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A Diet Fit For A Gladiator

What did gladiators eat?

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

A Diet Fit for a Gladiator

My family and I went to Italy in 2013.  One of our stops was to the Coliseum in Rome.  We went on a tour given by an archeologist.  She talked about the history of the Coliseum including the famous gladiators that would fight against each other to entertain the large crowds.  Archeologists analyzed the bone remains of gladiators and determined that they were essentially vegans.  Based on evidence from bone analysis the gladiators ate mostly barley and beans.  Makes sense why they were also known as the Barley Men.  Apparently they also drank a sports drink that was made from plant ash.  Archeologists think that the plant ash contained minerals that the gladiators thought helped them in battle. 


Given that there was a one in nine chance of dying during any single gladiator battle, I have to believe that the gladiators would have done anything to keep themselves in shape for these confrontations.  Their diet of barley and beans is opposite to what many athletes and physical trainers do nowadays.  In addition, people who are interested in improving their health are constantly told that they need to cut out the carbs and eat more protein.  There are some athletes, however, that are plant-based.  The most recently famous one would probably be Tom Brady.  Now I am a Steelers fan but despite that, I was pleased to see Tom Brady discussing his diet.  Another plant-based athlete is Carl Lewis who won 9 Olympic Gold Medals in Track.  Other athletes like Venus Williams (tennis), David Carter (football), and Scott Jarek (long distance running) are also vegans.

Eating a high protein diet increases your risk for heart disease and certain cancers.  Again and again, there is ample evidence that one diet does in fact work.  A plant-based diet will decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers and help you stay physically fit. 

If it is good enough for a gladiator who was fighting for his life, it is good enough for those of us who are fighting for our health.

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