The Health Benefits of Brewers Yeast

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Looking for that perfect plant-based nutrient-dense addition to your diet?

Give brewer’s yeast some consideration!

While you may only think about this ingredient when enjoying a delightful beer or baking some bread, brewer’s yeast is actually a wonderful supplemental ingredient that is chock full of nutrients. In particular, it’s got some of those B vitamins that are elusive to plant-based eaters!

Let’s dive in and get to know all we can about this nutritional supplement!

What is Brewer’s Yeast?

It’s truly in the name of this food, a rarity when it comes to nutrition.

Brewer’s yeast is “an ingredient used in the production of beer and bread.” It’s actually an important “byproduct of beer brewing” and is made fromSaccharomyces cerevisiae, a one-celled fungus,” which is an integral component to help fermentation in both of these popular foods. Yet, it’s important to differentiate between brewer’s yeast that is used to create these foods and brewer’s yeast that is a byproduct. The byproduct — Saccharomyces cerevisiae — is not an active yeast, but the “cells in brewer’s yeast are non-living and cannot be reactivated.”

Yet, there’s SO much more to this seemingly simple fungus!

Along with being used as an ingredient to make your beer taste wheaty and your bread nice and fluffy, brewer’s yeast can also be used as a nutritional supplement. This fungus is rich in a variety of nutrients including “chromium, which may help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels,” as well as those coveted B vitamins that are oftentimes hard to find on a plant-based diet.

On top of that, it’s been “considered a probiotic and is used to aid digestion.” The teeny tiny organisms that make up the fungus — called microflora — have been found to “help maintain the proper functioning of the digestive tract” and it may even boost energy levels and provide some backbone to your immune system.

Nutritional Profile

Alright, so brewer’s yeast sounds like it could be good for you, but what are you actually getting nutritionally? Turns out, quite a bit!

As mentioned, brewer’s yeast is rich in chromium, but it’s also a great source of “protein, selenium, potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. These are all super important nutrients, yet when it comes to plant-based eaters and, in particular, vegans, you’ll want to pay close attention to the B vitamin complex that brewer’s yeast provides. Brewer’s yeast offers varying amounts of thiamine (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), folic acid (B-9), and biotin (B-7).

Add on to that some dietary fiber, — 20 grams per 100 grams of brewer’s yeast — and protein, — 53.3 grams per 100 grams of brewer’s yeast and you’ve got a super-charged nutritional supplement!

Health Benefits

Let’s get to the really good part!

Brewer’s yeast is obviously a great place for nutrients, but does this fungus have any other benefits to your body besides giving it some of the goods that it needs? Yes! In fact, brewer’s yeast has been linked to a few truly wonderful health benefits.

Improved Digestive Health

Brewer’s yeast is a fermented food, a “process that involves bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars” that inevitably boosts the “number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, found in your gut.”

Probiotics are a hugely popular health trend and for good reason! These “good bacteria” have been found to improve gut health, which leads to better digestion, improved mood, and even more successful weight loss and healthy weight management. Due to the probiotic nature of brewer’s yeast, it’s been found to treat digestive disorders including diarrhea, — specifically, caused by antibiotics and traveler’s diarrhea — irritable bowel syndrome, Clostridium difficile colitis, and lactose intolerance.

Fights Respiratory Conditions

This includes colds and the flu!

Research is a bit thin on this one, but a study performed in 2012 found that “women provided a daily brewer’s yeast supplement called Wellmune had 60{d9cf345e272ccae06ddf47bdd1d417e7fd8f81a9d196cc6ace4cb20fad8f4c22} fewer upper respiratory tract infections after 12 weeks than women provided a placebo.”

Unfortunately, the study didn’t find out why, but theories say that “brewer’s yeast increase the immune response in a way that helps the body ‘treat itself.’”

Helps with Diabetes

When it comes to brewer’s yeast and diabetes, it’s all about the glucose tolerance factor (GTC) and its effect on the insulin response. Particularly the fact that brewer’s yeast “has been shown to enhance the insulin response,” which is crucial when it comes to the body’s ability to manage diabetes. It’s theorized that brewer’s yeast is able to bind to “insulin and [increases] its absorption in blood vessels” thereby helping those with insulin resistance.

Brewer’s Yeast for Vegans

Looking to get your hands on some brewer’s yeast? Want to experiment a bit in your own kitchen? Luckily, there are a lot of great companies offering brewer’s yeast in super easy to consume forms. From flavored powder to granules for baking, whatever you’re looking for you’ll be able to find.

1. It’s Just Brewers Yeast Powder

It's Just Brewers Yeast Powder

It’s Just Brewers Yeast Powder/Amazon

If you’re looking to go simple and clean, this It’s Just Brewers Yeast Powder is a great option! Per the name, there’s nothing but brewer’s yeast in this powder. Touting those wonderful nutritional and health benefits, It’s Just Brewer’s Yeast Powder seeks to fight fatigue, boost energy, level out your mood, and even help lactating mothers with their milk production. A 10-ounce bag costs $8.99.

2. Anthony’s Brewer’s Yeast

Anthony's Brewer's Yeast

Anthony’s Brewer’s Yeast/Amazon 

Another great powder option comes from a trusted, well-intentioned company. This Anthony’s Brewer’s Yeast promises a high-quality powder that is unflavored, unsweetened, and unfortified, which means you’re only getting what you want — brewer’s yeast. On top of that, this product is verified gluten-free and non-GMO and is pure, derived from pure molasses. A 1-pound bag costs $10.79.

3. Vie Naturelle Brewers Yeast Powder

Vie Naturelle Brewers Yeast Powder

Vie Naturelle Brewers Yeast Powder/Amazon

If you’re super skeptical about ingredients, try this Vie Naturelle Brewers Yeast Powder which is certified vegan friendly. On top of that, this product is batch tested for purity and nutritional content, has zero added flavor, artificial sweeteners, or fortified ingredients, and is non-GMO! You can use this powder in baking, shakes, or even your morning coffee! An 11.35-ounce bag costs $9.99.

How to Use Brewer’s Yeast in the Kitchen

Now that you’re filled with knowledge on brewer’s yeast and you’ve found the perfect powder to meet your needs, it’s time to get to consuming this ingredient. Here are some great ways to get brewer’s yeast into your diet!

Before you begin consuming, make sure you’ve had a conversation with a medical professional! Whenever you want to add a supplement to your diet, it’s super important to speak with your doctor, nutritionist, or other professional.

1. Shakes and Smoothies

Silky Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

Source: Silky Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

As with other powder supplements, shakes and smoothies are some of the best ways to seamlessly integrate them into your diet. Not only do powders dissolve quickly and efficiently, but you can also include a variety of other yummy ingredients such as fruit, leafy greens, and even veggies!

Try out a few of these recipes to get yourself started: Superfood Protein Shake, Silky Strawberry Avocado Smoothie, Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie, Vegan Protein Chocolate Shake, or this Berry and Chia Pudding Smoothie.

2. Baking

Orange Almond Cake

Source: Orange Almond Cake

If you’re not a smoothie or shake person, but you love rolling up your sleeves and rolling out some cookie dough, try using brewer’s yeast! Not only will your sweet or savory treats mask the somewhat sour taste of brewer’s yeast, but you’ll also be infusing some of your favorite foods with a ton of nutrition! With that said, make sure to choose the right types of baking goodies with simple recipes such as cookies and bread.

Try out a few of these baking recipes with your newly obtained brewer’s yeast: Orange Almond Cake, Peach Pie with Lattice Crust, Blueberry Oat Muffins, Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Gingersnaps, or this Blueberry Walnut Crumble Bars.

3. Beverages

Dalgona Coffee

Source: Dalgona Coffee

Last, but not least, try adding a dash of brewer’s yeast to your favorite beverage! It’s important to choose the right type of beverage. Make sure to go with recipes that are chock full of flavor and a bit thicker. This means you can go for things like hot chocolate or loaded coffee.

Try out a few of these beverage recipes and make sure to use just a dash! Dalgona Coffee, Blender Mocha Cashew Latte, High-Protein Caramel Capuccino, Quick and Easy Hot Cocoa, Thick and Creamy Hot Chocolate, or this Healthy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate.

Related Articles

If you’re looking for ways to boost the overall nutritional value of your meals outside the realm of brewer’s yeast, here are a few articles to get you where you’re going!

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Gingersnaps [Vegan]

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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