Nutritional Yeast is this odd flake-like substance that you hear about and see in recipes a lot (especially dairy free & vegan ones) and sure, it definitely does the trick on making a meal have an amazing cheesy flavor and texture. It’s inexpensive, takes very little to use in a recipe effectively, but also has some truly wild nutritional stats. I mean, it is called “nutritional” yeast after all.

What is nutritional yeast?? It’s actually a single-cell organism that is grown on molasses and harvested, washed, dried and heated up to “deactivate” it. It’s not like regular yeast which is active, meaning it has the ability to grow in baked goods, it’s what makes bread rise! Often nicknamed “nooch”, nutritional yeast is the answer to many problems in a vegan diet, such as a lack of b12, iron or perhaps even protein.  In some countries, nutritional yeast is called “savory yeast flakes” but they are all the same, and you will definitely be wanting to add it to more meals after you read this list of benefits.

If you’re seeking ways to use nutritional yeast (or “nooch”) in your diet more, check out THIS article for recipes you can create with it!

1. It’s High In Protein

When you think of protein, you’d rarely imagine that you can get so much from so little, unless you’re having a concentrated amount of it, like with a protein powder.

However, nutritional yeast has a shockingly large amount of protein in it, up to 9 grams of protein actually…in just 2 tablespoons. Not to mention, for only 60 calories. Add this to your meals and you’ll be easily upping your daily protein intake!

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2. It’s Rich In B12

This is very key especially for those on a vegan diet, or someone deficient in b12. Nutritional yeast, in just 2 tbsps contains 400% of your daily requirement of b12.

If you are eating nutritional yeast regularly (adding to salads and pasta is especially amazing) you may not even need to supplement with b12 vitamins!

3. It Contains Iron

Iron deficiency and anemia are incredibly common around the world, regardless of diet. However, for many their diet without meat can also mean a diet with less iron. There are many plant-based foods that can assist with that, and there’s also nutritional yeast.

In one serving of nutritional yeast, you can get about 5% of your daily intake of iron. While it’s not a ton, depending on your meal and how much nutritional yeast you’re using – this can easily help supplement your body’s need for iron!

4. It’s High In Fiber

When you think of fiber you often think of fruits and vegetables, beans, flax, and bran. So it may come as a surprise that nutritional yeast is actually a great source of fiber, too.

Considering it comes off as more of a seasoning, nutritional yeast in just 2 tbsps packs about 4 grams of fiber! That’s around 16% of your daily intake.

5. It’s No Sugar, Low-Carb

Nutritional yeast thankfully contains no added sugars so it won’t have any negative impact on your blood sugar levels!

Additionally, it has only 5 grams of carbs per serving, but with all that fiber, it ends up being only 1g net carbs! Perfect if you’re following along with a low-carb or ketogenic diet.

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6. It Contains Folic Acid

Folic acid is another important form of a b-vitamin that’s essential to your diet, especially if you’re a woman who may become expectant.

Folic acid can prevent unborn babies from some pretty serious birth defects and it’s highly recommended that you assure you’re getting enough of it. With a serving of nutritional yeast, you’ll be getting 180% of your daily requirements!

7. It Can Improve Digestion

Enjoying nutritional yeast in your foods can actually aid your digestive system. Since there are probiotics in nutritional yeast, it can have some really positive effects on your gut, especially if you’re dealing with diarrhea.

Since it’s easy to add to your meals with a shake or mix in of the nutritional yeast flakes, it’s perfect for blending in some probiotics to your daily diet!

8. It’s Anti-Viral

Nutritional yeast is one of the world’s best anti-viral foods. Many are using nutritional yeast in their daily diets just for its ability to help combat even yeast infections, ironically enough.

It’s actually been shown to have profound effects on even e.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus.

9. It Promotes Healthy Hair, Skin, Nails

Since nutritional yeast has a healthy serving of B vitamins, you may discover a surprise impact of including more nutritional yeast into your diet – healthier hair, skin, and nails!

Nutritional yeast also has niacin found in it, which has been shown to help battle chronic acne and improve your skin’s overall health!

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10. It’s Gluten-Free

We often think of yeast and immediately think of loaves of bread and beers and things that use yeast to make them, however, the yeast itself is gluten-free!

Since nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, you cannot make gluten-free bread with it like regular yeast which helps the bread to rise, but you can, however, add it to gluten-free bread recipes for that nutty, cheesy flavor, or perhaps mix it into your gluten-free breading next time you’re baking something coated.

11. It Can Aid In Weight Loss

Many people struggle with weight loss for a variety of reasons, but a big one being that they aren’t providing their bodies with enough protein and vitamins to successfully achieve their goals.

Since nutritional yeast is a complete protein, but for low-calories, it’s a perfect addition to your diet when you’re trying to shed some excess weight, while also supporting your protein, iron and b12 needs!

12. It’s Cheesy, Yet Dairy-Free

The biggest and best bonus of nutritional yeast is arguably the fact that it mimics the flavor of cheese so well, yet remains completely dairy-free and vegan.

Whether allergy or lifestyle choice, avoiding dairy is hard and cheese is proven to be one of the most addictive foods to give up. With nutritional yeast, you will be amazed at how you can replace that cheesy flavor in so many recipes while remaining dairy-free.

Sarah Nicole

Since successfully losing 100lbs by changing her relationship with food and her body, Sarah has taken her passion for food and balanced it between cucumbers and cupcakes. When she's not bustling her way around a kitchen, you can find her working out or winding down at home with her 3 kids and pug. Follow Sarah's journey on Instagram @TheBirdsPapaya.

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