Venus vs. Serena: Plant-Powered Australian Open Finals
January 26, 2017 Dr. Neal Barnard
Whether you’re rooting for Venus or Serena Williams to win this Saturday’s Australian Open, the real prizewinner is already plant-powered diets. Good luck to both sisters, who pump up their performance with plants!
A vegan diet actually helped Venus—who at 36 is the oldest Australian Open singles finalist—get back in the game after autoimmune disease halted her career in 2011.
“I literally couldn’t play tennis anymore, so it really changed my life,” she recently told Health. “Because it was starting to take away what I loved, I had to make some changes; I had to change my life. Thankfully, I was able to find something that helped me get back to doing what I loved.”
The Williams sisters aren’t the only sports figures fueling their games with fruits and veggies this weekend. This Saturday, vegan racecar driver Andy Lally hopes to win the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Why are so many athletes choosing plant power? The Washington Post recently interviewed athletes, including NFL player David Carter, to find out why and how they stay strong. Protein is definitely not a problem.
“The emphasis really is on having a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day, and, because protein is found in varying amounts in plants, legumes, grains and nuts, it’s pretty easy to get to the recommended amount,” my colleague Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., who specializes in sports dietetics, told The Post. “Most athletes don’t need a different diet, they just need more calories.”
Good luck to Serena, Venus, and Andy this weekend—and to all athletes in their plant-powered pursuits!
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