Brewer's yeast is named as such for one very simple reason -- it's used to make beer. However, this yeast, produced from a single-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been found to have some awesome nutritional and health benefits.
Does this mean beer's now good for you? Sorry to disappoint, but you should still consider adding brewer's yeast to your daily routine. Here are the 10 best benefits of and uses for brewer's yeast:
1. General Nutrition -- Brewer's yeast is an easy way to add a nutritive boost to your meals or snacks. This yeast is rich in protein, amino acids, fiber, B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. These essential nutrients have lots of amazing health benefits that we'll get to in a minute.
2. Digestive Aid -- The nutrients found within brewer's yeast strengthen and support proper breakdown and digestion of food. This yeast also contains some "good bacteria," or probiotics, which also support healthy digestion. Lastly, brewer's yeast is known to activate certain enzymes to prevent or relieve digestive issues like diarrhea.
3. Menstrual Relief -- Women who add brewer's yeast to their healthy diet can help reduce the severity or occurrence of their symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which often include cramping, bloating and food cravings/changes in appetite.
4. Skin Conditions -- The B vitamins and trace minerals found in brewer's yeast can help correct any nutritional imbalances that could lead to acne breakouts, helping to reduce the inflammation and clear the skin. These same nutrients may also improve the symptoms of other skin conditions, such as eczema.
5. Immune System Support -- Brewer's yeast contains a very important trace mineral, selenium, that acts as a powerful antioxidant within the body, fighting off the potential damage of free radicals. This yeast is also said to strengthen the gut's mucus membrane to keep out infection.
6. Energy Booster -- This is one of Dr. Mehmet Oz's favorite reasons to try brewer's yeast. He's discussed this supplement on "The Dr. Oz Show" multiple times, but his most popular recommendation is to sprinkle some brewer's yeast onto freshly popped popcorn. It will add a cheesy, nutty flavor and the B-complex vitamins and protein will give you a pick-me-up.
7. Blood Sugar Regulation -- The chromium found within brewer's yeast is known to maintain the ideal amount of blood glucose. Chromium can help lower glucose levels in the blood while boosting glucose tolerance and therefore lowering the amount of insulin a diabetic needs.
8. Respiratory Wellness -- By strengthening the immune system, brewer's yeast can help you fight off the common cold or flu and maintain healthy respiration, especially during the cold and allergy season.
9. Heart Health -- Adding brewer's yeast to your diet may help you lower your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol into the desired range, as part of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Brewer's yeast is rich in a type of fiber known as beta glucans, which inhibit cholesterol absorption, lowering LDL and raising HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Cholesterol management helps reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
10. Weight Management -- The protein and fiber in brewer's yeast can be a great source of healthy fuel for a workout and help you feel satiated. The chromium also keeps blood sugar levels stable, preventing the spikes and crashes that can lead to overeating.
Brewer's yeast is most commonly available as a powder or in flake form and is usually yellow in color. Top prepared foods with the yeast as desired and enjoy! As always, speak with your physician before adding brewer's yeast to your routine for the purpose of managing any of the health issues mentioned above.
About The AuthorDr. Matt Marturano, ND is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently is a member of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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