Benefits of Brewers Yeast and Nutritional Yeast
If you are new to nutrition and health foods then you may have wondered what the health benefits of brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast were. It is, after all, an odd looking substance; bright, mustard yellow flakes. What possible benefits to your health can this have? And what is the difference between nutritional yeast and brewer's yeast?
Although you may be eating a diet that is well balanced it is still difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. With the environmental toxins, stresses, and highly processed foods that are a part of life in the twenty-first century it is impossible to get the available nutrition that you need from diet alone. Supplementing your diet with high nutritional power-house foods like brewer’s yeast can give your body continual access to these nutrients.
The major difference between nutritional yeast and brewer's yeast is the way it is made. Nutritional yeast is heated and has a slightly different texture and flavor. Most people find that nutritional yeast has a pleasant, cheesy flavor. Brewer's yeast can be bitter and have some of the flavors from the beer making process. The nutritional content is almost identical.
What Is Brewer's Yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is a by-product. It is created during the beer making process. This substance absorbs the vitamins and minerals from the other ingredients that the brewery uses when manufacturing beer. These ingredients are:
- Other natural ingredients
It is impossible to give exact nutrition information on brewer’s yeast because it is not an exact science. The nutrients will remain the same but the level of vitamins and minerals will change from batch to batch. These levels can also vary according to the age of the yeast. For this reason brewer’s yeast should not be the only supplement that you use.
Unfortunately the brewer’s yeast also absorbs the flavors of these substances along with the nutrients. While no alcohol is left in the yeast there is almost always some level of bitterness. There is a process that can be used to remove the bitterness from the brewer’s yeast but it removes most of an important nutrient called chromium as a percentage of the other nutrients. If you decide to use debittered brewer’s yeast you need to be aware of this and add a chromium supplement.
Nutritional Content of Brewer's Yeast
ow that you know where brewer’s yeast comes from you may be wondering what vitamins and minerals are actually in it. This supplement is one of the best sources of the B vitamins.. For this reason it is a popular supplement among vegans and vegetarians. People with dietary restrictions like it because it is low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.
The vitamins and minerals in brewer’s yeast are:
- Nucleic acids
- Folic acid
Health Conditions that Benefit from Brewer’s Yeast
Different people have different responses to the use of nutritional supplements. You should stay with it for at least three months before you decide that it isn’t working for you. It has been used to improve the following conditions:
- Nervous conditions
- High cholesterol
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
People who plan to use brewer’s yeast to help with diabetes control should be sure that it is not the kind that has gone through the debittering process. Chromium, the nutrient that is lost in this process, is also the nutrient that helps to control diabetes. The chromium in brewer’s yeast is more bio-available than in other supplements. This means that the body more readily absorbs it than from other sources.
Taking brewer’s yeast regularly can also help repel mosquitoes and biting insects when you are out in nature. Some people give it to their dogs to help repel fleas.
When NOT to Take Brewer's Yeast
While there are no known side effects to brewer’s yeast it is important that you not use it in the following situations. It can cause your symptoms to actually increase due to the nutritional components.
- Kidney stones
- High levels of uric acids
- Mold or penicillin allergies
- Yeast infections
In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that Brewer's Yeast can interact with certain medications, including the following.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Selegiline (Ensam, Eldepryl)
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
Nutritional Yeast and Candida
How To Take Brewer's Yeast
Brewer’s yeast can be added to many recipes. Meats, stews, soups, and breads all take the brewer’s yeast fairly well. Some people like it sprinkled on popcorn and other snacks because of the slightly cheesy flavor. Since heat destroys B vitamins be sure to stir it into hot foods just before serving.
Brewer’s yeast is an easy way to add important B vitamins to your diet.
Always Check with Your Health Care Provider
As with everything you should consult with your health care provider before taking any new supplements. Because of the chromium content taking brewer’s yeast can change the way that your body deals with insulin. It can also change your normal response to natural blood sugar, causing a problem if you are on insulin or other blood sugar medication.
It is best, no matter what dietary changes you are making, to do so over a period of a few weeks. Give you body time to adjust to your new eating and nutritional habits.