Yeast is naturally rich in nutrients. Its nutrition profile is indeed amazing. Do you know that about 40 to 50 percent of yeast is protein? That implies that the nutritional yeast amino acid profile would be quite impressive. That is not the only thing to wonder about. About 30 to 35 percent of yeast is fiber. It also contains varieties of vitamin B. Do you still have questions about whether nutritional yeast is good for you or not? We don’t think so. Even the little we have said already is enough to assure you that nutritional yeast is a superfood. You can eat nutritional yeast directly. And you can also add it to your pizza, biscuits, desserts, and any other food you can think of. It is a great source of many essential nutrients.
The amino acid profile of nutritional yeast has been of great interest to experts for a long time. Being that it is mainly a protein food; experts analyzed its amino acid profile. They found that nutritional yeast contains 18 of the 20 basic aminos that humans have. What’s more, its amino profile is comparable to WHO standards for human daily requirements. This means that you can get all the essential aminos you need daily from just 100 grams of nutritional yeast if you have an average adult weight. Now, this is mind-blowing. Indeed, beyond the savory taste, nutritional yeast has lots of nutritional and health benefits. We will further discuss these in this article.
Understand What Nutritional Yeast Is
Nutritional yeasts are one of the yeast species. Their scientific name is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast is the same form of yeast that bakers use in baking bread. The brewers also use it for brewing beer.
Although they come from the same source, nutritional yeast is a different product from brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeasts. Yes, they are from one species, but they are still different products.
You usually would purchase baker’s yeast alive and use it to leaven your bread while baking. The yeast only dies during cooking. However, it gives your bread an earthy, typical yeast flavor. Brewer’s yeast is also purchased alive before using it for brewing beer. By the time the yeast cells die, their leftover is usually very bitter.
Nutritional yeast is different from both baker and brewer’s yeast because, from cultivation, it’s intended for consumption purposes. These yeasts are cultivated specifically as food products. So the yeast cells would typically be killed in the course of manufacturing.
By the time the final product is out, the yeast cells would no longer be alive. But then, these dead yeast cells do not have a bitter taste, unlike the leftover dead cells from brewing. Instead, it has a savory, nutty, or cheesy flavor.
After several days of cultivation, manufacturers deactivate the yeast cells in nutritional yeast with heat. After deactivation, they would then harvest, wash, dry, crumble, and package the product for distribution, sale, and consumption.
Nutritional yeasts are of 2 varieties. Some are fortified while some are not. Unfortified nutritional yeast has no added minerals and vitamins. The only nutrients in it are the ones that yeast cells naturally produce while growing.
Fortified nutritional yeast, on the other hand, contains some synthetic vitamins. These are added to the product during manufacturing to boost the nutrient profile. Anyways, any added nutrient would reflect in the product’s ingredients list.
Nutritional yeasts are available in the form of powders, flakes, or granules. You can easily incorporate them into any eating style. They are, therefore, very versatile.
Nutritional Yeast Amino Acid Profile and Nutrient Content
Nutritional yeast happens to be a wonderful source of amino acids, B vitamins, as well as many trace minerals. More so, the fortified variety has many more vitamins.
Do you know that nutritional yeasts are complete proteins? That means that they contain all 9 essential aminos. The essential aminos are those aminos that you must get from your meals.
A single tablespoon of nutritional yeast will give you 2g protein. This makes it very easy for vegans to obtain high-quality protein via their diet. Protein supply is usually one of the major problems that vegans face.
With just 100g nutritional yeast, you can get all the essential aminos you need daily. 100g nutritional yeast contains the following essential aminos. We will include their RDI (recommended daily intake) in brackets so that you can compare
- 860mg Histidine (RDI is 700mg)
- 1950mg Isoleucine (RDI is 1400mg)
- 2960mg Leucine (RDI is 2730mg)
- 3380mg Lysine (RDI is 2100mg)
- 650mg Methionine (RDI is 728mg)
- 1790mg Phenylalanine (RDI is 1650mg)
- 2040mg Threonine (RDI is 1050mg)
- 1970mg Tryptophan (RDI is 280mg)9. 2360mg Valine (RDI is 1820mg)
Aside from these essential aminos, nutritional yeast also has good amounts of almost all non-essential aminos. They are as follows:
- 2380mg Alanine
- 2090mg Arginine
- 4220mg Aspartic acid
- 780mg Cysteine
- 7030mg Glutamic Acid
- 1980mg Glycine
- 1610mg Proline
- 2290mg Serine
- 1360mg Tyrosine
Aside from aminos, nutritional yeast contains lots of B vitamin varieties. A single tablespoon would give you about 30 to 180 percent RDI for different B vitamins. The supply further increases when the product is fortified. Fortified varieties are usually very rich sources of thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, as well as B6 and B12 vitamins.
That’s not all. We are still yet to mention the trace minerals in nutritional yeast. A tablespoon serving of nutritional yeast will supply between 2 to 30 percent RDI for different trace minerals. Some of these trace minerals include zinc, manganese, selenium, and molybdenum.
Is Nutritional Yeast Good For You?
Well, we don’t think there’s a question about this. Nutritional yeast is indeed good for you. When you check nutritional yeast amino acid profile and the many other nutrients that it contains, it becomes very glaring that it is a great food to add to your diet. More so, nutritional yeast has naturally low calorie and sodium content. It is also gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and 100 percent vegan.