If you like a good, thought-provoking health documentary that’s based on solid, scientific evidence, then you’re in for a treat with the latest Game Changers Movie, streaming now on Netflix.
Hailed as the next best documentary about plant-based eating, the film is produced and presented by film maker and environmentalist, James Cameron as well as a host of other famous names including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul – who all follow a plant-based diet.
What is the focus of this health documentary?
The Game Changers is a health documentary that covers all aspects of plant-based eating and challenges the notion that you need to eat meat and animal products to build muscle and maintain your strength – in and out of the gym.
According to the documentary’s producers, there are some key benefits of following a plant-based diet including:
- It offers significant performance advantages for athletes (and anyone wanting to feel and perform better in any aspect of life)
- It provides optimal fuel for the brain and muscles
- Increasing blood flow
- Making muscles more efficient
- Speeding up recovery by lowering inflammation
The story behind The Game Changers
The Game Changers is hosted by former UFC fighter, James Wilks, who is also a combat instructor for the US military (including the US Marines, US Army Rangers, and US Navy SEALs).
After suffering from debilitating injuries from fighting and training, Wilks started researching the most optimal diet to speed up his own recovery, and came across archaeological evidence about the Roman gladiators, which concluded that they ate little to no meat.
This startling research prompted Wilks to travel the world and find out more about the health benefits of plant-based eating.
“I put every preconception I had about nutrition to the test, travelling to four continents to meet with dozens of the world’s strongest, fastest, and toughest athletes, as well as leading experts on athletics, nutrition, and anthropology.
What I discovered was so revolutionary, with such profound implications for human performance and health — and even the future of the planet itself — that I had to share it with the world,” says Wilks.
Watch the official Game Changers trailer to find out more:
What is plant-based eating all about?
According to registered dietician and Harvard Health contributor, Katherine McManus, “Plant-based eating focuses on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, wholegrains, legumes, and beans.
Also known as a flexitarian diet, the plant-based approach is one of the healthiest ways to eat long-term, as plants and whole foods are packed with all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fibre and phytonutrients, explains Katherine.
Additional benefits of plant-based eating
As The Game Changers movie demonstrates, the benefits of plant-based eating, for people, and for the environment, are endless.
Research shows that a diet centred around plants can:
- Aid in weight loss and weight management – provided you stick to unrefined carbohydrates such as oats, bananas, rice etc.
- Boost brain power and memory (this is due to carbohydrates in grains and plants providing the brain with optimal fuel)
- Enhance performance and speed up recovery – your muscles rely on glycogen from plants and carbohydrates for instant energy, as well as to help the body recover after an intense exercise session
- Encourage better blood flow. According to research from the movie, “Animal-based meals can cripple the arteries, preventing them from fully opening to allow for increased blood flow. Research has shown that just two hours after eating a heavy animal-based meal, arteries can constrict by 40%, essentially causing a traffic jam. The calorie-matched plant-based meal allowed them to open freely for quick, easy transit.”
- Reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases. This is thanks to the high level of antioxidants and phytonutrients in plants, which help to reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress.
In a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers also found that middle-aged adults who ate predominantly a plant-based diet had a lower chance of suffering from heart-disease or heart related problems.
Slow steps to make the switch
When it comes to implementing a plant-based diet, experts advise taking small, sustainable steps, rather than overhauling your diet overnight.
Pick one thing, for instance, start having almond or soya milk cappuccinos instead of cow’s milk cappuccinos or commit to making 1-2 plant-based dinners a week, such as for Meat Free Monday. And, once you’re comfortable with each new step, start to make more changes until you’re eating mostly plant-based meals with a little animal protein now and then.
Our popular 2+1 diet will help you implement these changes even faster because the diet is based on the premise that you simply need to eat 2 plant foods for every 1 animal food and ensure you keep to a healthy portion size. Not only will this eating plan give you more energy and help to sharpen your mind, you could lose up to 4kg in two weeks!