When you think of the word “yeast” what comes to mind?
...Or perhaps, a female problem down below:
But there’s a kind of yeast that won’t contribute to an overgrowth of candida albicans, the opportunistic yeast that can cause the fungal overgrowth that ladies like me dread: a yeast infection.
Nutritional yeast, if you’re not familiar with it, is one of the biggest trends in plant-based nutrition in recent years.
And for good reason. Unlike dubious vegan fads like mock meats—perhaps the driver behind the recent news that Singapore has become the first country in the world to approve lab-grown chicken—nutritional yeast is bonafide healthy.
Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
Chock full of B vitamins, “nooch” as it’s known by young plant-based hipsters, is one of the only decent vegan sources of vitamin B12. B12 is vital for energy production, and regulates the body's nerve and blood cells. B12 also makes DNA, the genetic code in all 37.2 trillion of your cells.
If you don’t get enough vitamin B12, you’ll feel totally out of sorts, lethargic, weak, constipated, cranky ... basically, a total wreck. If there is one downside to a 100% vegan diet, it would be vitamin B12 deficiency.
But if you add nutritional yeast to your foods, you can thrive on a completely plant-based diet. And after you taste the ‘nooch’ and an exquisite, delicious seasoning we offer that includes it, you’re going to wonder how you went this whole time without it.
What does nutritional yeast taste like? Well, before we get there, hold on a sec … because it contains many other nutritional benefits you should know about…
Nutritional yeast, this study shows, helps your body absorb more minerals. Not only that, the study suggests it helps your body get rid of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic fungus in your body. So not only does nutritional yeast not contribute to fungal infections, it may actually help prevent them.
In addition, the study, which was published in the journal, Nutrients, suggests that nutritional yeast supports gut health. That’s because it fortifies the epithelial barrier, which is the lining of the intestines that prevents food particles from leaking into the bloodstream (aka 'leaky gut').
Other cherries on top for nutritional yeast: it’s high in protein and fiber relative to its serving size.
What Does Nutritional Yeast Taste Like?
Now you see why we consider it a superfood topping, and why we included it in our certified-organic UMAMI superfood seasoning?
But suppose that one single superfood possessed the benefits of broccoli, spinach, kale, acai, kelp, spirulina and the 50 other ingredients in our award-winning Superfood powder. That would be a big deal, right? However, it wouldn’t matter if it tasted horrible.
So with this in mind, are the health benefits of nutritional yeast worth swallowing?
Taste is subjective, of course; you’ll have to experience it for yourself to decide. But here’s how to best describe it in 3 words:
Let’s focus on the third adjective. Nutritional yeast is one of the best vegan substitutes for cheese. You wouldn’t want to necessarily top a whole pizza crust with it like you would with, say, Daiya brand vegan cheese, but ‘nooch’ is the next best thing to real dairy.
The most popular items people sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on includes:
- Kale Chips (check out our recipe here)
- Healthy grains (quinoa)
- Sauces, stews and soups (use it as a thickening agent)
- “Noochos” (vegan nacho cheese sauce)
Is Nutritional Yeast The Same As Brewer’s or Baker’s Yeast?
The short answer is kinda-sorta. Nooch, while part of the same family of yeast as brewer’s and baker’s, is different from the two in that it’s dried and inactivated, rendering the yeast, essentially, dead.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s an empty-calorie dead food like many processed foods. As you can see above, there are many health benefits of nutritional yeast.
Where Does Nutritional Yeast Come From?
The nutritional yeast that we use in, please excuse the bragging rights, what we think is the best Umami seasoning on the market, comes from molasses that’s derived from non-GMO sugar beets or cane sugar. But before you get scared off from the word sugar, nutritional yeast is a low-carb friendly. Per serving, there’s only 1 net gram of carbs!
Is Nutritional Yeast Better For You Than Regular Cheese?
That depends. Eating cheese that comes from organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed cows, in moderation, can be part of a healthy diet. The problem with cheese is that it’s hard to eat in moderation and 100% grass-fed cheeses are very expensive. And if you have problems digesting dairy, the last thing you want to do is eat cheese. Because even if it’s organic or raw, having even the slightest dairy sensitivity can cause inflammation if you eat regular cheese.
For this reason, people who are looking for a delicious alternative to dairy that they can sprinkle on their pasta primavera or sweet potato gnocchi without feeling like they’re missing out on cheesy goodness should give it a try.
And if you want to treat your taste buds, try BoKU Organic Umami Seasoning!