Defender for London-based soccer team Arsenal, Héctor Bellerín, claims that a plant-based diet is helping him improve his performance - and is hoping to influence others.
Telling his story to Sports News 9, he said: "This is a way for people to see that you can be an athlete and do it, and that can open doors for other people."
The 23-year-old says has been eating a 'more-or-less' vegan diet since the start of the season - and that he started to see results after just three weeks.
He said: "At the beginning I wanted to try it for a couple of weeks to detox my body and stuff, but I just felt so great after it that I’ve been doing it for six months now."
Now Bellerín credits his plant-based diet for a series of improvements to his health and fitness.
He said: "For me the most important thing is that inflammation in my body after games and the speed that my body recovers compared to before."
He also credits a plant-based diet for increased energy - a significant perk in the context of professional sport.
He said: "I was waking up in the mornings and had so much energy whereas before I used to be that person who would snooze the alarm five times before they got out of bed."
Despite his teammates making fun of the change, Bellerín remains undeterred, acknowledging that diet is part of a much bigger picture.
He said: "It doesn't just make a difference in your body but I strongly believe that with what we're doing to the earth paying back the earth too."
Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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