Looking for the perfect alternative to “vending machine” snacks? This April, celebrate National Soy Foods Month and discover the popular substitute to today’s traditional grab-and-go bites. Soy foods are loaded with healthy nutrients and protein. They also have lower cholesterol and saturated fat levels than animal foods. The result? A multitude of healthy snack options for you and your family.
National Soy Foods Month - History
Red, white, and beans?
Nearly one-third of the world’s soybean supply comes from America.
Soy comes to the West
An American colonist in Georgia planted the first soybean seed from China.
Soybeans appear in Japanese literature
The earliest Japanese textual reference to the soybean is in the classic Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters).
Soybeans are discovered
Soybeans were a crucial crop in East Asia long before written records began. There is evidence for soybean domestication around 7000 BC in China, 5000 BC in Japan, and 1000 BC in Korea.
National Soy Foods Month Activities
1. Have a soy drink
Got soy? Milk derived from soy is high in protein, calcium, essential nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Have a “different” burger
Move away from red meat and reach out for a veggie burger. Soy is a common ingredient used in meatless burgers, offering a delicious alternative with lower saturated fat and cholesterol.
3. Pack a post-workout snack
Soy protein bars are not only an easy and delicious snack, they're packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals — perfect for post-workout recovery.
5 Things No One Ever Told You About Soybeans
1. Soybeans are sacred
According to the ancient Chinese myth, the legendary Emperor Shennong of China proclaimed that five plants were sacred: soybeans, rice, wheat, barley, and millet.
2. They're the second largest US agricultural export
Corn is number one.
3. Beans are everywhere
The global production of soybeans has reached 337 million tons.
4. Beans are made in America
Once the US secured tariff-free access for its soybeans to the European market, its share of worldwide exports jumped to over 90%.
5. Soybeans go full circle
Even though China discovered soybeans, the nation remains the world's top importer.
Why We Love National Soy Foods Month
A. Soy foods are extremely healthy
They can lower cholesterol, ease symptoms of menopause, and improve bone health.
B. Soy foods are loaded with nutrients
Ounce for ounce, there's no other single food that supplies as much nutritional value as the soybean, which acts as a source of protein, unsaturated fats, fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
C. Soy foods are mood-friendly
Soybeans have the lowest glycemic index of any food — leading to more stable blood sugar. That means fewer mood swings.