Ingredient Feature: Nutritional Yeast

By Sydney Gomez

Nutritional yeast, also known as nooch or Sacchaomyces cerevisiae, is the same type of yeast that is used to bake bread and beer; however, not all yeasts are created equal. Baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast are both used in their living form, which results in the airy texture characteristic of bread and beer. On the other hand, nutritional yeast cells are no longer in their living form and are commonly used in cooking for their cheesy, nutty flavour.

Nutritional yeast is versatile and fits in nearly any type of eating style. It is naturally low in sodium and calories, it is fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Macro and Micro Nutrient Superstar

Though the myth of the ‘protein deficient vegan’ has long been debunked, vitamin B12 deficiency remains a concern for most plant-based consumers.

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animals products but is less common among plant-based foods. Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA production, metabolism, blood cell production and nervous system functions.

Nutritional yeast is a delicious and nutritious weapon to ward off any B12 concerns. In both its fortified and unfortified form, nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 30-180% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B. Further, nutritional yeast is a complete protein made up of all nine essential amino acids and contains trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, manganese and molybdenum.

Powerful Disease Prevention

On a daily basis, your body’s cells are under attack by free radicals. Antioxidants can help defend against cellular damage. Nutritional yeast contains the antioxidants glutathione and selenomethionine, which aid the body in eliminating heavy metals and environmental toxins. Accordingly, a diet high in antioxidants, such as those contained in nutritional yeast, can help defend against chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and macular degeneration.

On top of this, there is growing support for the proposition that nutritional yeast boosts immune function via the operation of the carbohydrates alpha-mannan and beta-glucan.

Unlock the Power of Nooch

Nutritional yeast provides a rich, cheesy flavour to any savoury dish. We love to sprinkle it on popcorn, add to it pasta sauces and soups for that beautiful umami flavour or indulge in some delicious cashew cream cheese. All LTF dairy-free cheeses contain a base of cashews and nutritional yeast to optimize health benefits.