Camp Internet's Explore the Ancient Southwest!
Exploring the Ancient Southwest
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.