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When you think of yeast, most people with think of what makes bread rise or as an ingredient to brew beer, but it is neither of those things. Nutritional yeast is made from sugarcane and beet molasses. It is inactive yeast, which means it doesn't grow or cultivate like other yeasts, but it is also rather tasty with a nutty, cheesy taste that goes well with many dishes. Used as a powder or in flakes form, vegans and vegetarians have been adding this to their food for years, but it's not just for non-meat eaters. The health benefits of nutritional yeast outweigh any ingredient preferences you may have.

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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is responsible for maintaining a good digestive system, increasing your energy, regulating your nervous system and protecting you against colon cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer. Usually non-existent in plant food, B12 primarily comes from red meat, sardines, tuna and other animal products. If you are not eating meat or meat products, you will need to gain your vitamin B12 intake elsewhere. Apart from taking supplements, the best way is with nutritional yeast. Just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast powder is your recommended daily intake of this super vitamin. Check the label that he packet does, in fact, contain B12 as it is available without it as well.

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Fiber

Fiber works beneficially in your body in many ways. It makes your intestines move faster; fiber helps to keep you regular, and it cleans the colon and slows the rate that sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream. Commercially we are told that fiber comes from grains and bread, brown rice, and fruits and vegetables, which is true, of course, but nutritional yeast contains three grams of fiber per serving. And considering it is added to food, it is an excellent way to up your daily intake while adding flavor to food.

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Protein

The protein food group consists of meat, seafood, and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, seeds, and nuts. All pretty good for you, but if you are not eating some or all of these, how do you naturally gain protein from food? Two tablespoons of powdered nutritional yeast will give you nine grams of protein. This is equal to around one ounce of beef, or a cup of whole milk. Protein is fuel for the body, and we need a lot as we burn so much of it through energy and using our muscles.

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Low glycemic index

To maintain a healthy weight, and stay off the diabetes risk scale, our bodies need low sugar foods. High glycemic foods are food high in carbohydrates, like white bread, puffed rice, corn flakes, white rice and pasta, popcorn, some potatoes, and pumpkin. These foods can raise blood glucose levels. Nutritional yeast is a low glycemic food because it has no added sugars. Yes, it has some carbohydrates, around five grams, but those carbs have a majority of a fiber base, good news for low sugar food searchers.

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Good for the skin

Because nutritional yeast is packed with all those good-for-you B vitamins, your skin, hair, and nails will also be getting a vitamin B boost. B5 and B7 are the main vitamins, which benefit the skin, hair, and nails. It can reduce signs of aging like redness and skin spots. It is also the niacin it contains that makes it so powerful because niacin has been proven to improve overall skin health and even treat chronic acne. The protein in nutritional yeast also helps the process.

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Folic acid

Folic acid is a type of Vitamin B, and it is very, very useful. It helps your body produce and maintain cells, which is why it is so important for pregnant women who are growing another human inside their wombs, but it also has benefits for the non-pregnant amongst us all. Folic acid can regulate your cholesterol levels, helps to keep a healthy colon and can even reduce the risk of stroke. Some nutritional yeast on the market does not include folic acid so please read the label before you buy.

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Preserves the immune function

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs in the body. These work together to protect the body from sickness and disease. If you have a weak immune system, you are more likely to contract bacteria and viruses. A strong immune system is key for your body to find disease-causing substances, and helps you heal. Nutritional yeast contains the compounds glutathione, mannan, trehalose, Beta-glucan and beta-1. All of which are associated with enhancing immunity levels, reducing cholesterol and even cancer prevention.

Nutritional yeast health benefits
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Antibacterial

Nutritional yeast is considered the fourth most prescribed herbal additive in Germany, right behind ST Johns Wart and Ginko Biloba. This is good food news for nutritional yeast lovers. This yeast is antiviral and antibacterial, having profound effects on viruses such as salmonella, staphylococcus, and E.coli. Ironically, it has been tested and proven, to be one of the top remedies for a yeast infection such as Candida. Talking to a nutritionist or health care provider will guide you to exactly how taking nutritional yeast can help with other viral yeast infections.

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Gluten free

Gluten is a protein, which is found in grains and wheat. People who are gluten intolerant cannot process this protein, which can cause digestive issues, fatigue, headaches, inflammation, and swelling. Nutritional yeast is low in fat and sodium, doesn't contain added sugars or preservatives and, naturally, is gluten-free. Although you may not be directly swapping a number of grains in a dish for the flakes of nutritional yeast, nutritional yeast is used more as a flavor enhancer for dishes and a great substitute for cheese.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.