Don't get freaked out by the title if you're one of the approximately 100% of Lyme & co fighters who is dealing/has ever dealt with candida overgrowth/systemic candida/candidaisis or any other systemic infection caused by Candida albicans, aka yeast gone wild.
I. Feel. Your. Pain.
Heck, even just a few months ago, I wrote a couple posts praising the strict no-grains, no sugar (not even fruit) anti-candida diet, and I still do think that's a method whereby many people see huge advancements in their healing! But after following that diet with zero cheats for two months, I realized I actually wasn't feeling any different than before I started the ACD, meaning it wasn't working for me enough at that point in time to truly deliver benefits. And that's okay, it's all a learning process.
So for a month and a half now, I've abandoned the super strict ACD and allow myself low GI fruits I'm able to tolerate in moderation, as well as adding back in grains such as brown rice, millet, etc. I'm still following the Lyme diet and my personal guidelines due to food intolerances (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, peanut free, yeast free--with the exception of nutritional yeast, corn free, etc), and I haven't noticed any flares that coincided with the reintroduction of any of these foods, so that just shows me that even though yeast is a huge issue for me (more on that in a later post), fixing it solely through diet wasn't the path for me at this point. We're all different, so if a strict anti-candida diet has worked for you, by all means, please do what your body responds to!
But what does any of this have to do with the title? Well, it's easy to assume that if you've got a systemic yeast problem, you should avoid all types of products with "yeast" in their name. I used to do this very thing, which, sad to say, resulted in me giving an entire bottle of unopened nutritional yeast away for free, because I didn't know there is a distinct difference between nutritional yeast and the yeasts that overpopulate our bodies.
But guess what, guys? They are TOTALLY different.
Yes, I am telling you nutritional yeast is okay to eat when you're fighting a systemic yeast (candida) infection, and I'm also telling you it's super yummy. Like really, super yummy. On a yum scale of 1-yum, it scores infinity yum-factor.
* No, I'm not a medical professional. Yes, you should always consult an actual professional before taking the word of a blogger, regardless of how health conscious and knowledgeable he or she may seem to be.*
I'm going to briefly list the many health benefits of the awesomeness that is nutritional yeast directly below, but following this list are a few points of clarification designed to put to ease any lingering doubts or questions you may have.
Example Product: Bragg's Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
1. Properties of awesomeness
Great taste (cheese-like flavor, great for vegan cheese subs!)
Good source of B vitamins
No Candida albicans!
Did I mention its awesome, cheesy/nutty taste?
2. Nutritional benefits
This nutrition label wins at life. Protein? Fiber? B12? Folic acid? All those other vitamins? Sign me up!
And come on, especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan (like myself) adequate amounts of B12 and protein can be hard to come by--so start using nutritional yeast, and you're on the way to improving those necessary nutrients and minerals! Plus it just tastes so daggone good (much better than B12 and many protein supplements)!
Now, for some basic facts about nutritional yeast--and why it's not only safe, but also an excellent idea to eat--I'm sharing information below from bestnaturalfoods.com because they explain it fairly easily.
"The yellow flakes of nutritional yeast are a pure strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the same family as edible mushrooms, yeast has been used in food and beverage production for more than 5,000 years. Today, the same strain is used to brew beer, make wine, and leaven breads as well as develop the nutritionally-rich food called nutritional yeast."
"Each batch of nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of cane and beet molasses for a period of seven days. B-vitamins are added during the process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow. When harvested, the yeast is washed, pasteurized, and dried on roller drum dryers before it is ready for market. It is then used by food manufacturers in food products, added to boost the nutrient levels in pet foods, and simply packaged for sale in natural foods stores."
"Unlike active baking yeast, nutritional yeast is grown solely for its nutritional value. It should not be confused with brewer’s yeast, a by-product of breweries and distilleries. nutritional yeast is a low-fat, low-sodium, kosher, non-GMO food that contains no added sugars or preservatives. The cane and beet molasses used in the growing process does not make nutritional yeast sweet and is not a source of simple sugars."
So, a quick recap:
1. Nutritional yeast is safe for most people, even those who are struggling with candida, because it is not a strain of candida and is made inactive during the heating period of production. The one exception to consider is that if you have just begun your journey to heal from candida, your body may have the tendency to treat anything that remotely resembles any type of yeast as more of the same bad yeast, so be aware and play this by ear if you're daring enough to try it in those first stages. Of course you should always eat everything in moderation, as well as keep track of any negative reactions you may have to this or other foods. These are often signs your system cannot handle whatever the trigger food was.
2. Nutritional yeast is gluten free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, sugar free, salt free, so can be eaten by a majority of people who follow any of these dietary lifestyles. But goodness gracious, EVERYONE could benefit from nutritional yeast, so don't be stingy--share the yum!
3. Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins, Folic acid, protein, and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals needed in our day to day lives.
4. Just making sure I mentioned how amazingly delicious nutritional yeast is. ;-)
Thanks for reading! Hope those of you here in the US had a good Fourth of July yesterday!