Authors: Naturopaths Bree Ponton and Kimberly Orbons, 06/11/2015
Nutritional yeast is produced from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to deactivate it. Because it’s inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability.
Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores and is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder. It has a strong flavour that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it great for use as a cheese substitute.
It is often used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment, and is popular among vegans and vegetarians as it is a good source of B-complex vitamins, and contains trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals as well.
To read about the most essential nutrient for Thyroid health click here.
SO WHY USE IT AT ALL?
As already noted, nutritional yeast is a significant source of B-complex vitamins, and is also a source of selenium, zinc and protein.
It has a low fat content, is gluten-free (this may vary depending upon the brand), and contains no added sugars or preservatives.
Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with B12, which renders it an excellent addition to the vegan diet as B12 is absent from plant foods unless it is added in supplemental form.
THE BIG DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOOD & BAD YEASTS
It is important to differentiate between good and bad yeasts, as there is a great deal of confusion surrounding this topic. Candida albicans is a prime example of a harmful yeast. It can be found growing and causing inflammation in our bloodstream and organs, and thrives on the abundant sugar found in the modern diet. It robs the host of essential nutrients and keeps the blood very acidic.
Wild, airborne yeast found in naturally fermented kombucha and sourdough breads can be detrimental when consumed by someone with a pathogenic candida infection.
Nutritional yeast is the extracted content from deactivated species that cannot be used for leavening or fermenting, and definitely cannot infect you.
Yeast extracts do not contain any Candida species, which are the most common cause of pathogenic yeast infections in humans. Nutritional yeast is also gluten-free, however if you are allergic or sensitive to yeast products, for example beer, you should take caution.
Allergic reactions to yeast and Candida yeast infections produce very different symptoms. To read about the “bad guy” yeasts click here. Or click here to learn some good tips for the difference between bloating and belly fat.
SO HOW DO I USE IT?
If you are new to nutritional yeast, listed below are some ways to begin incorporating it into your diet:-
- Sprinkle it on popcorn.
- Add a little to the cooking water for polenta.
- Sprinkle on vegetables to add flavour.
- Make “almond parmesan” by blending nutritional yeast with raw almonds in a food processor.
- Add a tablespoon or two to bean dishes to enhance flavour.
Evidently, nutritional yeast can be a great addition to your diet, whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a meat-eater!
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
Throughout her life, Bree has become progressively more interested in health. More importantly, however, her opinion of the definition of true health has changed.
After beginning a career in personal training, Bree quickly grew tired of the predominantly superficial nature of the industry. Her understanding of the value and significance of having a balance within all aspects of health and hormones developed rapidly, and she began studying Naturopathy. During the years at university Bree experienced a dramatic journey, growing and changing into an health professional with a passion for her career in the health industry and Endocrinology.
Adv Dip Naturopathy, Adv Dip Western Herbal Medicine
Head Naturopath Kimberly Orbons is passionate about encouraging and empowering each person to facilitate their own good health with Nutrition, Herbal Medicine and preventative lifestyle management. Using a combination of diagnostics and symptomatology to identify the different metabolic processes contributing to disease allows her to treat the root or cause of poor health, providing relief of symptoms and long term recovery. Kimberly believes it is extremely important to build a personalized healing plan, taking all the complexities of a patient’s health and illness into consideration. Her consults have a strong focus on client care and treating each patient as an individual, and may therefore co-ordinate with other medical treatments. The goal is to establish each patient’s ability to live in the best possible state of health, naturally.