Magic Powder

nutritional yeast

 I’m a blog addict, I might as well admit it!  I have my two or three favorites, and then I jump to other blogs from their links, or people who leave comments on their blogs.  A running theme among some of the blogs lately has been some magical food, or habit, or rule that will keep us all healthy, cancer-free, skinny, and young.  Green smoothies…vegan diet…raw food diet…organic food…the list goes on.  While I’m open to trying a green smoothy one of these days, I don’t intend to commit to drink one every morning.  I don’t plan to give up meat or animal products.  And I absolutely will not eat a 100% raw diet!  But, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon of health bloggers and share my magical food…nutritional yeast.

Yes, nutritional yeast!  I know it sounds like the grossest thing in the world if you’ve never heard of it before.  It is the same species as yeast you would use for baking, but it is grown a bit differently for flavor, and deactivated by heat-drying.  Apparently people use it as a great source of protein and B-vitamins, especially for vegans who find it difficult to get enough of those particular nutrients.  Apparently people also use it for flavor, like sprinkling it on popcorn or on cereal.

Here is how and why I use it.  From the time I was little, my mom told me that if I stirred a spoonful of nutritional yeast into my juice every morning, the mosquitos wouldn’t bite me so much.  So she would take a fresh, sweet, cold glass of orange juice and ruin it by stirring this ugly yucky powder into it…but it was so worth it!  Over and over throughout my life, it’s been proven that when I don’t consume nutritional yeast, I get bitten more than anyone else, and I’m totally miserable and itchy for a few days.  And when I have been taking nutritional yeast on a regular basis, I don’t even use bug repellant if I’m camping. 

I have two possible theories.  One is, the yucky powder makes my blood taste yucky to the bugs.  That’s what I thought from little on.  Two, and probably more likely, my body is extremely sensitive to the allergen in mosquito bites, which is why it seems like I get bitten more, and why I’m so miserable afterward.  And the nutritional yeast…be it the B-vitamins or whatever…lessens my reaction to the mosquito bites.  This one makes more sense when you also consider that since I began using nutritional yeast again, I haven’t experienced the usual allergies that used to come every April.  I personally think my skin, hair, and nails are healthier because of all the B-vitamins, but that’s a much more subjective observation.

It has begun to warm up outside, and we’ve started playing ultimate frisbee again each week.  So it’s time to start with the nutritional yeast again!  I don’t care to put it on popcorn, or in gravy, or in pesto.  I prefer to stir a spoonful into my juice and get it over with.  So I ventured to Whole Foods tonight and bought my yearly vat of nutritional yeast.  I commit to consume a spoonful nearly every day, for as long as the weather allows me to be outside.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 22:14:18

    Instead of ruining a nice glass of juice, why not just take a spoonful of nutritional yeast, swallow it down like Mary Poppins suggests, and use the juice as a chaser? (I have not tried this method of ingestion; it’s just a suggestion. Let me know how it works.)


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