What is Nutritional Yeast?
The first time we heard the words nutritional yeast, otherwise called ‘nooch’, we were confused. If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered, What is Nutritional Yeast? Who knew a few months after learning about it we’d be eating this cheesy, savory food on a daily basis! Below we answer your questions about this interesting and essential ingredient.
To Begin: What Is Yeast?
Active vs. Inactive Yeast
- Yeast is single-celled, microscopic fungus that is capable of converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. You’re probably familiar with brewer’s and baker’s yeast. These are active yeasts. However, some yeasts are pasteurized and sterilized, so that the yeast is dead. It has no leavening power for things like making bread rise. The nutritional content and other properties are intact. These are inactive yeasts.
- Nutritional Yeast is an inactive yeast. People grow it for it’s nutritional value, in a sugar cane or molasses mixture. These nutritional values, as well as it’s cheesy taste, are what makes it so popular among plant-based diets.
What Are the Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast Flakes?
- Nutritional yeast flakes pack many essential vitamins and minerals at amounts above the recommended daily values (RDV) in just 1/4 cup. Therefore, all that is recommended to meet your nutritional requirements is a teaspoon at each meal.
- They contain vitamin B, iron, selenium and zinc which provide cell damage repair, decrease iron deficiency, repair tissue, heal wounds, aid the immune system (we eat it when we feel a cold coming on), helps to lower cholesterol and with lactose intolerance. It is also aids in digestion.
- Nutritional yeast flakes contain at least nine of the 18 amino acids that your body cannot produce. Mic drop.
FAQ’s of Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Where Can I Find Nutritional Yeast Flakes?
You can find it in almost any grocery store. Look for a yellow, flaky food similar to the picture above.
I’ve heard Nutritional Yeast Flakes can be used as a cheesy topping. Does it contain dairy?
Nutritional yeast is completely dairy-free. It’s also free of wheat, nuts and corn. You should definitely use it as a cheesy topping! See the recipes below for ideas.
What are some brands of Nutritional Yeast Flakes that I should try out?
I recommend Bragg’s and KAL because they don’t show any traces of lead. Other brands have shown trace amounts of lead. I personally use Bragg’s.
Are Nutritional Yeast Flakes related to Candida – I’ve heard Candida is harmful?
Candida should not be confused with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is an entirely different strain of yeast and has no connection to candida. Candida is a harmful yeast and robs your body of essential nutrients like iron and other minerals. It also keeps your body very acidic. Candida is also heated and therefore not an ‘active’ yeast.
Recipes with Nutritional Yeast Flakes