robbie-williams

The shocking health reason that made Robbie Williams go vegan

Ayda Field encouraged Robbie to go for a checkup

Sophie Hamilton

January has also become known as 'Veganuary', the month where many people try the vegan diet for the first time. But for Robbie Williams, a shocking health revelation was the reason he swapped to plant-based foods.

Speaking to Radio X, the former Take That star explained how he developed mercury poisoning after eating too much contaminated fish – and his life was in danger.

Robbie said: "I was eating fish twice a day and I’ve got the highest mercury poisoning the doctor has ever seen."

"Do you know what I thought when I heard that? 'I’ve won!' That’s how my ego works, 'I’ve got the highest…did you say the highest? Thank you.' I literally won the mercury award."

MORE: Attempting Veganuary? A vegan shopping list if you're going plant-based in January 2021

Loading the player...

WATCH: Celebrity vegans share insightful quotes

The singer, who is married to American TV presenter Ayda Field and shares four children with her, continued: "I got my mercury tested because my wife’s neurotic and she gets all sorts of tests all the time.

"Anyway, thank God, coz I could’ve dropped dead of mercury and arsenic poisoning." He added: "I went plant-based the next day."

MORE: Veganuary: 12 amazing celebrity tips for going vegan in 2021

vegan-diet

The NHS website advises that a healthy, balanced diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, which includes one of oily fish.

However, oily fish can contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body, says the site – as happened in Robbie's case – hence the recommendations for the weekly portions.

MORE: Jamie Oliver's one-pot vegan recipe is a game-changer

robbie-ayda

Robbie and his wife Ayda

Robbie had previously told fans he had adopted a semi-vegan diet back in 2017 after an illness. His wife Ayda spoke about his eating habits on Loose Women in 2018, revealing:

"He's doing amazing, he's great. Last year he had some health issues and that was an awful time for us but now it's so nice to see him back ... He's vegan-ish now. I don't think you can have hamburgers if you're vegan!"

Sounds like Robbie will stay plant-based this time after his health scare.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.