Healthy diets don’t change over time—but some food and ingredient trends are continually changing. As health professionals, your clients expect you to have all the answers when it comes to the latest food trends. To keep you in the know, we are offering updates on "ingredients in the news." This issue’s featured ingredient: Nutritional Yeast.
In the health and wellness space, there is a growing focus on the functional possibilities of “superfood” powders. Be they herbs and spices or dried, ground vegetables, people are looking to sprinkle on that nutritional boost. Nutritional yeast is one of these trending powders. So what is nutritional yeast, and is it really nutritious?
Nutritional yeast is made from pasteurized, deactivated yeast and yes, it lives up to its name. A quarter cup of nutritional yeast provides 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber in 60 calories.
Nutritional yeast provides a good source of most B vitamins, but does not naturally contain B12, the vitamin missing in fully vegan diets. Many brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with additional B vitamins, making it a good source of B12 for vegan eaters.*
Photo by Everson Mayer for Unsplash
Pop of Flavor
Nutritional yeast contains glutamic acid, the amino acid known for umami flavor. Adding it to foods provides a plant-based savory or even cheesy flavor. Eaters often sub nutritional yeast anywhere someone might typically use Parmesan—sprinkled over salads, pasta, or roasted veggies—and it tastes delicious on popcorn! And there’s no need to restrict it to vegan dishes. Nutritional yeast can provide added flavor to dishes with eggs or cream.
*USDA Branded Food Products Database, Nutritional Yeast.
Disclaimer: Conagra Nutrition does not provide medical advice. Information is intended for educational purposes only. For specific nutrition guidance, please consult your regular healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.