Nutritional yeast: what it is, what it is for and how to use it

Nutritional yeast: what it is, what it is for and how to use it


Nutritional yeast is a product obtained from the fermentation of glucose from sugar cane or beet molasses with yeast Saccharomyces beer. This yeast is usually fortified and used as a supplement, as it is rich in protein, fiber, minerals and B vitamins.

Also known as Nutritional Yeastnutritional yeast provides several health benefits, such as lowering “bad” cholesterol, preventing premature aging and strengthening the immune system.

With a flavor reminiscent of cheese, nutritional yeast is found in pharmacies or health food stores, in the form of flakes or powder, and can be used raw or cooked, in preparations such as yogurt, milk, fruits, sauces, rice, beans , pasta or salads, for example.

Illustrative image number 1

What is it for

Nutritional yeast can serve several functions, the main ones being:

1. Help treat irritable bowel syndrome

Nutritional yeast helps treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a digestive disorder that causes gas, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

This is because nutritional yeast acts as a prebiotic, maintaining the health of the intestinal flora, improving the functioning of the intestine, in addition to preventing and alleviating the symptoms of this disease.

2. Boost immunity

Nutritional yeast increases immunity as it is an excellent source of B vitamins and iron, essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the immune system. Check out other foods that boost immunity.

In addition, this food also contains beta-glucans, soluble fibers that act as immunomodulators that can stimulate immune system cells, preventing infectious diseases and promoting wound healing.

3. Improve mood

Nutritional yeast is rich in carbohydrates, B vitamins and iron, essential nutrients for the production of energy in the body, improving physical and mental disposition.

4. Fight respiratory infections

Because it contains nutrients that stimulate the immune system, nutritional yeast can help prevent, combat and reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.

5. Act as an antioxidant

Nutritional yeast is rich in antioxidants, such as glutathione, protecting the body’s healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals, preventing premature aging and helping to prevent the emergence of cancer.

6. Prevent anemia

Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins and iron, which are essential nutrients for the formation of red blood cells, which are the blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen to the body, preventing anemia.

7. Increase muscle mass

Nutritional yeast is rich in proteins and B vitamins, and therefore can be used by people who practice physical activities and want to increase muscle mass, and can be consumed before or after training.

8. Lower “bad” cholesterol levels

Nutritional yeast is rich in beta-glucans, fibers that help reduce “bad” cholesterol, LDL, and increase “good” cholesterol, HDL, in the blood.

Thus, nutritional yeast can be indicated to help prevent the emergence of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack.

Nutritional information table

The following table contains nutritional information for 15 g, equivalent to 1 tablespoon, of nutritional yeast powder fortified with vitamin B12:

To obtain all the benefits of nutritional yeast, it is also important to maintain a healthy and varied diet, associated with regular physical activity.

How to use nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast has a flavor similar to cheese and can be used raw by adding it to drinks, yogurt, fruit, salads, soups and sauces. Additionally, nutritional yeast can also be baked into recipes such as pies, cakes, rice, and bread.

The generally stated recommendation for nutritional yeast is 1 tablespoon per day. However, nutritional yeast should only be used under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist.

Possible side effects

Because it is rich in fiber, excessive intake of nutritional yeast can cause excess gas, cramps, discomfort and abdominal bloating.

Who cannot use

Nutritional yeast is not recommended for people with allergies to yeast or any component of this supplement.

Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should only consume nutritional yeast under the advice and guidance of a doctor. This is because there are still no studies that prove the safety of nutritional yeast in these situations.