Why we avoid it:
Marmite, a Brit favourite, is famous for its slogan “Love It, Or Hate It.” It’s a sticky, gloopy, salty spread made from yeast extract. It tastes like stale, acrid sardines. Vegemite, a similar yeast extract preparation, is a favourite in Australia. The two brands look and taste different, but they’re both pretty funky. It’s definitely an acquired taste.
Why we should eat it:
Marmite and Vegemite have countless devoted fans who would pour it in their coffee if they could. The jars boast the claim “rich in B vitamins” on their labels, and they’re not wrong. There’s so many B vitamins in Marmite that the Danish government banned its sale over fears that Danes might exceed their recommended levels. Marmite provides a hefty dose of niacin (vitamin B3), which has the ability to make new immune cells and increases our immune system’s ability to kill different strains of infectious bacteria by a factor of 1,000. It’s also rich in vitamin B12 and folate, which can improve both short-term and long-term memory and is essential for preventing neural tube defects in developing fetuses. These B vitamins are all involved in energy metabolism and are essential in maintaining a healthy nervous system, supporting good digestive muscle tone and keeping your eyes, mouth, liver, skin and hair in perfect condition. As early as the 1930s, the folic acid and iron in Marmite was found to be useful in the treatment of anaemia.
But is it possible to have too much of a good thing, though, as the Danes believe? With water-soluble vitamins, our bodies are able to simply flush out what they don’t need. It is possible to overdose on vitamins B if we take supplements, but to overdose on Marmite? Have you tasted the stuff??