It’s not the most common food in this country, but this vegan lover’s item is growing in popularity across many different diets and lifestyles. It definitely doesn’t sound very appealing, but many people swear by this stuff as the one food item they couldn’t live without. So, is nutritional yeast Paleo?
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Well, for starters, what exactly is nutritional yeast? It is deactivated yeast – meaning it’s not going to grow and get frothy, or make bread rise – and it’s known for it’s cheesy, nutty, and sometimes creamy flavor. It’s free of sugar, dairy, and gluten, but is a natural source of free glutamic acid. Vegans and vegetarians use this in place of cheese in many recipes, as a topping for popcorn, and as a way to get additional vitamins in their diet. Yep, nutritional yeast, as a complete protein, is a good source of proteins and vitamins, and has been used to prevent vitamin deficiency for malnourished prisoners of war.
How is Nutritional Yeast made?
Nutritional yeast is made from the single-celled organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is grown on sugarcane or beet molasses for several days, then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to deactivate it. Yeasts from the Saccharomyces genus are considered beneficial yeasts, and are responsible for killing off the bad yeast in your body and helping to balance the health of your gut.
Is Nutritional Yeast Paleo?
Despite the high level of free glutamic acid, we say YES, nutritional yeast is Paleo. If you do a search online, you’ll find conflicting information since it is naturally occurring, but was not domesticated for consumption during the Paleolithic era, so you’ll have to make the choice for yourself. We say: it’s good for you, it’s good for your gut, so go for it.