The Top 6 Health Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast

The Top 6 Health Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast

Yeast has played a role in the human diet for thousands of years. It is a fungus that is vital for making bread, beer, and numerous other foods. In recent years, people have focused on a specific type of yeast called nutritional yeast, especially vegans. The nutritional content may help boost energy levels, enhance immune function, and protect from cellular damage that leads to disease. 

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast comes from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast species. Brewers yeast, which some people use interchangeably with nutritional yeast, is not the same thing, although it is similar. Manufacturers can grow nutritional yeast in numerous sources, including sugar beets, blackstrap molasses, and whey. It is typically gluten-free and always dairy-free, but it offers a cheesy flavor, so vegans often use it as a cheese replacement, or to achieve maximum cheesiness. It provides a long list of vitamins, minerals, and protein, and one-quarter cup of nutritional yeast has the following nutritional profile:

  • Calories: 60
  • Fiber: 3 grams (g)
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 11.85 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin B6: 5.9 mg
  • Vitamin B2: 9.7 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 17.6 micrograms (mcg)

Great Source Of Vitamin B12

One of the biggest concerns for people following a vegan diet is that they don’t get enough vitamin B12. This vitamin is crucial to keeping nerve cells and your blood healthy. Vitamin B12 works to make DNA and prevent megaloblastic anemia, a blood condition that causes weakness and fatigue. For vegans, the most reliable source of vitamin B12 is nutritional yeast, or a B12 supplement. A mere two teaspoons of nutritional yeast satisfies 313% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin B12. 

Holds Antiviral And Antibacterial Properties

According to Dr. Seymour Pomper, a yeast expert, nutritional yeast is the fourth most prescribed herbal mono-preparation in Germany. The reason for this is because it exhibits impressive antiviral and antibacterial activity. Dr. Pomper notes that ginkgo biloba, horse chestnut, and St. John’s wort are consumed in higher amounts, though. Nutritional yeast has not been associated with the Candida albicans strain, which is related to yeast infections. That is why it may help relieve chronic symptoms of candida. It may also minimize the effects of E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus infections. 

Supports Healthy Pregnancy

In addition to the impressive vitamin B12 content, nutritional yeast also contains other B vitamins, including riboflavin, thiamine, folate, and vitamin B6. While these vitamins work to encourage healthy nerve function and cell metabolism, they also ensure a healthy pregnancy. Folate is especially important for a healthy pregnancy, as it helps reduce the risk of birth defects by optimizing fetal growth and development. In fact, several studies show that low folate levels during pregnancy were linked to preterm delivery, low birth weight, and neural tube defects. 

May Boost Immune Health

Nutritional yeast contains alpha mannan and beta glucan, two important carbohydrates that may offer antifungal and antibacterial properties. Animal studies confirm these findings, but more human research is necessary to determine if they may safeguard your body from infections. Beta glucan works by activating immune cells and targeting the gut microbiome to support immunity

Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels

An eight-week study observed men with high cholesterol to see if nutritional yeast could help lower total cholesterol. Participants took 15 mg of yeast derived beta glucan daily and results indicated a 6% decrease in total cholesterol levels. More research showed that beta glucan, which exists in other foods, has cholesterol-lowering abilities. In fact, beta glucan from oats significantly lowered cholesterol levels in several studies. More research on beta glucan from nutritional yeast is needed to confirm these results from oat beta glucan. 

Boosts Energy Levels

Some manufacturers fortify nutritional yeast with vitamin B12, but do your best to seek out the ones that are not fortified. Vitamin B12 may help boost energy levels, as a common sign of B12 deficiency is fatigue and weakness. Adults need about 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 every day, and two teaspoons satisfies this amount and more. If you are a vegan and find that your energy levels seem low all the time, consider adding nutritional yeast to your diet and see if you notice an improvement in overall energy.



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