Athletes eating a plant-based diet: What are the health risks and benefits? – The Philadelphia Inquirer

A recent review in the journal Nutrients looked not only at the cardiovascular benefits of eating plant-based diets, but how they might affect athletic performance. Avoiding meat and dairy products has been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and certain cancers. But how does this help athletic performance? Eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans and nuts, increases an athlete’s intake of dietary fiber, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients, which could improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, or aid weight control, thereby enhancing training, performance, and recovery.

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