Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Power of Nutritional Yeast!

Wouldn't think yeast could taste good right?  Well you probably haven't heard of nutritional yeast. Seriously it's my new obsession. And that's probably an understatement.

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast that is produced by culturing yeast for several days in a nutrient growth medium and then deactivating it with heat.  It's unique health benefits make it a complete protein, providing all 18 amino acids.  It's also free of sugar and gluten.

Nutritional yeast is a powerhouse of nutrition. Rich in B vitamins, such as B1, B2, B3, and B6, nutritional yeast also contains pantothenic acid, folic acid, potassium, selenium, and iron (good for preggos!).  What is so good about all these nutrients?

Let's talk about selenium.  This super antioxidant is required for the proper activity of a group of enzymes called glutathione peroxidases.  These enzymes play a key role in the body's detoxification system and protect against oxidative stress.  Selenium also supports normal thyroid function by transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 (this is what Synthroid is) into the more active T3 (also known as liothyronine by prescription).  Other foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, oysters, clams, liver and kidney.

What about pantothenic acid? This is among the most important of the B vitamins for the basic processes of life!  Without it, you would be unable to use fats, carbohydrates, or proteins as energy sources.  It also helps to make hormones and supports the immune system.  Foods rich in panthothenic acid include cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli, celery, cucumber, crimini mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms.

It's helpful to know all the good stuff in nutritional yeast, but how exactly can you use nutritional yeast?  Here are a few ideas and some of my favorites:

1) Sprinkle on popcorn. Makes it extra tasty! (especially when you add a little pepper too!)

2) Sprinkle on sweet potatoes to give almost a cheesy topping taste

3) Use in soup in place of cream to help thicken it

4) Use in homemade meatballs instead of panko/breadcrumbs- this was a huge hit at my house!

5) On steamed kale or kale chips- it adds for a nice texture



Popcorn topped with some nutritional yeast, kelp granules and pepper <3  Give it a try!


Blessings,

Lindsay

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