Many athletes, from soccer stars, to tennis pros, and even world-renowned ballet dancers, are committing to and reveling in a vegan diet. Athletes fueled by a plant-based diet are experiencing what can only be described as, a unique and momentous feeling. Countless athletes of all levels and professions are discovering the benefits of a vegan diet. Jermain Defoe, a professional English premier soccer player, has seen his performance soar and recovery time plummet, since committing to a vegan diet. Other athletes like the tennis superstar sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, have also committed to a plant-based diet, and attribute much of their ability to recover and stay on the court to a diet rich in plants.
Research on vegan athletes specifically is still relatively small, but studies on the general vegan population illustrate overwhelming evidence that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, grains and beans, with the noted avoidance of all animal products, is the best diet for cardiovascular health. As we as dancers know, a healthy heart is absolutely integral to our ability to push through vigorous rehearsals and back-to- back performances.
The health benefits of a plant-based diet have also been scientifically proven to decrease inflammation – goodbye painful joints! Interestingly enough, eating meat is actually associated with inflammation and a greater risk for illness, like type 2 diabetes. Even if you are having trouble cutting meat from your diet to begin with, start with cutting red meat, and replacing it with fish or chicken. Even if the ultimate goal is veganism, start slowly, and watch your sore and inflamed joints diminish.
In the world of ballet, ballet icon and one of the greatest dancers of our time, Sylvie Guillem is the epitome of a strong and healthy vegan. No inflamed joints for this gorgeous lady! A stunning performer, with an elegant and strong physique, Guillem has become a staunch advocate for veganism. As a dedicated vegan for 5 years, thus proving that no matter where you are in life you can transition to veganism, Guillem has said, “What I can do I will do. Not one person can change the world, but one, and one and one add up.” If Sylvie Guillem can do it, so can you!
Veganism decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. It also promotes environmental sustainability and saves the lives of the billions of animals suffering for human consumption every day. Give veganism a try. Feel your mind and body truly connect and enjoy the unbelievable strength that a plant-based diet and lifestyle provides. Take it from me, a fellow dancer and vegan. And if not from me, at the very least the countless celebrities and athletes who revel in the power of veganism!
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