The Rarámuri or Tarahumara are a Native American people of northwestern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running ability. Rarámuri, means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast". Staple crops are corn and beans.
Frugan (fruitarian) runners Tarahumara were described by Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D., a runner for 36 years and vegan for 21 years, who won over 800 age-group first place trophies in runs, triathlons, biathlons, and track and field, and completed the Ironman Triathlon 6 times, run 67 marathons, and holds a number of fitness records, following a diet similar to the Tarahumara:
"...Their only food is tesguino, milled corn mixed with water to a drinkable consistency. This is the mainstay (75%) of Tarahumara diet, with the remaining food being beans and squash. They also take the milled corn as their sole food when traveling, since it is lightweight, doesn't spoil, and is easily prepared by mixing it with water in a half gourd they carry with them. This gives them great stamina and, more importantly, none of them appeared to be protein or calcium deficient with this plant-based diet."
The Tarahumara runners are legendary for their 24-, 36-, even 72-hour long runs. In the Leadville 100-miler in 1991, the Tarahumara took first, second, and fourth places.
Staple crops of the Tarahumara are maize, beans, greens, squash, and tobacco. Chilli, potatoes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes appear in Mexicanized regions. Beans are one of the Tarahumaras’ essential protein-rich foods and are usually served fried after being boiled. Tamales and beans are a common food which the Tarahumara carry with them on travels. Wheat and fruits were introduced by missionaries and are a minor source of nutrition. The fruits grown by the Tarahumara include apples, apricots, figs, and oranges.
Most Tarahumaras also eat meat, but it is less than 5% of their diet.
The Tarahumara traditional diet was examined by Dr. William Connors, clinical dietary research expert. Their traditional diet was found to be linked to their low incidence of diseases. However, the Tarahumaras' health is transitioning in regions where processed goods have began to replace their traditional staples.