Friday, February 3, 2012

What is Nutritional Yeast?

The Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast is a powerhouse of nutrients and I believe is a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, especially for those who are vegan or vegetarian. It is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, is rich in folic acid and many other nutrients and amino acids. This is not your typical yeast and is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned with candida.

Nutritional Yeast is very rich in B vitamins, including B12, which is what gives it that yellow color. One serving of nutritional yeast, about ½-1 Tbsp, provides the full amount of B12 needed for an adult in day, not bad. It is a great source of 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin and other vitamins. It is also rich in 15 minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and chromium, and selenium.

It is grown on beet sugar and molasses, fermented and dried so it is gluten free and non-yeast forming in the body. Most companies dry it at a high heat so it is not a raw food. There might be a couple of companies who sell it raw but I am not aware of them. My understanding is that the yeast needs to be heated so that it is not live and active in the body, causing any yeast production in the GI tract. So for raw foodists it might be a cooked ingredient that is an exception.

I highly recommend it for babies/toddlers who are not nursing and using formula. The addition of nutritional yeast would be wise and very beneficial for your growing infant and toddler. If you are giving goat’s milk to your baby, toddlers and kids, nutritional yeast would be an important addition because goat milk is low in B12, iron and folic acid, while the yeast provides good amounts of those nutrients.

Nutritional Yeast over air popped popcorn is delicious as well. Another great way to feed it to your kids and family is to sprinkle it into a smoothie or over toast, into dishes such as soup, quinoa, stir fry, dressings, sauces, pates, etc. It adds a delicious cheesy and nutty taste and adds so much flavor and creaminess.

You can buy it in the bulk section at Whole Foods and various health food stores or try brands such as Red Star, Health Best, and now Bragg Brand as well.

No comments: