Nutritional yeast, also called nooch or savory yeast, is made by culturing a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in sugar-based fluids (usually a mixture of beet molasses and sugarcane syrup) for a few days until it reaches maturity. Not to be confused with brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast is deactivated, or yeast growth is stopped, after cultivation. It is then harvested, washed, and dried prior to packaging.
The end product is a yellow substance in the form of granules, flakes, or powder — almost the same appearance as grated Parmesan. It has a savory, nutty, and cheesy taste. It is used as a condiment in vegan dishes, often as a cheese and salt substitute, to add a savory and rich flavor to meals. It could also be sprinkled on salads, pasta dishes, and snacks such as popcorn.
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The Relationship Between Nutritional Yeast And B12
A lot of people are under the incorrect assumption that nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12. The truth of the relationship between nutritional yeast and B12 is that the former does not produce nor naturally contain the latter. Bacteria are responsible for producing B12. In the cultivation of nutritional yeast, bacterial growth is suppressed. Instead, nutritional yeast is fortified with cyanocobalamin, a synthesized form of vitamin B12. The resulting B12 found in nutritional yeast is not animal-based, which makes it the perfect supplement for vegans.
However, take note that not all nutritional yeast products contain vitamin B12 and other B vitamins. When purchasing nutritional yeast, make sure to check if it is fortified with the said vitamins.
B vitamins are naturally obtained through animal products. Because of this, most vegetarians are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency. This is the main reason why vegetarians need to add nutritional yeast and other vitamin b12-rich or -fortified foods to their daily diet.
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Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fats, and B-complex vitamins. Nutritional yeast and B12 are responsible for keeping the cardiovascular and nervous systems healthy. They also help regulate one’s metabolism. Most nutritional yeast products are rich in fiber which helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Additionally, nutritional yeast treats the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: chronic fatigue and exhaustion, anxiety, digestive disorders, depression, body aches, and loss of focus. Since nutritional yeast is deactivated, people suffering from candida or yeast overgrowth can use it as their source of vitamin B12 without adverse effects.
Another great thing about this superfood is that it is a good source of vitamins and minerals: folates, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, niacin, beta glucan, chromium, glutathione, magnesium, mannan, phosphorus, trehalose, selenium, and vitamins A, C, and E. Nutritional yeast is gluten-free, low in fat, low in sodium, free from preservatives, and has no added sugars. It is known for its antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
As mentioned, nutritional yeast is a good supplement to provide the recommended daily dose of B vitamins. The recommended serving of one to two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 150% vitamin B12 and 720% riboflavin of the recommended dose. It also provides a sufficient amount of the other B vitamins.
Nutritional yeast is available online, in various supermarkets and health food stores. You can also get it online.
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Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.