So you’re walking down the health food aisle at your local grocery store and you notice a small, gleaming tub of golden dust. What’s this, you ask? Well… it’s nutritional yeast, and there’s a pretty darn good reason why it’s in the health food aisle.
Nutritional yeast is inactivated yeast made out of sugarcane and beet molasses. Commonly referred to as “nooch,” it is generally sold as a condiment in yellow powder or flakes.This type of yeast comes from the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeast (which is similar to yeast used in baking) is made out of sugarcane and beet molasses and goes through a heating and drying process, thus making it inactive.
There are many reasons why one would consume this particular seasoning- one main reason being the product’s abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of Nooch
Nooch contains all of the B-vitamins, including vitamin B12, which is why this product is so popular among those consuming a plant-based diet. It also contains folate and thiamin, is low in fat and sodium, and doesn’t contain any added sugars.
Nutritional yeast has some pretty amazing health benefits. It has been shown to:
- Strengthen the immune system
- The strain of nutritional yeast, S. cerevisiae, along with the plethora of antioxidants it contains, has been show to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation
- Lower blood cholesterol
- The beta-glucan in nutritional yeast has been proven to help lower blood cholesterol
- Support a healthy pregnancy
- Nutritional yeast is often fortified with folic acid, which is a vital nutrient for maintaining a healthy pregnancy
- Prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans
- Nooch is fortified with B-12 and just 1 Tbsp of it will give you more than your recommended daily intake!
Nutritional Yeast Uses
Nutritional yeast can be used in so many ways, in so many different dishes. It is sold in powdery flakes and has a slight nutty, cheesy flavor.
It works great as a cheese substitute in dishes such as risotto, or popcorn for a salt replacement and added flavor.
Some other ways to use nutritional yeast are:
- Sprinkle on top of or mix in soups
- Sprinkle into savory salads
- Sprinkle on top of veggie chili
- Make a dairy-free cheese or Alfredo sauce
- Add it to a tofu scramble
- Sprinkle on top of baked veggies
- Make a vegan macaroni and cheese
Is It Safe?
In general, nutritional yeast is very safe to consume. However, some research has shown that those with a higher risk of gout may want to avoid adding this supplement into their diet.
Those with a yeast allergy should be able to consume nooch, since it is inactivated yeast, but it is best to consult with a doctor or dietitian beforehand, just in case.
Nutritional yeast definitely deserves a spot in your kitchen cupboard. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and protein, and contains virtually no fat, salt, or sugar.
This product is great for vegans since it contains vitamin B-12 and can be used as a cheese replacer in many dishes. It is also great for those wanting to add more nutrient-dense foods into their diet.
I personally love adding nooch to my daily meals. Whether it be baked asparagus or broccoli, or on top of my veggie chili, I know that this small but mighty condiment can turn any meal into something delicious and nutritious!