Super-Endurance Superfoods You Have Never Heard Of
How did a depressed man in his 40’s, who was 50 pounds overweight use superfoods for endurance athletes to go from lazy non-athlete to one of the top endurance athletes in the world?
According to this ultra-endurance athlete, Rich Roll, his secret is super-endurancesuperfoods that you may never have heard of. The full health benefits of these superfoods have allowed him to maximize his physical potential and accomplish incredible feats.
And somehow, Rich is getting stronger and faster every year, despite being in his mid-40’s!
Check out the 10 superfoods for ultra-endurance below:
While doing research forThe 4-Hour Bodyback in 2009, I resorted to Twitter in search of elite athletes who performed well on a vegan diet. I was repeatedly referred toRich Roll, whom Men’s Fitness Magazine dubbed one of the “25 Fittest Men in the World.”
Among his accomplishments:
– Two top finishes at the double Ironman-distance Ultraman World Championships
– Completing 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 separate Hawaiian Islands in less than a week, a feat no one had ever even attempted.
Here’s the kicker: he did both in his mid-40’s.
But most remarkable of all, just a few short years before exploding onto the scene, Rich was a middle-aged couch potato, depressed and 50 pounds overweight. His 40th birthday present to himself was attempting to reverse course. He overhauled his diet (now 100% plant-based), usedThe 4-Hour Workweekas a primer to reconfigure his life, and made fitness his Mount Everest.
This original content covers the top 10 obscure superfoods Rich used to cultivate this elite performance. Even I hadn’t heard of a few…
I abused my body throughout my 20’s and 30’s with a revolving door of junk food, drugs, alcohol and pretty much anything I could find to numb my discontentment. Overhauling my diet played acrucialrole in my mid-life transformation. In the most general sense, fruits and vegetables repaired my body wholesale, but there’s more to the story.
It’s important to realize that I’m not a professional athlete. Over the last 2 years, I have balanced a life of 20-30-hour training weeks and crazy endurance events with my career as an entertainment lawyer, my family life (married 10 years, father of four), andwriting a book. Developing an acuity for sleep deprivation is a big part of my personal success equation.
Nonetheless, I can’t recall the last time I got sick, missed a workout, family obligation or professional deadline because I was too tired. And despite my advancing age, I continue to improve as an athlete – getting leaner, stronger, and faster with each successive year.
How is this possible? Superfoods.
Admittedly, the term is subject to cavalier overuse. And the health benefits are frequently overblown. I get it.
But there are “superfoods” you see in tabloid ads, and then there aresuperfoods. I am absolutely convinced that my steady intake of many of the below uncommon (and other more mainstream) superfoods has played a major role in helping me break the glass ceiling on my physical potential.
We’ve all heard of acai, goji berries and chia seeds. But I’d be willing to bet most of you are unfamiliar with more than a few of these more obscure superfoods:
Heart Health.A popular fermented soybean food prominent in the Japanese diet, natto is a must for anyone concerned about heart or circulatory disease. High in pyrazine and the enzyme nattokinase, blood thinners that can prevent thrombosis (blot clot formations) by essentially devouring arterial plaque, natto significantly reduces the risk of suffering a pulmonary embolism (arterial blockage) that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Also high in vitamin K, it’s excellent in maintaining bone density.
2. Cordyceps (Sinensis) Extracts:
Stamina.Well-known for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic dried fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae native to high-altitude regions of China, Nepal and Tibet. Gross, right? But awesome when it comes to health and athletic performance. Pharmacologically anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipid (cholesterol lowering), studies indicate enhanced immune system functionality as well as improved stamina in endurance athletes via increased aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization as well as stabilized blood sugar metabolism. Chinese Olympic Track & Field athletes have been swearing by it for decades, and I can attest to their effectiveness. Another plus? Increased sex drive and functionality.
Anti-Oxidant / Anti-Inflammatory.A plant native to South India and Indonesia, if you like curry or mustard, you’re already familiar with this yellow food. What you might not know is that turmeric — due in large part to curcumin, tumeric’s primary active ingredient — is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories on the planet.
The majority of foods we eat, including low fat diets, promote arterial inflammation, which is a leading (and often underrated) cause of heart disease. In the fitness context, exercise-induced physiological stress causes inflammation, which impedes muscular repair. In a general sense, the more quickly the inflammation subsides, the more quickly one recovers from training. Foods like turmeric reduce inflammation, thus expediting recovery (and circulatory health). Extrapolated over time, an athlete on a nutritional regimen high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric (buttressed by a predominantly alkaline-forming diet) will in turn be able to train harder, more effectively and more efficiently in a given time period while simultaneously taking out an insurance policy against the primary culprits that foil even the most conscientious athletes — undue fatigue, overtraining and illness.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that there is some evidence to suggest that people who eat diets rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast, prostate, lung, colon and skin cancers.
Curcumin can be taken in capsule form, but it is not the most bio-available substance in extract form. Personally, I prefer to drink turmeric in a tea – 1/2 spoonful dissolved in hot water does the trick.
4. Apricot Seeds & Sprouted Mung Beans:
Cancer Cell Inhibition.Both of these foods share one thing in common: high levels of laetrile (vitamin B17), which has been found effective in arresting tumor growth. But how does it kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells? Without getting too technical, there is some evidence to support that when laetrile comes into contact with an enzyme called beta-glucosidase (which is only found in cancer cells), the laetrile is broken down, releasing “manufactured” hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which attacks the cancerous cell. Normal cells remain unaffected because of the mitochondrial enzyme rhodanase, which detoxifies the cyanide component. Cancer cells lack this enzyme.
I’m not saying laetrile is a magical cure for cancer. But it might be a cheap preventive measure.