A lot of vegans will tout nutritional yeast as a good natural source of vitamin B12. What they dont realize is that the B12 found in nutritional yeast is actually a supplement and NOT natural.
Yeast, like plants, does NOT make vitamin B12. Only bacteria can produce B12. Theoretically, nutritional yeast could contain bacteria and thus have natural B12. However, nutritional yeast is grown in conditions in which bacteria is not allowed to grow (the yeast is also deactivated, so it wont cause yeast infections).
Since vegans are pretty much the only people who use nutritional yeast (and many are eating it because they mistakenly think it is a natural source of B12), most brands of nutritional yeast add B12 to the product. But dont assume that all nutritional yeast contains B12! Make sure that you read the label and find out how much B12 is really in your nutritional yeast so you can make sure you are meeting the RDA for B12.
For example: if you are eating Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast, you would need to eat 3 TBSP of it per day to meet your RDA.
*The current RDA for B12 is 2.4 mcg daily (for healthy adults), though many experts are now pushing to increase the RDA to 4mcg daily.
Aside from providing B12, fortified nutritional yeast is also a good source of nutrients like iron, potassium, selenium, amino acids, and other B vitamins. But, if you are one of those vegans who hates nutritional yeast, then dont feel like youve got to eat the flaky stuff just to get your B12. A supplement will do the trick too. Check out our chart of vegan vitamins to find vegan B12 supplements.
There are a lot of brands which make nutritional yeast. You can pick them up at places like Whole Foods. Bob’s Red Mill is the most popular and well-known brand, but is pretty pricey (especially if you use tons of nutritional yeast like I do). If you want to save money on nutritional yeast though, I’d recommend purchasing online instead. One of the best deals is Red Star Bulk Nutritional Yeast, which you can buy here.
Want to learn more about vegan B12? Read:
- Vegan B12 Dosage
- Can you get B12 from intestinal bacteria?
- Does algae contain B12?
- Side effects of B vitamins
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Does Nutritional Yeast cause Candida?
Here is a problem that most women don’t like to talk about: yeast infections. Unfortunately, yeast infections (aka candida) are one of the unpleasant realities of womanhood, and most women will get at least one in their lifetime.
Why We Get Yeast Infections
First off, yeast infections don’t just occur in the vagina. You can get a yeast infection rash on your stomach, in your nose, etc. However, yeast particularly loves the moist, darkness of our lady parts. It doesn’t help that our underwear limits the amount of fresh air going down there! So, when we women get a yeast infection, symptoms are usually going to appear first in the vagina.
The reason that we get yeast infections is because there is “bad” yeast everywhere – including in our bodies. Normally, this yeast isn’t a problem because our “good” yeast keeps it in check (think of it like the never ending war of yeasts in your digestive tract).
When you eat lots of sugary foods, candida goes crazy. Aside from sugars, many other vegetarian foods – like wheat – contribute to candidiasis by making our blood more acidic. The candida thrives and we get a yeast infection.
As if this weren’t bad enough, candida stops your body from absorbing iron and other nutrients which you need to stay healthy!
But Nutritional Yeast is NOT to Blame…
When you’ve got a yeast infection, you definitely want to lay off any foods containing yeast. This includes:
- Alcoholic drinks
When you’ve got a yeast infection, you’ll want to lay off the beer for a while!
However, nutritional yeast is still okay. The reason is because nutritional yeast has been “deactivated.”
Even though nutritional yeast is made from the same type of yeast as these candida-causing foods, it is made in a different way. After the yeast is finished growing, the yeast gets killed with heat and then it gets dried up into those flakes we all love so much. Since the nutritional yeast is dead when you eat it, it isn’t going to give you a yeast infection!
Looking for nutritional yeast? Try these:
Image credit: nutritional yeast(CC BY-NC 2.0)bysweetbeetandgreenbean