Candida and Nutritional Yeast

Candida and nutritional yeast – is it ok to eat?

Virtually all Candida diets don’t allow yeasty foods like bread or beer, but what about nutritional yeast – is that also off the menu?  

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is very high in B vitamins, trace minerals and amino acids, making it a very valuable food supplement.
You might have heard of Brewer’s yeast (made from beer), whereas others are made from molasses.

Candida yeast has nothing in common with nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is non-viable, it’s basically dead. So technically it doesn’t do anything that you could be allergic to.

Candida yeast on the other hand is a living organism just like the yeast used in baking. It is able to live on in the human body, fermenting sugars and multiplying.

You can still be allergic to nutritional yeast

You can still be allergic to it though in the same way as you might be allergic to nuts or shellfish.

Candida sufferers tend to be allergic to all living yeasts as well as dead yeasts. Simply because the immune system has become over-reactive from years of having to filter out Candida by products out of your blood stream.

Why it’s not allowed on the Candida diet

Nutritional yeast contains proteins that are not easy to digest, which can lead to fermentation in the gut, and since a person with Candida often have weak digestion, they have trouble digesting yeasty foods like beer and bread, and even soy sauce or apple cider vinegar for some people.

Especially if other environmental stressors are at play like living in a mouldy house, being chronically stressed or eating non organic food high in chemicals and toxins. All these circumstances weaken the immune system and contribute to the proliferation of yeasts that are already present in your gut.

What about the yeast in Multi Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

There is only one kind that is known to agree with people with Candida and that is called ‘autolyzed’ yeast. Check the label if yours contains that or regular yeast/ nutritional yeast.

When can you eat Nutritional Yeast again?

Nutritional yeast is a popular food for Vegetarians and Vegans. Combined with ground cashews, salt and garlic it makes a tasty Parmesan like cheese substitute. Although it would be a shame not to be able to eat it for a while I would wait until your immune system is strong, you have rebuilt your intestinal flora and you have a healthy strong digestion.

Until then, I’d be careful and avoid nutritional yeast as well as other types of yeasts for now.

Sandra’s experience with Nutritional Yeast

In the beginning of the diet I strongly reacted to all kinds of yeasts and mushrooms so I avoided even nutritional yeast for the entire duration of the Candida diet. The first thing I reintroduced was bread, then mushrooms, and once I felt that my immune system was strong and I didn’t get flu or Candida symptoms any more I started adding nutritional yeast to my foods without any repercussions. With beer on the other hand I am careful to this day. I reacted badly to it about a year ago and have given it up ever since.

Thankfully there are other forms of alcohol to indulge in like a fine dry white wine. Not that I would encourage you to drink alcohol as that obviously also feeds Candida ?


  • Kim

    Reply Reply June 11, 2016

    It is sad to give up nutritional yeast. It makes the best popcorn topping: sea salt, nutritional yeast and coconut butter. Yum Yum.

    Just want to clarify, if I was having a weak moment, which is the best alcohol to consume? You mentioned dry white wine, but it is still fermented. What about alcohols that are distilled? Where do those fit on the scale of better or worse?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    • Sandra

      Reply Reply June 14, 2016

      Great suggestion Kim ? I had never considered eating a savoury Popcorn topping, but now that you mention it, I can see this working.

      Not sure if you have seen one of the earlier blog articles I wrote what alcohol best to have on the Candida diet?
      Here it is

      In answer to your question, distilled alcohol would be better than dry white wine, but there is still a minimal amount of sugar that gets converted from the alcohol. The main issue with alcohol though in my opinion is that it has a negative effect on your immune system and while that is busy with repair work the already existing yeast imbalance in your body can get a bigger foothold. That is not to say you couldn’t enjoy the odd drink here or there, when you are feeling on top of things. But chances are the drink will throw you back a little bit in terms of getting the Candida overgrowth under control, that’s all. That has been my experience 98% of the time.

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