Does Anyone Know What Nutritional Yeast Really Is?

Have you have heard about nutritional yeast yet? If not, you should definitely try this incredible, plant-based food! And by the way, it makes everything taste great - you can sprinkle it on just about any dish. More later on this.  

Nutritional yeast is very different from yeast that you would use to make bread dough. This yeast is grown specifically to be used as a food product so the actual yeast cells are not alive in the final product. It naturally has a nutty, savory flavor that many people like to use to replace cheese in dishes. 

Nutritional yeast contains high quantities of quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and has been shown to deliver a wide range of health benefits – everything from lowering cholesterol to protecting the body from free radical damage. However, did you know this superfood can also help boost immunity? 

Nutritional yeast is an amazing addition to any diet, not only because of its protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals, but because it is actually a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. In addition, nutritional yeast contains two beneficial carbohydrates, alpha-mannan and beta-glucan. Some studies have shown that these two compounds can help to reduce the frequency of infections as well as reduce tumor formation in animals.  

Beta glucan and alpha-mannan can also help prevent pathogenic bacteria from attaching to the intestinal lining and can stimulate immune cell activity (which makes them more effective at fighting infections). It can even reduce the harmful effects of certain toxins. Further research is needed to determine the full range of the benefits of nutritional yeast for humans, but these studies are a promising indicator of the giant health perks this superfood has to offer.  

In addition to supporting immune health, the fiber, beta-glucan, is linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health. Although beta-glucan is found in whole grains, oats, bran, wheat, and barley, it is also found in nutritional yeast in high levels.  

But . . . how do you eat it? You can add nutritional yeast to your diet in many ways. Sprinkled in a soup or sauce, it makes a wonderful thickening agent that adds a delightful umami flavor. If you’re adventurous and want to create your own salad dressing, try it in a new recipe. You will be delighted to find that it thickens and makes the dressing nice and creamy! It can be sprinkled on top of a variety of foods such as popcorn to add a nutty, savory flavor, or can be added to a smoothie for an extra kick of vitamins and nutrients.  

What ways can you think of to “up” the nutritional benefits of literally any dish you eat? We think you’ll enjoy adding nutritional yeast to just about any food you can think of. Your body will thank you!