Marmite Nutrition Facts

Marmite

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Marmite is a dark brown, yeasty spread that is popular in the United Kingdom. But few Americans know what it is or how to use it. If you're looking for a low-calorie spread for toast or crackers, you might want to give it a try. Marmite helps boost your intake of important vitamins and minerals and provides other health benefits.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 teaspoon (5g) of Marmite.

  • Calories: 8
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 166mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.8g
  • Fiber: <1g
  • Sugars:  <1g
  • Protein: 1g

You're not likely to use a lot of Marmite if you spread it on toast or on a cracker. So Marmite calories may not make a big difference in the nutritional value of your meal. But you will gain certain key micronutrients.

A single serving of Marmite provides just eight calories, one grams of protein, less than a gram of carbohydrate (mostly sugar), and zero fat.  But that single teaspoon serving provides about 25% of the recommended daily intake for riboflavin, 50% of your recommended daily intake of thiamin, and about 25% of your recommended daily intake of niacin.  You'll also benefit from a healthy dose of folate (20% of your recommended intake), vitamin B12 (25%), and iron (15%).

Keep in mind that Marmite is just one brand of yeast extract. There are other brands on the market and the nutritional facts for those brands may vary slightly.

For example, Vegemite is another popular yeast spread and the nutrition facts are similar, but not identical. The makers of Vegemite promote that their product is high in B vitamins and provides riboflavin, folate, and niacin.

Some consumers mix Marmite with butter or other foods to dilute the taste.

If you blend the spread with a tablespoon of butter, then Marmite nutrition changes. You'll need to add 100 calories and about 11 grams of saturated fat to your meal total.  If you eat Marmite with cheese, you'll need to add about 113 calories and approximately 10 grams of fat for every one-ounce chunk of cheese that you consume.

Even though the flavor of marmite is often described as intense and off-putting, the sticky spread remains popular because of its nutritional benefits. In an interview with the BBC, nutritionist Melanie Brown said "Marmite plays such a useful part in many people's diet, and it's incredibly useful for older people who are short in vitamin B-12. It's full of folic acid, and there's lots of evidence that many women, young women of child-bearing age are deficient in folic acid."

People who are watching their salt intake might want to avoid Marmite as it is high in sodium. Marmite is kosher and both vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Marmite is not gluten-free.

Ingredients

Marmite is a spread made from yeast extract and a propriety blend of seasonings. The spread was invented in the early 1900s by Justus Liebig and the original recipe included just salt, spices, and celery.

Now, the ingredients listed on the Marmite label include yeast, sugar, salt, mineral salt (potassium chloride), caramel color, corn maltodextrin, minerals (iron), vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12), herbs and spices. There is also an Australian variation of Marmite that includes caramel and sugar.

Health Benefits

The yeast used to make Marmite is a yeast is a by-product of the brewing industry, also called brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast is sometimes used in alternative medicine to promote digestive health. It is also believed to help in the treatment of a number of health conditions, including colds, flu, diarrhea, and diabetes, but scientific evidence to support these benefits is lacking.

The vitamins and minerals in Marmite help boost health in a number of ways. For example, thiamin is essential for a healthy metabolism. It also helps your heart, nerves, and muscles function properly. Riboflavin and niacin help your body turn carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B-12 helps to keep your nerve and blood cells healthy and is important for the synthesis of DNA. Those who follow a vegan diet are at higher risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency. But a single serving of Marmite provides 25% of the recommended daily intake.

There was some concern in Denmark where Marmite was removed from the market for a short time because the government does not allow foods that are fortified until they can be tested for safety. However, it became available again shortly after the produce passed a risk assessment test.

Marmite Taste

Marmite taste is a matter of controversy. Some Brits love it and some hate it. One British writer described it as "yeasty, salty, soy sauce-esque flavor with the consistency of old engine oil." Most eaters describe the flavor as unique. Some of Marmite's hardcore fans advise that newbies avoid smelling the spread before eating it for the first time. 

People often compare the taste of Marmite to the taste of Vegemite, which is made in Australia. Vegemite is also brownish in color and is often eaten after spreading on bread or toast. But connoisseurs will tell you that the two spreads are very different.

Marmite Uses and Recipes

Many people simply spread Marmite on bread, toast or crackers to add a zesty flavor. The company that makes Marmite also makes Marmite flavored crisps because the combination is popular. There is even Marmite flavored chocolate available in some regions.

If you're ready to try this unique food, you can use it as a dip for vegetables like carrots or celery. You can also use it instead of mustard or mayonnaise on your sandwich. Some people even drizzle Marmite on spaghetti instead of spaghetti sauce.

But if you want to explore other uses for Marmite, you'll find hundreds of recipes online.

  • For example, you can make Gourmet Marmite Pizza with cheese, Marmite, olive oil and your favorite toppings such as sliced onions, mushrooms, feta or artichoke hearts. 
  • Need a quick snack? Make Marmite deviled eggs by combining just a small amount of the spread with hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, and chives.
  • For a hearty meal, make Marmite lentil soup by adding it to a pot with potatoes, celery, lentils, mushrooms, herbs, lentils, and chicken stock.
  • And if you like to bake, add it to your favorite bread recipe. Some bakers even add yogurt, chives, and poppy seeds for additional flavor.

Marmite is found in almost any grocery store in the United Kingdom. In the United States. Marmite is available online through retailers like Amazon or in some grocery stores such as Walmart.

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