[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Wheat germ and brewer’s yeast are foods rich in various vitamins and trace elements. They constitute 100% natural food supplements. Something to help you fight winter fatigue!
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Wheat germ: what is it?
The wheat grain is made up of 3 parts:
- The husk, also known as bran, known and used for its richness in fiber.
- The almond which represents more than 80% of the grain and which is mainly composed of starch.
- The germ which is the part of the wheat grain which contains the embryo of the future plant. It represents 2.5% of the wheat grain.
Wheat germ is particularly rich in vitamins A, E and certain B vitamins (B1, B6 and B9) as well as phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc and selenium. It also contains phytosterols which reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
It is available in stores in the form of dehydrated flakes, flakes or powders to add to your diet or in capsule form.
Please note: if you buy unstabilized wheat germ, no thermal process has been put in place, it will therefore be sensitive to air oxidation and it is better to keep it cool.
If you consume stabilized wheat germ, it has undergone heat treatment to prevent it from going rancid. You can keep it in a dry, cool place for 6 months to 1 year.
And brewer’s yeast?
This is the common name for a group of harmless microscopic fungi naturally present in nature. It is used to ferment beer, hence its name. Its residues are recycled, generally dried for better conservation, and constitute a natural supplement. It comes in the form of powder or flakes to add to food or in the form of capsules. Certain foods can also be enriched with it, such as certain condiments or certain spreads.
It is rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. It is also rich in certain B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9).
It is necessary to differentiate between active, unheated yeast, which retains its probiotic properties, and inactive yeast which has been heated and which is used for industrial preparations of alcoholic beverages. It is therefore preferable to favor active beer yeasts.
Their different benefits
- Composed of live microorganisms, brewer’s yeast in active form acts as a natural probiotic to regulate the digestive flora that is sometimes abused, particularly in winter.
- During periods of physical activity, wheat germ can help you compensate for greater potassium losses.
- Winter, a period of more intense stress, is a period at risk of magnesium deficiency: wheat germ and brewer’s yeast will therefore be good allies.
- Good sources of copper, they help promote the absorption of iron, deficiencies of which are common among women and athletes!
- Wheat germ is a good source of vitamin E, an effective vitamin to fight against cardiovascular diseases but also an anti-oxidant vitamin which fights against the aging of your cells.
- Rich in protein, they can complement a diet at risk of deficiency, particularly in vegetarian and vegan populations.
- Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ are a good source of group B vitamins. These vitamins promote the use of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids present in your diet and also contribute to the health of your skin, hair and nails. . These vitamins are also essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles.
Warning: consumed in too large quantities, brewer’s yeast can cause flatulence and bloating. In addition, brewer’s yeast is not recommended for people suffering from recurrent candida infections.
Wheat germ and brewer’s yeast can be sprinkled on your salads, pasta or other dishes, in your yogurts or soups. It is advisable to take one tablespoon of each per day.
You can buy them individually or find supplements combining the two. You can also find some with enrichment in Selenium, a trace element essential to our health and a natural antioxidant and which certain parts of the population may be at risk of deficiency.
In order to preserve all their benefits, it is advisable not to heat them.
In winter, also rely on vitamin D
Essential for healthy bones and teeth, vitamin D is mainly synthesized in our skin, under the effect of ultraviolet rays from the sun. It can be stored in the liver and in fats so it can be used when the body needs it.
In winter and early spring, when we are more covered, the sun’s UV rays are less powerful and our body stocks become insufficient, it is estimated that 75% of the population is deficient. Vitamin D plays an immune regulator role, its deficiency can weaken our immunity, which is already compromised during the winter period.
Therefore, it is advisable to take a daily dose of 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D drops and to take a blood test in autumn and at the end of winter so that your doctor can prescribe a higher dose if a deficiency persists.
Recent meta-analyses have reported a protective effect of vitamin D supplementation on respiratory tract infections, which are particularly susceptible to infections in winter.
And remember, it is always better to choose healthy, seasonal foods and vary your diet to please yourself rather than resorting, without medical advice, to supplements in the form of medications, an overdose of which can be a risk to your health!