For the average viewer, this year’s Wimbledon final match is nothing short of shocking, with two separate players in contention for the Cup, but the two finalists share a unique characteristic: they both follow a vegan diet. Defying claims that plant-based diets lack protein or hinder athletic performance, vegan athletes around the world have proven otherwise, including some of the world’s most accomplished competitors. The latest to prove the naysayers wrong: vegan runner Mike Fremont, who turned 100 in February and celebrated with a run around Vero Beach in Florida.
Fremont adopted a vegan diet at the age of 69 after receiving a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis. He refused what his doctors told him was life-saving surgery in favor of switching to a whole plant-based diet. Now Fremont, the oldest known vegan runner, holds the marathon distance world records for the single-year age brackets of 88 and 90.
“I said no, I was going to go on a diet!” fremont said Great Vegan Athletes. “In two and a quarter years, the tumor started to bleed and I had surgery. The surgeon looked for metastases in 35 places and found none. In other words, my macrobiotic diet, [which became] a vegan diet, [which became] a whole plant-based diet, killed the metastases! »
This week, Fremont joined legendary plant-based athlete, author and podcaster Rich Roll to discuss his long competitive career and his unwavering strength and stamina. Fremont claimed that the last years leading up to her 100th birthday were “the best years” of her life. Roll asked the 100-year-old what he attributed his longevity to, and Fremont unhesitatingly claimed his diet played a major role.
“No doubt in my mind, absolutely, it’s [my] diet that determined my existence. My existence goes on and my beautiful health,” said Fremont Roll on the show.
Fremont has no intention of stopping, or even slowing down. Fremont running partner Harvey Lewis – a 46-year-old ultrarunner and fellow vegan – said Great Vegan Athletes that he suggested a 5k run with Fremont for his 100th birthday. Fremont declined the idea and instead suggested they run twice the distance.
“I asked him about the Flying Pig Marathon and if he was interested in doing the 5K, like we’ve been doing for the past two years,” Harvey said. “He said, ‘I don’t think it’s really a race unless we do 10k’ with a big smile. No argument with Mike. 10K is!”
Extend life expectancy with a plant-based diet
Although a whole-food, plant-based diet is not a recommended treatment for cancer or a substitute for medical treatment, a growing body of research indicates that following a vegan diet can significantly reduce the risk of several types of cancer. , including breast, prostate, and others. Last February, a study published in Plos Journal of Medicine pretended you could extend your life expectancy by 10 years even more if you start eating plant-based foods early enough. The report claims that a plant-based diet can help reduce risk factors for several deadly diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
Previous generations have always avoided plant-based diets due to traditional food preferences centered on meat and dairy products. However, this is changing as more and more information is published each year highlighting the health benefits of a plant-based diet for people over 65. A survey found that 54% of UK consumers over the age of 65 have decided to cut back on their meat consumption, motivated by health concerns. benefits of reducing saturated fat intake.
An ever-growing body of research has shown that plant-based diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease later in life. And the sooner you make the switch, the better: Adopting a plant-centered diet between the ages of 18 and 30 can lower your risk of heart disease about 30 years later. In the case of Fremont, who has been following a plant-based approach since the age of 60, he proves that it’s never too late to switch to plant-based diets, especially for athletes.
Athletes are turning to vegan diets to optimize their performance
Fremont, Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios (who lost in the Wimbledon final) join an impressive list of talented athletes who consider themselves part of the plant community. Notably, Phoenix Suns player Chris Paul credits his plant-based diet with boosting performance on the court and in life. This year, the NBA player made his 12th NBA All-Star appearance
“When I first started using herbs it was for performance purposes, but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt it was for life,” Paul said. at QG. “Years ago, I probably wouldn’t even have gone out to run with my kids and all the other activities because my body hurt. Now, with the constant lifting and making sure my body is always ready, it’s been a nice lifestyle change for me.
Two years ago, director Louie Psihoyos came out The game changers documentary, showing the world how athletes don’t need meat or dairy to perform professionally. Since then, top athletes have converted to vegan diets to reduce inflammation, improve endurance and improve their overall health, including Paul, Fremont and many others.
For other inspiring plant eaters, visit The Beet’s Success Stories.