

It usually helps people to lose extra weight by fulfilling all required nutrients alongside. So, you don’t need to be worried to gain weight.

Can I make my own nutritional yeast?

The key ingredients are vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits which are available in our home mostly. So, we can make our own nutritional yeast by following some steps.

Do you keep nutritional yeast in the fridge?

Since it’s a dry product, you should preserve it in a glass jar so that the moisture can not get into it. 

Will nutritional yeast help lose weight?

Usually, people keep this type of yeast on their diet plan in order to cut the extra fat. However, it has a number of other health benefits regardless of weight loss.

Is nutritional yeast good for hair growth?

Vitamin B or Biotin is used widely as an alternative hair loss treatment while it is full of Vitamin B. It helps to produce red blood cells to carry oxygen to the scalp.

Is nutritional yeast a probiotic?

Probiotic strengthens our immune system while it also plays a significant role in our immune system. Certainly, it has been considered as a probiotic.

Why is nutritional yeast so addictive?

According to some studies, it creates rich flavour in any recipe and we all know that rich flavour is always addictive.

How long does nutritional yeast last?

It depends on the manufactured company somehow. Usually, it lasts a maximum of two years if you can preserve it in an airtight container.

What does nutritional yeast smell like?

It smells cheesy, nutty, and slightly salty and it looks yellow mostly. Its cheesy smell adds extra value to the dishes.

Footnotes

  1. Food Funct., 2018,9, 5238-5244.
  2. Oswald Freund (1964) Bakers’ and Nutritional Yeast Production, Proceedings. Annual meeting – American Society of Brewing Chemists, 22:1, 70-73, DOI: 10.1080/00960845.1964.12006740.
  3. Serere Julien Harusekwi, Nyamunda B. C., Mutonhodza B.. Development of High Protein Content Homemade Bread by Nutritional Yeast
    Fortification for Disadvantaged Communities. International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2014, pp. 194-198. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20140303.20
  4. J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2004,19, 65-73
  5. Choudhary, V., Vohra, A., Madan, A., Satyanarayana, T. (2017). Probiotic Yeasts in Human Welfare. In: Satyanarayana, T., Kunze, G. (eds) Yeast Diversity in Human Welfare. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2621-8_5
  6. Nutritional yeast and liver

6 thoughts on “Nutritional Yeast: The Superfood of the Plant-Based Diet”

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