What are the benefits of nutritional yeast?

Yeast has played an important role in the human diet for thousands of years. This fungus is a vital ingredient in bread, beer, and a range of other foods. In recent years, many people have started consuming a specific type of yeast called nutritional yeast.

Due to its nutritional content, yeast in this form may increase a person’s energy, support their immune system, and offer additional health benefits.

In this article, learn about the benefits of nutritional yeast and how to incorporate it into a healthful diet.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast comes from a species of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. There is another form of this yeast species, which is called brewer’s yeast. Although people sometimes use the terms interchangeably, it is essential to note that nutritional yeast is not the same as brewer’s yeast.

As the name suggests, brewer’s yeast is a by-product of the beer-making process, and it grows on hops. Manufacturers can grow nutritional yeast on a variety of sources, including blackstrap molasses, whey, and sugar beets.

Nutritional yeast is similar to the yeast that people use in baking, but it undergoes a heating and drying process that renders it inactive.

Nutritional yeast is dairy-free and usually gluten-free. As a result, it can be a useful supplement for people with food allergies or sensitivities, as well as those on restricted diets. It is also low in fat and contains no sugar or soy.

Benefits

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein. Typically, one-quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast contains:

  • 60 calories
  • 8 grams (g) of protein
  • 3 g of fiber
  • 11.85 milligrams (mg) of thiamine, or vitamin B-1
  • 9.70 mg of riboflavin, or vitamin B-2
  • 5.90 mg of vitamin B-6
  • 17.60 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12

It also contains vitamin B-3, potassium, calcium, and iron.

The benefits that nutritional yeast may offer people include:

1. Boosting energy

Although many manufacturers fortify nutritional yeast with vitamin B-12, not all of them do, so it is best to check the label. Vitamin B-12 may help boost energy, as a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to weakness and fatigue.

Nutritional yeast can be particularly helpful for vegetarians and vegans if it has added vitamin B-12, as this vitamin mostly occurs in animal products.

Adults need about 2.4 mcg of vitamin B-12 per day. Just one-quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast provides more than seven times this amount.

2. Supporting the immune system

Research has shown that S. cerevisiae, the strain of yeast in nutritional yeast, can support the immune system and reduce inflammation resulting from bacterial infection. It may also be helpful in treating diarrhea.

3. Promoting skin, hair, and nail health

Some research suggests that nutritional yeast can combat brittle nails and hair loss. It may also help reduce acne and improve other common skin problems, particularly in adolescence.

4. Improving glucose sensitivity

While some people believe that nutritional yeast improves glucose sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, studies have yet to prove this.

However, some research on chromium-enriched yeast, which is usually brewer’s yeast, found that this type of yeast could lower fasting blood glucose levels and cholesterol in an animal model.

5. Supporting a healthy pregnancy

Nutritional yeast can also support a healthy pregnancy. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend that all women who are planning a pregnancy take 400–800 mcg of folic acid a day to prevent congenital abnormalities and support the growth of the fetus.

Manufacturers frequently fortify nutritional yeast with folic acid, which can make it a useful supplement for pregnant women.

Some brands of nutritional yeast may contain more than a standard serving of folic acid though, so individuals should consult a doctor before using it as a supplement.

How to use

Nutritional yeast comes either in the form of flakes or as a powder. It has a savory, nutty, or cheesy flavor.

People can add it as a savory seasoning to a variety of dishes, including pasta, vegetables, and salads.

Some ways to use nutritional yeast include:

  • sprinkling it on popcorn instead of butter or salt
  • mixing it into risotto instead of Parmesan cheese
  • making a vegan alternative to a cheese sauce, such as the one in this recipe
  • as an ingredient in a vegan macaroni and cheese dish, such as this one
  • stirring it into creamy soups for added nutrients
  • adding it to scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble
  • mixing it into a nut roast or stuffing

Nutritional yeast is available to buy in some grocery stores and health food shops, as well as online.

Are there any risks?

Despite all the benefits that nutritional yeast may offer, this supplement is not suitable for everyone. Researchers have recommended that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), glaucoma, and hypertension avoid using nutritional yeast because it could make their symptoms worse.

People with a yeast sensitivity or allergy should also take care to avoid any exposure to nutritional yeast.

In addition, some researchers say that people with a higher risk of gout may want to avoid nutritional yeast.

Summary

Nutritional yeast is sometimes called a superfood because even a little of this high-protein, low-fat, nutrient-dense food provides a host of vitamins and minerals.

More research is necessary to confirm the benefits of nutritional yeast. However, it seems that it may help boost energy and maintain vitamin B-12 levels, as well as supporting the immune system, dermatological health, and pregnancy.

Many people also really like the taste of this nutritious food. Nutritional yeast is versatile, and people can add it to a variety of healthful dishes.

How to Begin Your Love Affair With Vegetables

Vegetables get a bad rap. They really do. Their flavors — if you understand how best to prepare them — are amazing. Don’t believe me? Just try a fistful of roasted Brussels sprouts, tossed with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a little Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper. These are not your momma’s Brussels sprouts, boiled to within an inch of being recognizable as such. And that’s a challenging one. I mean, who do you know who admits to loving Brussels sprouts? A good friend once recoiled when I said I was going to make Brussels sprouts to go with our chicken. But I got him to trust me and the way I make them, and he now has to eat them at least once a week — often more — he likes them that much.

So before you roll your eyes at the thought of getting into vegetables, give them a try. Prepare them simply, roast often, sauté lightly in a cast iron skillet with a little water and mix of just a hint of olive oil and butter, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating them all your life. Seriously. They’re the next big culinary thing. Trust me on that.

For more inspiration, take a read of this story from NBC News: How I learned to love (or at least tolerate) vegetables.

From LIVESTRONG.COM: If You’re Concerned About How Carbs Affect the Human Body, Read on to See if Eating Carbs Is Really Bad for You

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Author Joe Donatelli is convinced that carbs are trying to kill him. He walks readers through the digestion of carbs (we’re talking simple carbs here, white foods like bread, flour, pasta, rice, rolls, cakes cookies, etc.) and the absorbtion, or lack thereof, by the body. It’s an interesting perspective and read, and one that anyone concerned about how carbs affect the human body should dive into: LIVESTRONG.com – Is Eating Carbs REALLY Bad for Me?

Healthy Eating and Entrepreneurship: Can they Co-Exist? Placing Health on the Back Burner While Pursuing Business Hoals Can Land You Wildly Off Track

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Entrepreneurs seem to consistently fail when it comes to healthy eating. Placing health on the back burner while pursuing business goals can land you wildly off track and wondering how you got there. Entrepreneur magazine has lined up five tips when it comes to getting and staying healthy.

Prioritizing and organizing activities and setting personal standards can can go a long way towards getting yourself on track. For all the tips and advice from this Entrepreneur article, follow this link: 5 Tips to Help Busy Entrepreneurs Stay Healthy and Happy

Obesity: Our Nation’s No. 1 Health Concern — The Key Element We Need to Focus on Fixing as a Nation to Improve Our Overall Health and Longevity

By Dr. Sudip Bose, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Would you believe me if I told you that at a glance, I could predict your future health? No, I’m not an all-seeing or all-knowing deity of any sort, just a man armed with a medical degree and a heck of a lot of experience in battlefield operating rooms and in some extremely busy emergency rooms. I’ve seen things you wouldn’t want to see. I’ve seen dying and dead men and women, and I’ve seen, in quite a few cases, how they got into that state. I’ve seen their loving families sobbing with the loss of their loved ones. And all I’d have to do to make that determination is to take one look at someone’s body composition and the size of that patient’s waist.

If a patient was in the hospital because of issues related to heart disease or stroke or cancer or complications from diabetes, all I’d need to do is look at the patient’s waistline and I’d know the underlying cause without any blood work being done, or a CT scan or an MRI. I could tell you with certainty that obesity was a profound underlying cause of the state of ill health they’re in.

Medical school gave me a very fundamental lesson regarding body fat: Fat on the outside = fat on the inside (visceral fat), surrounding and choking internal organs. Obesity is the core element in many of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. as listed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And it’s an underlying cause in all of the diseases I just mentioned. That’s right – even cancer. Obesity increases levels of the hormones estrogen and insulin circulating in the body, which can stimulate cancer growth.

Obesity is the key element we need to focus on fixing as a nation to improve our overall health and longevity.

Continue reading “Obesity: Our Nation’s No. 1 Health Concern — The Key Element We Need to Focus on Fixing as a Nation to Improve Our Overall Health and Longevity”

Don’t Give Your Power to Sugar! Take the Challenge!

By Dr. Sudip Bose, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Cutting back on sugar will do more than shrink your midsection, it could save your life. Overindulging on sugar is a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic. The connection between the rise in sugar in our diets and both illness and death is not coincidental. Some known side effects of overindulging on sugar are metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes, liver damage, fatty liver, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, certain cancers, increased triglycerides, heart disease, tooth decay, increased cravings, mood swings, attention deficit disorder, skin issues, acidity and a lengthy list of list additional physical, emotional and mental ailments.

The consumption of fructose has increased by 600 percent in the past 25 years. Six hundred percent! If you were to remove all of the foods from the grocery store that did not contain added sugar, only 20 percent of the items would remain. The tricky part is that sugar is delivered to you in packaged products disguised by dozens of different names, from inulin to molasses, to agave nectar to maltose and diatase and the more well known high-fructose corn syrup.

The average American consumes 40 teaspoons of sugar a day. Your health in large part depends on what you buy at the store.

Kelli Calabrese, a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Certified Nutrition Specialist, suggests that cutting out the obvious sugars such as candy, cake, diet soda, processed foods and desserts are a good place to start; however, sugar is hidden in places you might least expect it. Become a label reader and you will be surprised at the quantity of sugar in foods from ketchup and barbeque sauce to yogurt and orange juice. Even if you are young, lean and healthy you should minimally consume foods with added sugar. If you are overweight, added sugar should be avoided. Sugar doesn’t add any physiological benefit, can damage your metabolism and actually can take resources from your body to process.

Continue reading “Don’t Give Your Power to Sugar! Take the Challenge!”

KeepYour Inner Army Strong

Dr. Sudip Bose swimming

By Dr. Sudip Bose, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

First of all, what is our inner army?

I’ll review briefly from our last write up, Leadership Under Pressure:

  • We have an inner army in our brain.
  • We have an inner army that is our physical body.

We need to feed, care for and maintain those inner armies if we expect ourselves to be ready and clear-headed to lead and function effectively under pressure or in a crisis situation. When that grenade flies into your world and goes off— no matter what world you’re living in, whether it be corporate, small business, hospitality, medical, personal, whatever — you’ve got to be ready. You’ll only be ready if you keep your inner army strong.

Nutrition, exercise and sleep are key to keeping your inner army strong. But time is limited. We all have only 24 hours in a day to accomplish things. So how do you maintain your body to perform maximally under pressure? How do you maintain your peak performance?

Continue reading “KeepYour Inner Army Strong”

How Do You “Keep Your Inner Army Strong” and What, Exactly, Is Your “Inner Army?” — An Explainer

Dr. Sudip Bose swimming

By Dr. Sudip Bose, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

First of all, what is our inner army?

I’ll review briefly from our last write up, Leadership Under Pressure:

  • We have an inner army in our brain.
  • We have an inner army that is our physical body.

We need to feed, care for and maintain those inner armies if we expect ourselves to be ready and clear-headed to lead and function effectively under pressure or in a crisis situation. When that grenade flies into your world and goes off— no matter what world you’re living in, whether it be corporate, small business, hospitality, medical, personal, whatever — you’ve got to be ready. You’ll only be ready if you keep your inner army strong.

Nutrition, exercise and sleep are key to keeping your inner army strong. But time is limited. We all have only 24 hours in a day to accomplish things. So how do you maintain your body to perform maximally under pressure? How do you maintain your peak performance?

Continue reading “How Do You “Keep Your Inner Army Strong” and What, Exactly, Is Your “Inner Army?” — An Explainer”