Health Benefits

Health benefits of yeast

Each species or strain of yeast has its particularities. The most wellknown is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, used to raise the dough. However, there are many more types of yeast. By selecting specific strains and developing growing techniques, yeast finds a world of other applications. It is used in dietary supplements, seasoning, and functional foods for its nutritional and specific health benefits. Yeast has more to offer than its leavening properties alone. Its natural richness in nutrients and tastes contributes to our general well-being.

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Health benefits of yeast

A wealth of nutrients

Fresh yeast has an remarkable nutritional composition :

  • Protein
  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamins B: thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), vitamin B6, and vitamin B9
  • Minerals and trace elements: phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Furthermore, one will also find calcium and magnesium. Nutritional yeast or Nooch is made from fresh yeast. It is grown, heated, pasteurized and dehydrated to convenient to use products. The heating process deactivates the fermentation power of the yeast but preserves its nutrients. None of the nutritional values of fresh yeast are lost in the process of Nooch making. Dietary yeast tablets, Nooch powder, flakes or crisps, offer consumers a natural source of key nutrients.  

These different nutritional yeast formats include several types of fiber. Fibers are known for their nutritive effects on our good intestinal microbes and is called prebiotics. Other nutrients will contribute to speeding up digestion and improving transit time.   

Nooch proteins contain all nine essential amino acids. These are the ones we cannot produce ourselves and need to come from our diet. Both animal and plant proteins are made up of about 20 common amino acids. Not all plant proteins contain them all, or in the right proportions, for our bodies to function properly. But yeast naturally does!  

Moreover, yeast vitamins play a role in numerous metabolic processes and are important for all ages. Some are crucial for specific needs, like B9 for women planning a pregnancy. Vitamins and minerals in fresh yeast and Nooch can contribute to needs which are not always easy to cover by food alone. Particulary for people on a diet or with specific needs.  

Empowerment for the Diet

Vegan and more generally vegetarian diets can be challenging when it comes to nutrient requirements. Yeast belongs to the mushroom family. All sorts of yeasts can be consumed in a vegetarian diet, as well as in a vegan diet.   

Plant-based foods need to be combined cleverly to provide all the vital amino acids contained in protein. Yeast offers them all, like an egg would. However, yeast belongs to the mushroom family and is therefore suitable for vegan diets.

Some minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium are less absorbed in the gut when plant based. A yeast supplement, or added as Nooch to the diet, comes in handy when vegan.  

A more confidential health benefit of yeast is its probiotic properties. Yeast cells are living micro-organisms, like probiotic bacteria. Some yeast strains are probiotic and exert beneficial effects on the gut microbiota. Probiotic yeast can be fresh or dry without altering its properties. Drying yeast does not change its probiotic, nor fermentation power, only heating at higher temperatures than 50°C will do so.  

One does not have to be vegan or suffer health problems to benefit from the macro-powers of yeast. Any diet may have shortcomings or specific requirements. Some can be temporarily, for instance in the case of a low-calorie diet, others more permanent, like the need to restrain salt.  

Yeast fermentation is a process without adding salt. Consequently, Nooch is poor in sodium and suitable for low-salt diets. The weight of Nooch is made up for half by the proteins, 20% by fiber and the same amount by carbs. It’s poor in fat and saturated fat and contains no cholesterol.  

Nevertheless, nutritional yeast is often used to season food 

A Unique Flavor

To make Nooch, fresh yeast is grown on a basis of mostly sugars. This process develops its nutritional richness. When mature, the yeast is heated, pasteurized and dehydrated. At this stage, its typical aroma and flavor is developed.  

Nooch comes in as many flavors as there are products. The basic taste is umami, a brothy, meaty taste. The flavor developed by the heating brings in nutty accents. Last, but not least, Nooch flavor is often referred to as ‘cheesy’. A rich palette of tastes and benefits that opens a world of opportunities for health enthusiasts and foodies alike.  

Yeast is a micro-organism, but one with macro-powers.