Rosario Dawson Says Father's Cancer Diagnosis Inspired Her to Eat a Gut-Health Diet

"I love sauerkraut, kimchi and vegan yogurt," Rosario Dawson said, of incorporating gut-healthy foods into her plant-based diet

rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson. Photo: Bonnie Biess/Getty Images

Rosario Dawson is opening up about her vegan diet, and how it changed after her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

In a new interview with Eating Well, the Dopesick actress — who has partnered with Tom's of Maine on their Get Into Nature Campaign to give children from underserved communities equitable access and resources to get into nature — said that she got "super into" food and its connection to gut health while sitting by her dad Greg's side.

"I learned a lot about gut health with my dad's cancer treatment," Dawson, 42, said, of the importance of feeding ones existing gut bacteria. "Gut health is emotional health, physical health, etc.."

Research has long linked gut-healthy diets with reduced chronic disease risk and immunity, as well as reduced stress, anxiety, and weight loss, notes Eating Well.

For Dawson, incorporating gut-healthy foods into her vegan diet was easy. She added lots of fiber and probiotic-rich foods. "I love sauerkraut, kimchi and vegan yogurt," she said.

rosario Dawson
Ray Tamarra/GC

The Josie and the Pussycats alum also told Eating Well that her diet as a whole tends to change depending on the time of the year — eating with the seasons, and incorporating vegetables into all of her meals.

For breakfast in the summer, she typically eats overnight oats, while in the colder months she turns to warm oatmeal or avocado toast. Lunches means big salads or stir-friend vegetables, while for dinner she likes "changing it up" with "stir-fries, noodles and ramen."

"I put turmeric in everything," Dawson said. "I use a lot of ginger."

Rosario Dawson
Araya Diaz/Getty.

Back in June 2019, Dawson told PEOPLE about what inspired her to go vegan.

"I'm mostly vegan and raw these days for my health and peace of mind," she said. "I rest better, I feel better, with less inflammation and more flexibility. I feel full without feeling uncomfortable or tired afterwards. I love the energy."

"With my busy lifestyle, nutrition is very important to me, so I make sure to choose foods that give me the nutrients I want," she added.

It helps that boyfriend (and New Jersey Senator) Cory Booker is vegan too, choosing the plant-based diet almost 20 years ago.

The two met at a fundraiser in 2018, and moved in together to a Newark home last summer. Greg even accompanied his daughter on the journey down to the Garden State.

"It was an amazing adventure," Dawson said. "My family are all in New York. It felt really beautiful and good to start a new chapter of my life in the driver's seat."

"New Yorkers appreciate New Jersey because you have a great view of New York," she joked.

Related Articles