WHAT CHARACTERIZES A SUPERFOOD?
Let’s define what a superfood is and whether it’s truly extraordinary for pets, especially dogs.
The phrase “superfood” was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014. According to the dictionary “a food that is high in substances (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids). A food that is advantageous to a person’s health” is known as a superfood. However, the concept of superfoods dates back to the early twentieth century and, like so many other things, has its roots in a marketing push. Superfoods due to their incredible properties are healthier for pets such as dogs and cats.
The incredible health advantages of its main import, bananas doctors later published studies on the usefulness of bananas in the treatment of celiac disease and diabetes, and the term spread on. Since then, it has been used to describe and sell innumerable items for humans and animals, even though there are no regulatory criteria governing its usage on food packaging.
Underneath the marketing lies the truth that so-called superfoods are nutrient-dense, meaning they deliver a lot of nutritious bangs for your dollars. Superfoods often include high concentrations of one or more health-promoting elements, such as phytonutrients and antioxidants such as vitamins A and E and beta-carotene, vital fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, or fiber.
Continue reading for a list of the 10 best superfoods for dogs that are safe and highly nutritious, as well as nutritional information and ideas on how to prepare and give these super, and super tasty, meals to your dog.
10 SUPERFOODS FOR DOGS
Berries, despite their modest size, carry a nutritious punch. Blueberries may be the crown gem of the berry family, even though many berries are considered superfoods. Antioxidants, which are potent molecules that reduce cell damage in your dog’s body, are abundant in blueberries. Blueberries get their blue-red color from flavonoid pigments known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, as well as they protect brain cells and memory function. Anthocyanins can also be found in acai berries, strawberries, and blackberries. Blueberries, which are high in anthocyanins, have been shown in animal studies to help prevent weight gain and the formation of fat cells.
To avoid choking, feed berries whole to larger dogs and chop or smash them for little dogs. You can also make a doggy smoothie by pureeing it with a little plain yogurt or adding it to your dog’s usual diet. If you have bags of frozen berries on hand for smoothies, feed a handful straight from the freezer for a refreshing treat.
Vitamins A, E, and C are all abundant in this supercharged leafy green. It’s high in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory qualities, as well. If your dog has bladder stones or renal illness, consult with your veterinarian before giving it kale; it may be necessary to avoid it.
Carrots are crunchy and naturally sweet, and most dogs enjoy them. They’re high in carotenoids, fiber, vitamins C and K (which help wounds heal by aiding blood clotting), and potassium. They also include magnesium, manganese, the majority of B vitamins, and phosphorus, which is necessary for energy synthesis and other functions.
Pumpkin, which is low in calories and high in soluble fiber, aids in the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. It’s low in sodium and high in carotenoids, potassium, and vitamin C, with some calcium and B vitamins thrown in for good measure. Organic pureed pumpkin in a can may be bought at grocery shops, but make sure it’s pure and not a pie filling – no sugar or spices should be added.
These tuberous root vegetables have 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries and are high in beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are also abundant in vitamin A, which is good for the heart. They also have abundant Vitamin C, which helps your dog’s immune system stay strong.
Omega-3 fatty acids abound in oily fish including herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your dog’s skin, hair, and brain. They also inhibit the inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine diseases. (Ask your veterinarian if fish oil in pill form could help if your dog has any of these problems.) Fish is also a good source of protein, as well as a good supply of vitamins and minerals.
NORI (Dried Seaweed)
Japanese dried edible seaweed is a staple. Nori, which is often linked with sushi, is available at some stores, particularly those that specialize in Asian foods. Protein, galactans, vitamins C, and E, and all of the B vitamins, as well as minerals, are present. It also includes some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, both of which may aid in metabolic regulation. Nori might help with weight metabolism, immunological function, and anti-tumor responses, among other things. To keep your dog’s salt consumption in line, choose reduced-sodium nori.
This traditional grain’s seeds have many of the same health advantages as the more well-known “super seed” flax. Unlike flax seeds, though, they don’t need to be ground to gain health advantages. Simply sprinkle seeds on top of your dog’s food. Fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants, and even protein are all nutritional advantages of chia. They’re also quite absorbent, so they can assist the body stay hydrated.
Quinoa is a seed related to spinach that is commonly mistaken for a grain. It’s a complete protein containing all eight necessary amino acids, as well as fiber, folate, and a variety of phytochemicals. Quinoa is a strong antioxidant and aids in the prevention of diabetes. It is one of the few vegetable sources of full proteins.
Probiotics are beneficial active bacteria cultures present in yogurt. They help keep harmful bacteria at bay. Protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc, and iodine are among the nutrients commonly present in yogurt. It also contains a good amount of other B vitamins including riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Remember not to add any natural or artificial sweeteners when feeding dogs.
Consult your vet if you have any concerns or questions about what to feed your lovely dog.