Classified as a fungus, yeast is a single celled microorganism that reproduces very rapidly. It converts sugar into energy, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast cultures are used, of course, for raising dough for breads and for making beer and wine. It is brewer's or nutritional, yeast that is used as a nutritional supplement, unlike live yeast, it doesn't contain any vitamin depleting live cells. Brewer's yeast supplies high levels of protein and minerals and almost all of the B-complex vitamins, making yeast ideal for treating deficiencies of the B vitamins. Because it aids in sugar metabolism, taking brewer's yeast makes sense for diabetics. Skin conditions such as eczema are improved with the nutrient rich yeast; and since it strengthens resistance and boosts metabolism, it supports treatments and speeds convalescence. Available in several different forms, yeast is low in fat and cholesterol free.
Healthful bread spread
Yeast extract, stocked by most health food stores, makes a nutritious spread for bread or crackers if you're on a weight loss diet or trying to correct a vitamin deficiency. The extract was first developed in the 19th century by Louis Pasteur and Justus von Liebig.
The high levels of B vitamins in brewer's yeast are largely responsible for a number of its important effects. As a result, yeast aids in red blood cell formation, nutrient absorption, metabolism, tissue maintenance and cell growth. Because B vitamins are vital to antibody and adrenaline formation, yeast strengthens immunity. It also improves concentration. Finally, yeast has detoxifying and stimulating effects on the digestive tract; it breaks down readily, so all of its valuable components are available for use.
Yeast is a vitamin powerhouse. Only 3 ½ ounces of yeast flakes contain 20 times the recommended daily allowance for vitamin B1, three times the daily allowance for vitamin B2 and twice the daily allowance for B6. moreover, yeast contains 16 amino acids, some of which are essential for protein synthesis as well as biotin, folic acid, nucleic acid and numerous minerals, including zinc, phosphorus, chromium and selenium.
Taking brewer's yeast
Taking brewer's yeast even in low dosages offsets nutritional deficiencies and supports good health. You can take tablets, take the liquid straight; cook with the flakes or powder; or mix the powder or liquid with water or juice (try blending powdered yeast with low fat milk, whole strawberries and/or bananas). Take the supplement at mealtimes according to your needs. All forms are very digestible and available at health food stores.
Extra tip : Take a brewer's yeast supplement if your skin is chronically scaly or the corners of your mouth are frequently cracked. These skin conditions usually indicate a deficiency in B vitamins.
Proven effective for treating vitamin B deficiencies and skin irritations and for supporting digestive metabolic, immune and nervous functioning during illness and health.
Methods of administration
Granola for vitamin B deficiency (Makes 1 serving)
- 1 small apple
- 1 oz. whole wheat flakes
- 1 tbsp. honey sweetened yeast flakes
- ½ cup low fat milk or ½ cup kefir (low fat, liquid yogurt)
Wash, quarter and core the apple; grate or finely chop. Mix it with the whole wheat and yeast flakes. Pour on the milk or kefir.
Rebalancing intestinal flora
After a bout with diarrhea, taking brewer's yeast will help healthy intestinal flora to regain their balance. Yeast also helps detoxify the digestive tract.
Caution : brewer's yeast contains considerable quantities of purines, which are related to uric acid and phosphorus. Anyone with gout has too much uric acid already and therefore should avoid yeast.. if you have or are at risk for osteoporosis you should also avoid yeast because phosphorus inhibits calcium absorption.
Boosting the nervous system
Brewer's yeast can make a positive difference during periods of intense mental or physical stress. The B vitamins also improve concentration. They also help rebuild immunity. Drink 1 tbsp. of liquid yeast mixed into 1 glass of fruit juice once a day for 2-3 months, half an hour before breakfast.