As part of a New Year’s resolution, celebrity athlete Venus Williams is switching to a raw food diet to help improve her health. Her sister Serena has shown her support by joining Venus in the diet.
After dropping out of the U.S. Open last summer, the seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams revealed she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an incurable disease of the immune system. The disease has impacted her health and career and with the help of her sister is now exploring holistic ways to treat her symptoms. Sjogren’s affects the body’s moisture-producing glands, and in severe cases can lead to arthritis and joint pain.
Venus says that she had visited doctors for years trying to determine if there was a medical cause for her symptoms.
‘I would go to the doctor and start crying. I couldn’t help it. I just want a chance to play on the same field as other people, I want to feel normal, but as frightening as the diagnosis was, it was also a relief.’
Venus, a former steak lover, has changed her diet to raw vegan dishes which should help ease the inflammation on her joints. At Serena’s recommendation Venus is also seeking holistic alternatives like yoga and massage.
A raw food vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been cooked. Heating the foods (above 104 degrees) kills the natural enzymes and can leave toxins behind. Raw food advocates argue that raw or living foods have natural enzymes that are critical in building proteins and rebuilding the body.
Improving health and fitness levels as a New Year (or anytime) resolution is an admirable goal. With the William sisters using their collective star power to promote a healthy diet, they will help not only the African-American community, who looks up to them as role models, but also help promote the heath of all women.
Other famous faces such as Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone, Olivia Wilde, Pamela Anderson, and Chelsea Clinton are also vegetarians, and the news the Williams sisters have joined the list is helping draw more attention to the growing health food movement.
Carl Lewis and Ed Moses became the greatest Olympians while on a vegan diet but plenty of athletes prefer eating vegetarian.
Cheers to Venus for adopting a raw foods diet. And bravo to Serena for supporting her sister’s a lifestyle change.
Are you a vegan or vegetarian athlete who has seen your health or performance improve after eliminating meat from your diet? If so, leave a comment below to tell others how your life and health have improved.