Norwich City captain Russell Martin reveals why he has turned vegan

Russell Martin leads the charge in Norwich City's 0-0 Premier League draw against Manchester City. P

Russell Martin leads the charge in Norwich City's 0-0 Premier League draw against Manchester City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Nutrition is a important part of any sportsman's life and Norwich City captain Russell Martin has revealed he has become a vegan.

The defender, who has made over 200 appearances for the Canaries, revealed the change in his diet during an interview with vegan nutritionist Paul Kerton.

The Scottish international suffers from a condition called ulcerative colitis and said the change in his diet was initially to help relieve symptoms of the illness.

'It started because of a health problem I have which can sometimes flare up,' he said. 'I had stopped taking my medication for it and turned to alternative Chinese therapy. And now along with not eating any animal products I have not had any flare ups since.'

Veganism is a popular diet for many top athletes including Serena and Venus Williams and Daniel Sturridge who have all spoken out about the health benefits and Martin, who was pescatarian before, admitted that since changing his diet he has already seen an improvement in his game.

'I have managed to maintain and gain slight improvements in everything in terms of jumping, speed and agility,' he said. ' I recover quicker after games now and feel good. I can't think of one negative thing on my game.'

Martin is father to three children who have now tried some of his new vegan recipes. He also revealed in the interview that although the diet change was at first down to health reasons he is now more aware of the ethical implications.

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He said: 'As it has gone on it has become ethical as when you research it and take a step back from eating any animal products you realise how badly they are treated and ask what right we have to eat them.'

He will lead Norwich City out at the Hawthorns on Saturday where they take on West Brom as their fight for Premier League survival continues but it seems that he will be the only one starting the game after a hearty vegan meal. 'I have had a chat with some of the lads and some of them are interested and some of them aren't,' he said. 'But now the chef is making bigger portions of my vegan meals as some of the lads want to try a bit.'

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