What is Nutritional Yeast? How to Use + Benefits

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What is Nutritional Yeast? How to Use + Benefits


What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of a yeast called ‘Saccharomyces cerevisiae’ that is commonly derived from blackstrap molasses. (It is not to be confused with Brewer’s Yeast which is the same species but an active form.) It is grown on molasses as it likes feeding on the sugar. It is then deactivated by being heated and pasteurized, and then dried and enriched with B vitamins before being packaged. Those on a vegan or dairy-free diet often find it a suitable cheese substitute due to its ‘cheesy’ umami flavor.

Where can I find Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast can commonly be found in the baking section of natural health food stores such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Natural Grocers. You can also sometimes find it in the bulk foods section of these stores, too.
In conventional grocery stores, you can sometimes find it in the organic, natural foods or gluten-free sections of the store.
A common and popular brand of nutritional yeast is Bragg. This can be found online and in stores.
Some other brands that I have tried and loved that can be found online are: Sari Foods,  Anthony’s, and Bob’s Red Mill.

Nutritional yeast can be found in the form of a fine powder, small flakes, or large flakes.

What are the Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is rich is minerals such as selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and calcium.
Nutritional yeast is a good source of B vitamins, specifically B12. B12 is a common deficiency for those on a vegan diet, so nutritional yeast is of the upmost help here!
Nutritional yeast is high in protein.
Nutritional yeast has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties thanks to the specific strain of yeast and its high beta-glucans content. Beta-glucans is a form fiber that has many reported health benefits, including being considered a prebiotic (crucial for gut health!).
Nutritional yeast is also rich in antioxidants.