Nutritional yeast is a strange, flake-like substance you’ll often see in recipes (especially vegan and dairy-free ones). It can make a dish have a wonderful cheesy taste and texture. It is inexpensive and easy to use in recipes. However, it also boasts some amazing nutritional stats. It is “nutritional” yeast, after all.

What is nutritional yeast? It is a single-cell organism grown on molasses. Once harvested, it is washed, dried, and then heated up to “deactivate”. It is not active yeast, which can grow in baked goods. This is what makes bread rise. Nutrition yeast, often called “nooch”, is the solution to many vegan problems, including a lack of iron, b12, or protein. Although nutritional yeast may be called “savory yeast flake” in some countries, they are the same thing, and you’ll want to add them to many more dishes after reading this list.

It is high in protein.

You might not think that protein can be so concentrated from so little. Nutrition yeast is a surprising source of protein, with 8g in just two tablespoons. It also has 60 calories.

This will help you increase your daily protein intake. WebMD states adults need 56g per day, while adult women require 46g. Protein is important to maintain your muscles and help you feel fuller for longer periods.

It’s rich in B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy metabolism, and other functions. Vitamin B12 is particularly important for vegans and people deficient in this vitamin. Healthline states that nutritional yeast has 5 mcg vitamin B12 per teaspoon.

You may not need to supplement with vitamin B12 if you eat nutritional yeast often (eating it in salads or pasta is a great option). Make sure you check the label to make sure it is properly fortified. This will allow you to reap the many benefits of B12 from it.

It contains iron

Anemia and iron deficiency are very common, no matter what diet you follow. For many, a diet that doesn’t include meat may also be with lower iron. Many plant-based foods help with this, but there is also nutritional yeast.

You can get approximately 5% of your daily iron intake from one cup of nutritional yeast. It’s not much, but depending on the type of nutritional yeast you use, it can supplement your body’s iron requirements. You can add nutritional yeast to your meals to increase your daily iron intake.

It is high in fiber.

Fiber is often thought of as vegetables, fruits, flax, bran, and beans. It may surprise you to learn that nutritional yeast can also be a good source of fiber. Although it is more seasoning than a food, nutritional yeast can be used in 2 tablespoons to pack about 5 grams of fiber. Healthline says that this is around 20% of your daily intake.

Fiber is important for digestive health. It helps maintain regular bowel movements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy adults consume 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily.

It’s low-carb, with no sugar.

A healthy diet requires limiting your intake of sugar. This is one of the most difficult aspects of eating a healthy diet. The CDC states that your daily intake of added sugars should not exceed 10 percent. Nutrition yeast doesn’t contain any added sugars, so that it won’t have any adverse effects on your blood sugar levels.

People on diets also need to be aware of their carbohydrate intake. WebMD states that nutritional yeast contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Despite all the fiber, nutritional yeast has only 1g net carbs. This is great news for anyone following a low-carb diet or ketogenic diet.

It contains Folic Acid.

Folic acid, another vital form of a B vitamin, is essential for your diet, especially if a woman may become pregnant. Folic acid is a preventive for unborn babies with serious congenital disabilities like spina bifida. Folic acid is highly recommended during your reproductive years.

According to the CDC, women should consume at least 400 micrograms daily of folic acid. A tablespoon of nutritional yeast will provide 40% of your daily requirements for folic acid. Make sure you tell your doctor that nutritional yeast is being used to supplement your daily folic acid requirements.

It can improve digestion.

Your digestive system can be helped by nutritional yeast. Nutrition yeast contains probiotics, which can help with diarrhea. It’s easy to add nutritional yeast flakes to your meals or shake them in.

Medicine Net warns that too much nutritional yeast could cause digestive problems. Too much of a good thing could lead to a negative outcome. To avoid an upset stomach, start with a smaller amount of yeast. Gradually increase the amount over time.

It’s Anti-Viral

One of the most effective anti-viral foods in the world is nutritional yeast. Studies on pigs have been proven to have significant effects even on salmonella and e.coli. Ironically, many people use nutritional yeast as part of their daily diet to combat yeast infections.

Medical News Today reports that there has been researching that nutritional yeast can support the immune system and reduce inflammation from bacterial infections. It may also help with diarrhea. Although more research is needed to understand the effects on humans, our information so far is encouraging.

It promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.

You may be surprised at the benefits of nutritional yeast in your diet. Nutrition yeast contains a healthy amount of B-vitamins. This could lead to healthier hair, skin and nails. Nutritional yeast contains a substance called Niacin, which has been proven effective in treating chronic acne and other skin conditions.

If you have stubborn skin problems, nutritional yeast could help. Nutrition yeast may help with hair loss and brittle nails. Include nutritional yeast in your daily diet and keep an eye out for any improvements.

It’s Gluten-Free

We often think of yeast and loaves of bread and other products made with yeast. However, the yeast is gluten-free! This is great news for people with food allergies or sensitivities, such as excess weight.

Nutritional yeast is also a great option for your iron, protein, and B12 requirements! B12 can aid in the metabolism’s breakdown of carbs and convert it to energy. The protein component can make you feel fuller and keep you from overeating.

It’s cheesy but dairy-free

The biggest and best bonus of nutritional yeast is arguable that it mimics the taste of Cheese but is completely dairy-free, vegan, and non-GMO. It’s possible to enjoy the delicious benefits of Cheese without having to eat too many calories or fats. It can also be described as having a pleasant, nutty flavor. This is a bonus if you like Cheese.

It doesn’t matter if you have an allergy or a lifestyle choice. Still, it is difficult to avoid dairy. Cheese is one of the most addictive foods you can give up. You will be amazed at the many ways nutritional yeast can replace cheesy flavors in recipes while keeping dairy-free.