What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast differs from your traditional kind because it grows on molasses and is then dried with heat before being sold. When the heating process is finished, nutritional yeast is considered to be killed in a sense (otherwise known as being "inactive") thereby preventing it from growing.

Unlike with baking yeast, the nutritional yeast won't froth anymore and you can ingest this particular kind of yeast by sprinkling it on top of food or by mixing into sauces and soups.

close up of nutritional yeast in a bowl

Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast

You may not have thought to incorporate nutritional yeast into your diet before, but you really should consider it given all the health benefits it brings to the table.

Vitamins And Minerals

In 2013, Dr. Michael Greger discovered that the fiber in nutritional yeast has the ability to prevent an immune decline in runners. He also concluded that those who upped their intake of nutritional yeast experienced less fatigue, less tension, less confusion, less anger, and even experienced "significantly more vigor."

Healthline also reported in 2017 that nutritional yeast also contains plentiful amounts of B vitamins including vitamin B6 and B12. They also reported that one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains many trace minerals including zinc and manganese. What's great about the high amounts of B12 in nutritional yeast is that vegans will have an easier time staying away from vitamin deficiencies.

Additional reports have concluded that nutritional yeast benefits have encouraged people in Germany to buy the product in droves. According to the report, nutritional yeast is the fourth most prescribed herbal monopreparation thanks to the anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties it contains. The report added that nutritional yeast also has great effects on bacterias such as E.Coli and salmonella in addition to being a "medicinal choice for chronic acne, diarrhea, loss of appetite and immune system stimulation."

In 1999, Dr. Seymour Pomper also concluded that nutritional yeast benefits include helping the immune system and fighting off bacterias such as the ones listed in the above report. Pomper added that nutritional yeast has been a "servant for mankind for thousands of years" and that in 40 years of research he hasn't come across anyone who has suffered from a disease at the hands of nutritional yeast.

nutritional yeast on a wooden spoon

Nutritional Value

100 grams of nutritional yeast will yield 40 grams of protein and carbohydrates, and 20 grams of fiber. It's also a good source of iron and zinc. It also contains a good deal of riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and folate.

Food Substitutions

It has been said by experts that nutritional yeast benefits include acting as a cheese replacement. This doesn't just mean sprinkling it over popcorn and calling it a day either. You can also mix this yeast into soups, on pasta dishes, with garbanzo beans, or scrambled in with tofu. This works well for those adopting the vegan lifestyle because you can also use this in lieu of cheese on pizzas and in lasagna.

Cosmetic Improvements

Given that nutritional yeast benefits include a hearty amount of B vitamins, those who ingest it will see an improvement in their hair and skin. Topical creams containing vitamin B6 (which is prominent in nutritional yeast) are used to treat skin conditions such as a acne and eczema. B6 plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy immune system and red blood cells. Studies have also shown that having proper amounts of vitamin B12 in your diet helps you to avoid premature greying of the hair.


Livestrong reported that nutritional yeast is high in folate, which is an important B vitamin that helps to prevent birth defects. They recommended having at least one tablespoon of the yeast a day to get the amount of folate that your body needs to stay healthy during pregnancy.

nutritional yeast on a wooden spoon

Learning about the different nutritional yeast benefits may encourage you to start incorporating it into your diet. Even if you'd rather stick with your multivitamins or authentic cheese, at least you'll know what to use for pizza night when your vegan friends come over!

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