How much happier would you be if you could feed your fur kids healthy foods that are not only delicious, but can save them from expensive and harmful medication? Whether you’ve got a new fur baby, a dog or cat prone to allergies or a senior in its golden years, these fresh, pet-friendly superfoods will keep your best friend healthy on the inside and out. Plus, for once you can steal your dog’s food instead of it being the other way around!
What makes a “super” food?
Edibles that deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. Humans, dogs, and cats can share several common foods that are nutritionally dense, and pack a lot of healthful benefits into a serving. These super foods help people and their pets fight disease, boost energy and maintain good health in general. They make great additions to your animal’s diet—whether you feed packaged food or home cook meals—consider adding these nutritionally-packed components to compliment your pet’s eating regime. Be sure to introduce these foods gradually and with the proper proportions, and check with your holistic veterinarian if your pet has any dietary or health concerns.
- BLUEBERRIES: loaded with phytochemicals, and anthocyanidins (powerful antioxidants). Also a good source of healthy fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and E. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential; gorging on this tasty fruit can adversely affect canine and human bowel movements.
- BROCCOLI: supports detox processes so can be very beneficial in helping with different kind of liver problems; contains healthy fiber to aid digestion; rich in potassium, calcium, and protein; has anti-inflammatory properties; supports eye health; repairs skin damage; and supports heart health.
- CHIA SEED: a source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds don’t need to be ground. Highly absorbent, they can hydrate the body. Also provides fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
- FERMENTED FOODS: potent detoxifiers and contain much higher levels of probiotics and vitamin K2 than supplements can provide. KEFIR: a fermented milk beverage that contains beneficial probiotics that support the immune system, most of which is in the gut.
- GOJI BERRIES: rich in amino acids and antioxidants, particularly carotenoids. Goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels.
- KALE: loaded with vitamins (especially K, E, A and C), iron, and antioxidants. It helps with liver detoxification and also has anti-inflammatory properties. In pets with certain types of kidney disease, it can help to naturally balance the calcium-phosphorus ratio.
- QUINOA: actually a seed related to spinach, quinoa is a complete protein supplying all eight of the essential amino acids and is a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and many phytochemicals. One of the few vegetables sources of complete proteins, quinoa is a potent antioxidant and reducing the risk of diabetes.
- PUMPKIN / RAW PUMPKIN SEED: low in calories and high in soluble fiber, pumpkin helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. It is low in sodium and exceptionally high in carotenoids, potassium and vitamin C, and has some calcium and B vitamins. The raw seeds are a rich source of minerals, vitamin K, and phytosterols; also L-tryptophan, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Can prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones, reduce arthritic inflammation, and support prostate health. They are also used to treat or prevent certain intestinal worms.
- FISH: the best source of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs and cats, which are essential to their well-being. Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat, heart, and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. I suggest oily fishes like herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies packed in water; they don’t live long enough to store toxins.
- SWEET POTATO: rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants (150% more antioxidants than blueberries), high in heart-healthy vitamin A and immune-boosting vitamin C. Purple fleshed ones have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may lower the risk from heavy metals and oxygen radicals.
- YOGURT: Active cultures known as probiotics (necessary, friendly bacteria) help keep the bad bacteria away, which may improve gut function. It contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions).
- SEAWEED / NORI: It has protein, galactans (a soluble fiber), vitamins C, E and all the Bs, and minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, which have been investigated for their effects on regulating metabolism. Nori may have beneficial effects on fat metabolism, immune function and anti-tumor response. Make sure the nori/seaweed is low in sodium, amounts vary greatly in these products.
Besides these, there are other many simple, fresh and wholesome food items that dogs, cats, and humans can thrive on, including apples, green beans, carrots, papaya, leafy greens, liver and hearts, eggs, oats, bananas, wheat grass, cranberries, nuts, coconut oil, parsley, wheat germ, and apple cider vinegar. Of course, make sure whatever you feed (or eat) is non-GMO and preferably organic.