(Family Features) - The New Year is here and making smart food choices is on everyone's mind. Two food trends we will hear more about in 2010 are plant-based proteins and eco-friendly foods. Soybeans are a great example of both, and many nutrition experts say soybeans are an important part of a healthy diet and a "must have" for 2010.
"Soyfoods are a nutrient-rich addition to anyone's diet. All soy comes from soybeans, which are an all-natural, plant-based protein source with a long history of providing nutrition to people all over the world," said Registered Dietitian Allegra Burton.
Soybeans are a nutrient-dense food delivering high-quality protein, carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats and a number of vitamins and minerals important to good health, such as folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. Plus, foods made from whole soy are especially nutritious because whole soy is minimally processed and keeps all of the naturally occurring nutrients from the bean intact.
Compared to other beans, soybeans are highest in protein and iron, both of which are essential for human health. Additionally, soybeans contain isoflavones, which are plant-based compounds with antioxidant properties.
What most people do not know is that soybeans provide one of the most energy-efficient sources of complete protein on the planet, which makes soy a great eco-friendly food choice. Choosing more earth-friendly, plant-based foods, such as soyfoods, can reduce your carbon footprint while enhancing the quality of your diet.
Soyfoods are easy to fit into a healthy lifestyle with recipes like this Barley and Edamame Salad and delicious Spiced Soy Hot Chocolate. You can also enjoy whole soy on the go with foods such as SOYJOY®, which is all natural and made with real fruit and whole soybeans. The whole soy used to make SOYJOY is non-genetically modified and grown in the United States. Learn more about the benefits of whole soy at SOYJOY.com