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Nutritional Yeast: Health Benefits and How to Use It

Nutritional yeast is a great way to pack a lot more nutrients into your diet, especially if you choose a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet.  There are some nutrients that you may be able to get from nutritional yeast if you are trying to eat healthier.  Nutritional yeast has the ability to make this easier for you!

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast.  It is not at all like the yeast that you use for baking bread since it is inactive, meaning it can’t cause those breads or rolls to rise and it won’t be frothy if you mix it with warm water.  It’s sort of like a powdery yeast that has a thick, creamy (some people even say cheesy!) taste to it, and can be added to a variety of different recipes and foods to give you a nutritional boost.


Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast has several health benefits, with the main one being that it is a wonderful source of the vitamin B12.  Many people are actually deficient in B12, and adding a bit of nutritional yeast into your diet can really help boost your B12 levels.  B12 is an important part of your nutritional intake, as it helps create your DNA as well as your red blood cells.  While vitamin B12 is often found in milk, eggs, and meat, it can be difficult for vegetarians and vegans to get this vitamin, since it is not made by the body.  When you add nutritional yeast to your daily supplements, however, your body will get what its B12 needs met easily.

For those who are vegans, nutritional yeast can also give you a great boost of calcium as well, as many manufacturers of the yeast have begun adding calcium to their nutritional yeast products.


Ways to Use Nutritional Yeast

If you are looking for new ways to use nutritional yeast that might be beneficial to you and help you get an extra boost of nutrients, you can actually do a lot with the supplement that you might not have thought of.  Here is a list of ways that you can incorporate nutritional yeast into your daily routine and get your body feeling great!


  1. Add Nutritional Yeast to Pastas.

Since many people believe that nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor, adding it to pasta can give you a nutritional boost without changing the taste of many sauces.  For example, if you are serving homemade macaroni and cheese, it might be a great way to add a little extra nutrition to the dish, and the cheesy taste will accompany the cheese in the dish quite well.  It can also substitute for parmesan cheese on top of marinara sauce.

  1. Use Nutritional Yeast in Soups

Adding a bit of nutritional yeast to soups can really help boost the nutritional content, as well as adding a bit of a thickening agent to the soup.  If you are making a soup that requires cream to help thicken it, or if you would like your soup a bit thicker, try adding a bit of nutritional yeast to it and you might be surprised by how well it works!

  1. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on Salads and Vegetables

If you are looking for an interesting way to spice up plain vegetables or add more of a taste to a salad, nutritional yeast is a great way to do this.  Try sprinkling it on tomatoes or beans, or use it in place of cheese in a salad.

  1. Add Nutritional Yeast to Popcorn or Other Snacks

If you love popcorn, try adding a bit of nutritional yeast to your popped snack.  Instead of adding actual cheese, this topping can give your popcorn a cheesy taste, but will also boost the nutrition content of the snack.  You can also try doing this with potato chips or dried vegetables, such as kale or spinach.

  1. Add Nutritional Yeast to Homemade Pizza

Do you love pizza and want to make something that’s healthy that your whole family can enjoy?  Try adding nutritional yeast to your pizza!  It can provide flavor and nutrients, and replace the sprinkling of parmesan cheese!


As you can see, there are plenty of uses for nutritional yeast, and with the health benefits that come with it, you can find plenty of ways to work it into your daily food preparation and diet.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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