The RL diet: Why is it essential for a rugby player to eat fruit and veg?

Drew Darbyshire

The rugby league diet is our new feature where we give you an insight in to the eating habits of your favourite professional players, in partnership with Heaven ‘N’ Health.

Heaven ‘N’ Health co-owner Josh Adamson is our latest guest…

Why is it essential that a rugby player eats vegetables?

“The vitamins and minerals that we get from having them is essential. They are high in things like vitamin B6, iron and fibre – and they are all essential in our diets.

“The colour of a food can also depend on the benefits they have in it and that’s why it is encouraged that you should have a colourful plate. Carrots give you different minerals to green beans, for example.

“Players have vegetables because they are such important sources of nutrients like potassium, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C.”

So why are vitamin A and C so important?

“Vitamin A keeps your eyes and skin in good condition and will help protect you from infections.

“Vitamin C helps heal cuts and it also keeps your teeth and gums healthy. It also helps in iron absorption.”

Are smoothies an easy way of getting all your vitamins and minerals in then?

“Smoothies are good and quick way of having your daily amount of fruit and veg. We have got a couple of flavours of smoothies and in the mixed berries one, we have got strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, apple juice, low fat yoghurt and honey. That smoothie is high in fast acting sugars.

“The day time is a better time to eat fruit rather than at night. By having fruit at night, the sugars can sit on your stomach and turn into fat because the fruit is high in natural sugars.”

What do you make of The Game Changers documentary?

“Personally, I think it’s beneficial because some people don’t realise how beneficial plant-based food is.”

Quite a lot of players have tried the plant-based diet in recent times, why is that?

“Plant-based protein doesn’t have the inflammation products that come from animals. Low inflammation is good for sportspeople because it helps with recovery and energy levels.

“But when we eat meat, our inflammatory levels will go up. So therefore, it would take someone on a plant-based diet quicker to recover than someone who eats meat because the inflammatory levels would be much lower.”

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