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Nooch: The Ultimate Guide To This Vegan Yeast

Nooch: The Ultimate Guide To This Vegan Yeast

Nutritional yeast, fondly called “nooch” for short, is an inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. It is quite similar to the active yeasts found in breads, but it has no leavening ability.

Nooch is commonly used as a topper for dishes like popcorn, pasta, and French fries. It is often used to mimic cheese in vegan dishes and to thicken sauces and dressings. Though it allows for some amazing variety in a vegan diet, nutritional yeast is not reserved just for vegans. It is delicious with a cheesy, umami-like flavor and is a healthy addition to anyone’s diet.

Nutritional yeast is popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes as it has a strong flavor that is often described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy. It is produced by culturing the yeast in a nutrient medium. The growth medium is either sugar cane or beet molasses. When the yeast is grown, it is deactivated using heat after which it is harvested, washed and dried. Nooch is yellow in color. It is packaged and sold in flakes, granules or a powder-like form.

Nutrition Profile of Nooch

Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another.

  1. Nutritional yeast is particularly rich in B vitamins. It is a great source of vitamin B6 and is usually fortified with vitamin B12. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of vitamins B1 and B2.
  2. Nooch contains selenium, iron and zinc
  3. About 2 tablespoons have 60 calories with 5g of carbohydrates (four grams of which is fiber).
  4. Nooch has complete and digestible protein, with essential and nonessential amino acids. It provides all the nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. A serving provides 9 g of protein.
  5. It also contains minerals such as chromium, intracellular antioxidants like Glutathione and phospholipids such as lecithin.

Nooch is also low in sodium and fat, gluten-free. It does not contain any added sugars or preservatives.

Health Benefits of Nooch

Nooch has plenty of health benefits. Here are some of them.:

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1. Improves Immunity

Nutritional yeast contains beta-1, 3 glucan, trehalose, mannan and glutathione, which are associated with enhanced immunity and a reduced risk of cancer. It also contains selenium, which helps repair cell damage. The zinc content in nooch aids in tissue repair and wound healing. Zinc is a powerful antioxidant and it fights free radical damage helping slow the aging process

2. Helps Maintain Optimal Cholesterol Levels

Nutritional yeast may help lower cholesterol naturally due to its selenium content. Selenium reduces inflammation and prevents platelets from aggregating, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Blood clots can lead to stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure, etc. The niacin found in nutritional yeast helps to minimize the LDL triglyceride and cholesterol levels which in turn accelerates the secretion of high-density lipoprotein or HDL level in the blood.

2. Antiviral and Antibacterial Properties

Nutritional yeast has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It has proven to be one of the best remedies for chronic candida symptoms, a specific type of yeast infection.

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3. Improves Digestion

Regular consumption of nooch helps maintain healthy bacteria balance in the gut which is important for immune health. Nutritional yeast has many digestive system benefits The probiotics in nutritional yeast may help cure diarrhea.

Since it does not contain any dairy products, nutritional yeast has also been found helpful for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

4. Improves Blood Production

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and it occurs when your body doesn’t have enough of the mineral iron. Fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron . Fortified yeast provides up to 20 percent of the recommended daily value.

5. Contains Beneficial Protein

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Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Vegans and vegetarians often struggle to find enough protein sources in the diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and it contains all nine of the essential amino acids at only 80 calories a serving.

6. Promotes Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Nutritional yeast contains many B vitamins, all of which tend to benefit healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B7 or Biotin is essential for maintaining the texture, tone and strength of your hair.

Vitamin B5 can minimise acne by breaking down oils in the form of triglycerides and cholesterol. The niacin content in nutritional yeast helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, red blotchiness and even chronic acne.

7. Aids a Healthy Pregnancy

Nutritional yeast is a great choice for pregnant women as it is rich in folate. Sufficient consumption of folate during pregnancy may help prevent major birth defects such as spina bifida. Pregnant women require 400 to 800 micrograms of folate daily. Just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 1,059 micrograms of folate.

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Possible Side Effects

Since the yeast is completely pasteurized and deactivated, it is quite safe and it will give rise to yeast overgrowth in someone who consumes it. There aren’t any recorded risks in consuming nooch, unless someone has a specific food allergy to it.

A sensible approach to experimenting with new foods is to try consuming it in small amounts and see how your body reacts to it. Nooch has so far proven to be a safe and healthy alternative to cheese for vegans.

How to Use Nooch in Recipes

Nutritional yeast can be used as a condiment. Simply put the powder form in a shaker and sprinkle it on all your meals – soups, popcorn, salads, etc. Add it in any recipe that calls for a cheesy flavor.

    To make this cheesy vegan hummus recipe all you have to do is toss in some cooked chickpeas, a clove of garlic, a little tahini and a scoop of nooch into a food processor. Add salt and lemon juice to suit your taste buds. Drizzle some olive oil and add a dash of paprika – you have made the world’s best cheesy hummus!

    There are plenty of ways to add nutritional yeast to your diet. Here are 7 delicious vegan recipes using nooch. You can make gravies, dips, hash browns, corn dogs, cauliflower buffalo wings and many more!

    Featured photo credit: Huffington Post via i.huffpost.com

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    Anju Mobin

    Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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    Last Updated on January 25, 2021

    What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

    What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

    It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

    If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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    What should I do today? No ideas?

    Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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    Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

    1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
    2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
    3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
    4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
    5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
    6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
    7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
    8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
    9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
    10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
    11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
    12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
    13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
    14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
    15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
    16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
    17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
    18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
    19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
    20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
    21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
    22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
    23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
    24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
    25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
    26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
    27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
    28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
    29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
    30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

    Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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