The Sweet Reason Serena Williams Eats A Plant-Based Diet

When it comes to eating a plant-based diet (or any kind of diet, for that matter), people's reasons vary from environmental consciousness to saving money to managing their health. Plant-based diets are different from being vegan, but both emphasize healthy eating. Still, plant-based diets do not totally exclude animal products like vegan diets do.

According to Everyday Health, plant-based diets have many benefits, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing the risk of cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, improving cholesterol and heart health, and potentially helping you lose weight and live longer. After all, science says certain foods can help you live longer, so who are we to argue?

Because this diet offers so many health benefits and more flexibility than some other diets, it is becoming increasingly popular. About 57% of American households purchased plant-based food products in 2020, per WebMD, as many people were stuck at home and wanted to eat healthier.

Even celebrities like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and Robert Downey Jr. have hopped on the plant-based diet trend to help the environment and their own personal health (via Vegan Food & Living). Now, tennis star Serena Williams has gone plant-based, too — and for the sweetest reason. 

Serena Williams eats a plant-based diet in solidarity with her sister

The Williams sisters are celebrated not only for their tennis skills but also for their sisterhood. Now, in an interview with Bon Appétit, Serena Williams said she was "eating a lot healthier" for her sister, who has Sjogren's syndrome.

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease affecting the entire body, causing dryness, fatigue, and chronic pain, per the Sjogren's Foundation. Venus Williams combats her diagnosis by eating a plant-based diet, as it is nutritious and doesn't aggravate her symptoms. In fact, Venus told Eating Well that her diet is "a journey that I'm constantly on, trying new things and quite honestly making mistakes and eating the wrong things."

But these tennis superstars know that diets work best with some lenience. In other words, allowing yourself to satisfy cravings can help you stay motivated with your diet. Rather than calling themselves vegan, says Women's Health Magazine, the Williams sisters call themselves "chegan" and don't limit their diet to only plant-based foods all of the time.