A Toast To Brewer’s Yeast
Posted by Kate W on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Most people have yeast every day – it’s what gives bread its light and airy quality and its particular tang. What you may not know is that there are different types of yeast; one such kind is brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeast is actually a byproduct of the beer industry. It absorbs vitamins and nutrients from ingredients that are involved in the brewing process, such as hops, grains, and malt. The resulting substance is incredibly nutrient-rich, and as such it is a staple product for sale at health food and natural food stores.
The nutrients contained in brewer’s yeast are myriad. For one, it is an excellent source of B vitamins, which serve various functions in the body. B vitamins are integral to the function of the metabolism as they help cells produce energy from consumed nutrients. Brewer’s yeast contains, in particular, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6 and B9; these vitamins help break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins, all of which provide energy to keep the body going.
Another thing you can find in brewer’s yeast is cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is something you don’t hear much about (probably because it’s quite difficult to pronounce) but it is essential to normal body function. A cyanocobalamin deficiency results in pernicious anemia, a severe blood disorder. People with omnivorous diets don’t need to worry about a deficiency in this nutrient, but it is nearly impossible to find outside of animal products. Brewer’s yeast is one of the few vegan sources of cyanocobalamin, and thus brewer’s yeast is a perfect supplement for them to take in order to ward off anemia.
Finally, brewer’s yeast is also rich in chromium, which is a mineral used to transport sugar across cell membranes. This function can mitigate the effects of diabetes, so some people use it as a treatment or preventive measure. However, chromium lends a bitter taste to brewer’s yeast so some manufacturers strip it out to make it more palatable; if you’re using brewer’s yeast as an aid in diabetes management, make sure the chromium is intact in your source. In addition to helping manage diabetes, brewer’s yeast can lower glucose and cholesterol and stimulate immune function. It has innumerable benefits with very mild side effects. So next time you feed that beer belly by enjoying a cold beer on a hot summer day, consider going one step further and adding some brewer’s yeast to your diet.
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