The gladiators of your ancient city were vegetarians

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Robert Maurer
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Who said that to be strong and muscular you must necessarily eat animal proteins? If nowadays the dozens of athletes who have chosen a plant-based diet prove it, in reality they already knew it, centuries and centuries ago, gladiators your city, who followed a mainly vegetarian diet.

This is demonstrated by some recent anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors found during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesus, today in Turkey. In one study of the Department of Forensic Medicine of the Medical University of Vienna, bones from a gladiator cemetery discovered in 1993, which dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century BC, were examined.



The result shows that the gladiators they followed a vegetarian diet. In fact, there was practically no difference in terms of nutrition compared to the local "normal population". So the athletes' meals consisted mainly of wheat and vegetables, but without meat.

However, there is a difference between gladiators and the normal population: it is the amount of strontium measured in their bones, which was highly significant. This leads to the conclusion that the gladiators assumed a rich source of this substance. The ash drink, often mentioned in ancient literature, probably really existed.

“Vegetable ashes have evidently been consumed for fortifying the body after physical exertion and to promote better bone healing ", explains Fabian Kanz, head of the studio. “Things were therefore similar to what we do today -. We take magnesium and calcium (in the form of effervescent tablets, for example) after physical exertion ”.



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