It was brisk September morning and after months of training, I finally felt ready to run my very first marathon. As I was walking towards the start line I felt a rush of nervous energy and anticipation because I knew I was about to take on the toughest physical challenge of my life.
After weaving my way through the crowd to get close to the start line, I found myself a nice little spot where I could do some stretches and warm up my legs a little.
As I was stretching I glanced over my left shoulder and saw a man arching his back and pointing his chest towards the sky. He was a lot shorter than me and a bit more weathered but we struck up a conversation and amazingly after a few minutes of chatting I found out that I was actually talking to the oldest marathon runner on the planet.
I remember our conversation like it was yesterday.
He was soft spoken and he was brimming with energy. He told me that he just turned 101 years old and that this would be his 10th marathon.
I was in awe.
I was 45 years old and I had just met someone more than double my age who was about to put his body through more pain and more stress than I could possibly imagine.
What was more incredible was that only 3 days prior he had set 5 new world records (for his age) in different running races ranging from the 400 yard dash to the 10,000 meters.
I was truly dumbstruck.
Here I was, a middle aged guy trying desperately to keep fit as a way to cope with stress (and my ever expanding waist line while) and this 101 year old guy was running marathons and had energy to burn.
What’s your secret I asked him?
He looked at me puzzled.
While he slowly raised his hand over his head and bent to the side to stretch his hip, he told me that a long time ago he discovered that eating a certain combination of foods helped give him boundless energy.
I was sceptical.
But I looked again at this 101 year old man who was getting ready to do his 10 marathon, and my disbelief slowly faded.
What? Can you say that again? I asked him.
He told me that years ago he discovered that when he ate a combination of
broccoli, green tea extract and spirulina his energy levels dramatically increased.
He didn’t know why, or how, he just knew that he felt great and that now he never went a day without eating this magic combination of superfoods.
I can still remember his face and how his eyes lit up when he was telling me this.
How could it be possible that a simple combination of foods could give a
101 year old guy enough energy to run a marathon?
I needed more answers so it was time to do some research.
After ploughing through hundreds of websites, research papers and medial journals I found a scientific study that backed up this guy’s extraordinary finding.
Spirulina or blue-green algae is a rich source of nutrients, containing up to 70% high quality protein (all eight amino acids in balanced amounts, as well as high amounts of non-essential amino acids), B complex vitamins, gamma-linolenic acid, carotenoids, iron and numerous other minerals.
Spirulina improves immunity by stimulating antibody production and increasing the number of disease-fighting cells such as natural killer cells. It is also shown to help regulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Research suggests that spirulina may help:
Regulate blood glucose and lipid levels in diabetes
Inhibit the development of cancer
Prevent viral infections and suppress viral load (including herpes, influenza virus and HIV)
Detoxify the liver and kidneys (Khan, et al.)
After a few more stretches and general chit chat we both took off our tracksuits and started the race. My new found 101 year old friend finished the marathon in a respectable 5.5 hours and I hobbled across the line in just over 6.
After the race and the adrenalin died down I found myself thinking about the conversation I had with this guy at the start line.
People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and adrenal fatigue can benefit from eating more broccoli and other cruciferous veggies like cabbage and kale. Broccoli is chock full of vitamin C, which supports your hard-working adrenal glands when they are under stress, as well as natural fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar.
1. Broccoli soothes adrenal stress.
The walnut-sized adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and are responsible for regulating the body’s stress response by producing an array of hormones, including cortisol. Two recent studies revealed that vitamin C supports adrenal health by speeding up recovery following emotional and physical stress. The first study followed marathon runners and found that their cortisol levels dropped back to normal faster if they consumed vitamin C before, during and after a race. A second study, published in Psychopharmacology, found that people taking vitamin C felt more relaxed in high-stress situations, and their cortisol levels returned to normal more quickly. Because the overproduction of cortisol leads to adrenal fatigue, and eventually exhaustion if allowed to continue, it’s helpful to nourish your adrenal glands by eating broccoli.
2. Chromium in broccoli boosts energy.
The trace mineral chromium is used by the body to manufacture glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which helps break down blood sugar. Chromium aids in the metabolism of glucose by improving the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on the surface of every cell, thereby reducing insulin resistance. Steady blood sugar means not only steady energy but also a respite for your adrenal glands from responding to spiking glucose from high-glycemic-index (GI) simple carbohydrates, which also deplete chromium.
3. Fiber fights fatigue.
Broccoli is loaded with dietary fiber, the roughage that makes you feel full and satisfied without gaining weight. Foods that are high in fiber help slow the metabolism of glucose, control blood sugar levels and reduce adrenal damage. High-fiber foods such as broccoli also support weight loss. A reduction in body fat, especially around the midriff, an area that attracts stress weight from high levels of cortisol, helps in lowering insulin resistance and improving blood sugar metabolism.
4. Dark green means great nutrition.
When selecting broccoli, choose stalks with the darkest color, because that means it has the most beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals and boost the immune system. Eat broccoli raw (if your digestion can support it) or lightly cooked, and don’t forget the stems and leaves. The stems are not only sweet and mild-flavored, they’re much higher in fiber than the broccoli florets, and the leaves are the richest source of beta-carotene. Other members of broccoli’s cruciferous family include cabbage, kale, radish, chard, Brussel’s sprouts, bok choy and more.
A recent study tested the effect of regularly taking green tea extract (GTE) and found that over 10 weeks, endurance exercise performance was boosted up to 24%.
The results indicated that GTE and matcha green tea, which contains 10 times the nutritional content of regular brewed green tea, are beneficial for improving endurance capacity and increases muscle lipid oxidation in mice.
A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that matcha green tea produces a significant increase in energy in individuals.
While some of the effects were originally attributed to the caffeine content of green tea, the researchers discovered that matcha’s effect on energy goes beyond those that would be caused by the caffeine.
In fact, they found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.
Of critical importance is the fact that none of the research subjects reported any side effects, and no significant differences in heart rates were noticed.
A research team in New Zealand found that when you combine these 3 magic ingredients something incredible happens.
The researchers found that when specific quantities of these foods are combined… the enzymes in your digestive track start to absorb more of the nutrients from the food you already eat.
And so simple as well.
It’s so obvious that if your body can absorb more of your nutrients from the food you already eat….. of course you will have lots more energy.
So what happens when you improve your body’s nutrient absorption rate?
Your energy levels go up as well. dramatically.
So why does your energy level increase?
Research has shown that the combination of these three ingredients helps the enzymes in your digestive tract absorb more of the nutrients from the food you already eat.
Research shows that increases in your nutrient absorption levels leads to:
- An increase in energy
- Increased physical strength because your body is more alkalised.
- Increased immunity
- Improvement in your mood
While your body does absorb some of the nutrients you eat, it’s only in a limited amount and researchers have been focused on finding ways to increase this nutrient absorption rate.