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There are many interesting stories and legends around the history of the Mayans. They had a remarkable civilization around the 8th and 9th century that mysteriously collapsed. There have been countless theories on the reason for this collapse some scholarly like overhunting, peasant revolt and foreign invasion, other a bit more adventurous or downright crazy like supernatural forces or alien invasion. While we don’t really know what caused their demise, we do know that their rise was directly because of the cultivation of the Mesoamerican crops corn & beans. The Mayans started cultivating these crops around 4000BC eventually going from a nomadic society to an agricultural one around 2500BC and creating their civilization which lasted all the way to around the 900AD.

Corn, especially in its nixtamalized state and beans are nutritional powerhouses in their respective forms providing you with protein, magnesium, phosphorous, B-vitamins and a range of micronutrients. If you soak the beans and use nixtamalized corn in the form of tortillas, corn chips or any other form you significantly reduce the amount of phytic acid and mycotoxins and increase the bioavailability of vit B3 and calcium essentially turning them into a superfood.

It seems that these plants are pre-designed to work together, corn needs a lot of nitrogen to grow and beans which is a legume act as fixers of nitrogen in the soil. Beans are climbers and need a pole for support which corn again provides. The Native Americans taught Americans the nifty trick of cultivating the two crops by planting both seeds in the same hole. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to this day to commemorate this.

In recent years we have become increasingly more aware of our individual environmental impact and what the impact of agriculture has on climate change. Adding more plant-based combos to your diet has great health and environmental benefits. Join the meatless Monday movement and try out this Mesoamerican power-couple, refried beans with Santa Anna’s corn chips or try out a vegan taco by heating a few Santa Anna’s corn tortillas with refried beans, avocado, some pico de gallo and nut cream. By combining this grain and legume you’re creating a plant based complete protein that gives you all the amino acids your body needs and saving the environment one bite at a time. 

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