When you hear the word brewer, you first thought is probably beer. And you wouldn’t be far wrong.
But what is brewer’s yeast? Brewer’s yeast is a tiny organism made from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used in the production of both beer and bread.
Brewer’s yeast is also used as a nutritional supplement which means you can get all the goodness contained in it, without having to overindulge in white bread and beer.
It is thought that brewer’s yeast may enhance energy levels as well as help to support the normal functioning of the immune system thanks to the wide range of essential vitamins and minerals that it contains.
Brewer’s yeast is a source of protein, potassium and zinc as well as a whole host of B vitamins.
There are a number of benefits of taking a brewer’s yeast supplement thanks to its nutritional content.
Brewer’s yeast contains a range of B vitamins including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and B7 (biotin).
These B vitamins help to support the normal functioning of the nervous system which includes the brain, the spinal cord and all of the nerves within the body. Thiamine helps the body to turn food into energy to help with this.
The nervous system is one of the most important systems in the body as it controls movement, balance, sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, thought process and how awake and aware you are. Pretty much everything then!
Thiamine, or vitamin B1 as it’s also known, helps the body to convert carbohydrates into energy. Thiamine contributes to the normal function of the heart.
If you’ve been feeling tired or low in energy, an increase of B vitamins may help to support normal energy levels.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps support the production of the red blood cells in the body that transport oxygen away from the heart and lungs throughout the body to the muscles. This can help contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It is involved in the release of energy from food too.
Despite their similar names, these three types of yeast are quite different and should not be confused.
Nutritional yeast contains niacin, folic acid, zinc, selenium, thiamine and amino acids as well as being fortified with vitamin B12. Brewer’s yeast contains B-complex vitamins and protein.
Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty flavour, whereas brewer’s yeast has a more bitter taste. They can both be stirred into sauces, soups and smoothies and it is down to personal taste as to which flavour is superior.
Probably the biggest different between all three types of yeast is their use. Both brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast can be consumed as they are from the packet, or as a supplement.
Baker’s yeast, or active dry yeast, is to be used for bread making only and should not be consumed raw, as this can cause digestive issues as the organisms continue to grow inside your stomach.
In the same vein, do not try to make bread dough rise using brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast!
Brewer’s yeast is available as a supplement in both tablet and powder form.
Holland & Barrett Natural Brewers Yeast Tablets can be taken three times daily with meals.
Holland & Barrett Brewer’s Yeast Powder is perfect for anyone who finds swallowing tablets difficult. It can be dissolved into milk, fruit juices or soup and can also be sprinkled on top of salads, cottage cheese and yogurt.
It has a flavoursome, slightly bitter taste which means that it makes a great addition to casseroles and stews.
Both of these supplements are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.