4 Reasons To Eat More Nutritional Yeast
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What is Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is commercially sold as a food product in the form of yellow powder or flakes. It is produced by culturing a yeast in a nutrient medium for several days. That growth medium is usually glucose from beet molasses. It is deactivated with heat, harvested, washed, dried and packaged!
Nutritional yeast has a strong nutty, cheesy flavor and it’s a very popular ingredient in vegan and vegetarian recipes. You can use it almost anywhere! In pasta dishes, salads, as a popcorn topping, anything you can think of! Nutritional yeast is also widely used in the making of vegan cheese!
Among vegans, nutritional yeast is often referred to as ‘nooch’ or ‘hippie dust’. In addition, ‘yeshi’ is another name Americans use to refer to nutritional yeast. ‘Yeshi’ actually means ‘a thousand’ in the Ethiopian language and it reflects on the fact that nutritional yeast is full of all kinds of different nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Fun Fact: In the past, prisoners of war who weren’t fed an adequate diet, used nutritional yeast to prevent vitamin deficiency! It truly is full of nutrients!
4 Reasons To Eat More Nutritional Yeast
This wondrous yellow powder can prove very beneficial! As little as two tablespoons of nutritional yeast a day can provide you with higher amounts of the recommended daily intake of several nutrients! Let’s take a more detailed look.
1. It’s a great source of Vitamin B12!
By now you are likely familiar with the fact that vitamin B12 cannot be produced by our bodies and is generally absent from plant products with the exception of fortified foods such as plant milks and soy products.
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been widely used by critics of the vegan diet as a means to discourage people from going vegan. In actuality, almost 40% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin B12 according to a recent study from Tufts University in Boston.
Such findings clearly suggest that B12 deficiency is not something that should only concern the vegan or vegetarian population. Nevertheless, it is indeed more prevalent in vegans as indicated by the WHO.
The Recommended dietary amounts (RDAs) of vitamin B12 are 2.4 micrograms daily for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 micrograms daily for pregnant females, and 2.8 micrograms daily for breastfeeding females.
Absorption of B12 varies from about 50% to 0.5%. If you consume B12 less frequently you would need a higher amount in order to achieve the dosage that you require.
Now for the good news! 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast provide 14 micrograms of vitamin B12! And guess what! It tastes so good, you’d probably eat more!!
2. It’s packed with protein!
But protein tho..? I’m sure if you are already vegan, you must have heard this a million times! It’s getting a bit old! PLANTS HAVE PROTEIN! It’s time to debunk this myth for good!
There are so many examples of professional vegan athletes and other fitness professionals that thrive without meat! I’m sure that the average sedentary person will be just fine!
Let’s go through some admirable examples of vegan athletes:
- David Carter
The 300lb NFL defensive lineman is vegan! He is also an animal rights activist and a public speaker!
- Scott Jurek
The Colorado native ultra-marathon runner thrives on a plant-based diet!
- Tia Blanco
She is an American pro surfer, and a dedicated vegan and yogi.
- Mac Danzig
The mixed martial arts cage fighter said: ‘I haven’t lost an ounce of muscle…I have much more energy than I used to’.
Now that we got the whole ‘plants have protein’ thing out of the way, let’s get back to our subject!
The average sedentary person needs 0.8g of protein per kilogram of weight. 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast provides you with around 15g of protein which covers approximately 29% of your daily needs. Just 2 tablespoons! How amazing is that! Gotta stock up on nutritional yeast folks!
3. It’s high in fiber!
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast can provide you with 6.4g of dietary fiber! That accounts for about 24% of the RDA. Again, imagine how easy it is to squeeze 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast into your daily diet! The fact that is super tasty is an absolute bonus!
Dietary fiber is an absolute necessity! A diet high in fiber can do wonders! It is amazingly beneficial. Let’s take a look at what fiber can do for your body:
- It helps maintain bowel health
A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).
- It lowers cholesterol levels
Dietary fiber helps lower total blood cholesterol levels. Studies have also shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
- Fiber helps control blood sugar levels
Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels and reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- It can allow you to achieve a healthy weight
High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you’re likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer.
Imagine if you could do all that for your body just by adding some nutritional yeast to your daily diet! Amazing!
4. It is a great source of folic acid
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. It’s primary functions are to help your body produce and maintain new cells and prevent DNA alterations that might lead to cancer. In addition, Vitamin B9 prevents spina bifida and other major birth defects so it’s especially important for women during pregnancy.
Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It also works closely with vitamin B12 to help make red blood cells and help iron work properly in the body.
Folic acid deficiency can lead to poor growth, shortness of breath, irritability, forgetfulness and depression.
Nutritional yeast is a great source of folic acid since one tablespoon provides 1,059 micrograms which is even more than the recommended daily intake!
Extra nutritional information
In a nutshell, according to draxe.com, this is what you get from one serving of nutritional yeast:
- 60 calories
- 5 calories from fat
- 25 milligrams sodium (1 percent DV)
- 790 percent DV of thiamine (vitamin B1)
- 570 percentDV of riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- 300 percent DV of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- 230 percent DV of niacin (Vitamin B3)
- 290 percent DV of vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
- 270 percent DV of folate (vitamin B9)
- 20 percent DV of zinc
Where can I use it?
As I mentioned above, you can use nutritional yeast in various ways! Here are a few suggestions:
- Rice and pasta dishes
- Curry dishes
- On popcorn (my personal favorite!)
- Salad dressings
And finally, on vegan scrambled ‘egg’ dishes! You can make this with either tofu or chickpea flour.
Follow the link to the vegan scrambled eggs recipe!
Delicious and nutritious! Moreover, it’s dead cheap! Now, there’s a combination nobody can resist! Get all those amazing benefits and enjoy a flavored filled dish by adding some nutritional yeast!
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