We love our Vegemite
Updated: Jun 15
There are many reasons why millions of jars of Vegemite spread are sold every year. There is no other concentrated spread out there so full of Vitamin B, and so intrinsically linked with Australia’s past and future as the Vegemite brand is. Pairing it with cheese and avocado, or within rice congee, porridge, curry or miso soup are only some of ideas from our Allied Health team. The degree of thickness of Vegemite did create some interesting conversations. But spread very thick or extremely thin, we concluded, it’s a spread we love!
This Aussie icon has been sold on Peter Alexander pyjamas, added to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, enjoyed in vegemite cheese scrolls, vegemite lamingtons, and vegemite chips. There are not too many products or brands that have been embraced in the same style, or with the same amount of devotion. It is loved by children, teenagers and adults and is a common item in Australian luggage for a trip overseas. And yes, there are some health benefits too! Let’s look at some of the potential health benefits and the unique ways our team love our vegemite.
Potential health benefits of Vegemite
The base of this thick, dark-coloured food spread is made from the leftover yeast extract from beer production. There are no artificial colours or flavours; only salt, vegetable extract, malt extract from barley and B vitamins such as Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Folate. Because of its high levels of B vitamins, researchers have found many potential health benefits of Vegemite.
Vegemite is rich in Folate, which can help prevent birth defects in babies; Riboflavin, which may help reduce the frequency of migraines; Niacin, which can help reduce “bad” cholesterol, improving heart health and Thiamine which plays an important role in the growth and function of the cells in the body.
However, Vegemite is high in salt, with one teaspoon containing 5% of your daily recommended value. Too much salt can have negative health impacts such as high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. The good news is Kraft have released a lower salt Vegemite for those that are concerned about the level of salt in Vegemite.
Read more about your health and salt here.
Vegemite vs. Marmite
The difference between the two spreads is in both appearance and taste. Considering the two have a common main ingredient, you may think that Australian Vegemite and British Marmite are the same. But the two yeast-based spreads are very different from each other. The creator of Vegemite blended the yeast with salt, onion, and celery extracts, giving it that “vegetable” characteristic.
Vegemite is an acquired taste and one that is definitely hard to explain. It can best be described as having a salty taste with a subtle bitterness. Per serve, vegemite has more protein, however both products have similar amounts of salt, and fibre. And are both rich in B vitamins. Marmite is also a source of iron, with 5g providing 15% of the recommended dietary intake.
We’re healthy little Vegemite’s at OSCAR Care Group
Here are some of the different ways our team at OSCAR Care Group enjoy their Vegemite….
My all-time favourite is vegemite soldiers dipped in runny egg in a cup! - Natascha Rae, QLD
My favourite way to eat vegemite will be in a Cheesymite from the bakery. It is Yum! - Hilda Albeayni, VIC
My favourite way to eat vegemite is on crumpets! A little bit of margarine and a thin layer of vegemite on top is delicious. - Hannah Errington, SA
I couldn't agree more with Hannah, thin layer on a hot crumpet with melting margarine is absolutely yum! - Jana Joy, VIC
As for vegemite, I do enjoy it the usual way. But I also enjoy vegemite with butter / margarine on dry Weetbix! - Sarah Chater, NSW
When I moved to Australia, I tried vegemite once with toast and butter as my friend introduced it to me. I found the taste very unusual and similar to umami flavour. I was unsure whether I liked it or not at the time but definitely was happy to taste something new. I would definitely like to try Vegemite lamingtons and hopefully find a new flavour that I like. - Ashma Burathoki, QLD
I love a thick piece of crusty bread smothered in nuttelex, vegemite and avocado! – Emma Chittick, VIC
I usually have vegemite and avocado toast, but crazy enough I like to mix some melted butter and Vegemite together and drizzle it over popcorn for a savory snack. - Farah Chmaisse, NSW
My favourite way to have Vegemite is actually in rice congee porridge! The umami flavour goes so well with a nice hot bowl of warm rice porridge. - Melanie Hudono, NSW
I like it thinly spread on toast with lots of cheese so I can slightly taste the vegemite, but so it is not to overpowering. Plus I just really like cheese. - Kiarra Martindale, VIC
I usually spread a thin layer of butter and vegemite on bread and topped with a melted cheese. I often use vegemite as an alternative for soup stock. I add a teaspoon of vegemite into my miso soup or curry. - Moe Tsubokura, SA
I love a vegemite cheese scroll, particularly from Bakers Delight. - Veronica Roman, VIC
My favourite way to eat Vegemite is on fresh sour dough cut thick, lots of butter with a smidge of Vegemite – Delish! – Nicole Buettel, VIC
It might sound unusual, but I love using vegemite as a secret ingredient in my burger patty mix. Don’t knock it until you try it! – Natalie Ceravolo, VIC
How do you love your Vegemite?
So, if you are a healthy little Vegemite and Vegemite puts a rose in your cheek, make the most of its vitamin B health benefits! At OSCAR Care Group, we are here to help you navigate your health and wellbeing, so feel free to reach out to one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians! We’re here to help you directly through private practice one-on-one in person or telehealth through our clinic, or childcare menus or within Aged Care homes around Australia!