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Exploring the Ancient Southwest



Beans



The introduction of beans from Central America changed the southwest diet.

Beans increased the nutritional value of the cultivated diet, providing a whole protein by combining a grain (corn), a vegetable (squash), and a protein-rich legume (bean).

The lysine in beans was a missing ingredient in the previous corn and squash diets, and now made a full protein available form plant sources, not just meat. Even today this combination of plants is held sacred in the Southwest as a life giving partnership.