Updated: Mar 3
Fruits and veggies provide fiber, antioxidants, vitamins/minerals, & phytonutrients. So why not add these nutrient dense foods into your dog's bowl?
Although some raw feeders choose to not feed plant matter in their dog's nutrition I believe that adding fruits and veggies benefits your dog in so many ways!
Today I am going over why fruits and veggies are beneficial and sharing my fruit/veggie mix.
Why are fruits & vegetables beneficial?
Carbs in a canine's diet is bad period. BUT adding low glycemic plant matter in small amounts can benefit your pooch drastically.
A study done by The Voyageurs Wolf Project conducted a study that revealed during peak berry season (July-August) 80% of the wolf pack's diets consisted of berries.
To learn more about the wolves diets click here
Along with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins/minerals and phytonutrients, my number one absolute favorite reason to feed fruits and veggies are polyphenols.
The body's relationship with polyphenols and gut is VERY complex, symbiotic and VERY important. Although we have so much more to learn here is what we do know:
Polyphenols (phytochemicals) are a very powerful antioxidant made of a large number of phenols grouped together only found in plant material.
Phytochemicals have been studied to their link to cancers, beneficial for shrinking tumors and reduce bacteria linked to colon cancer and also fight oxidative stress!
It is not yet proven but polyphenols may be what give fruits and veggies their immense health benefits.
Polyphenols have been reported to have wide spectrum of biological activities including major impact on initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer by modulating different signalling pathways - Hindawi
When polyphenols are digested only 5% go to the small intestine and the remaining 95% go to the colon. This is because in the body polyphenols, although not pathogenic, are marked as pathogenic bacteria by the antibodies. Since they are tagged as bad bacteria, polyphenols only stay in the digestive tract for about an hour.
Only being in the body for such a short amount of time and providing such crucial benefits is astounding!
Polyphenols can also metabolites and converts alpha-linoleic acids (ALA) to more biologically active omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Lastly, half of polyphenols arrive in the brain. Which is why they are so vital for preventing brain plaque which causes Alzheimer's.
So with all these wonderful benefits why wouldn't you want to feed these to your dog (and yourself).
BUT all of these are useless without the correct bacteria being present in the gut biome to convert the polyphenols into the right beneficial compound. Which is why a fresh whole food diet with pre and probiotics is necessary to have maximum health.
Now onto the part you've been waiting for... veggie mix (with a new name)!
This recipe changes with each batch depending what's in season/avaliable. So while I do list specific ingredients this is meant for more of a guideline for you to follow as you create your own recipe.
Polyphenol Super Mix
- cutting board
Ingredients needed (changes with every batch):
*all organic because it makes a difference!
- organic apple cider vinegar
- organic blueberries
- organic blackberries
- organic raspberries
- organic carrots
- organic yellow squash
- organic cucumber
- organic red bell peppers
- organic green bell peppers
- organic apples (Fuji & Gala)
- organic dandelion greens
- organic cilantro
- organic kale (lacinato & curly)
1. Gather all your produce
2. Peel the produce stickers off
3. Wash all under water and wash with ACV solution (half vinegar half water)
4. Bring a quart of water to a boil
5. Cut ingredients into small pieces for easy blending (keep the skin of the apple on for those polyphenols!)
6. Add veggies that you're going to steam and leave for 10 minutes until or until fork tender (I did all the leafy greens, squash and carrots)
side note: when deciding what veggies I am going to steam I decide by water volume.
Ex. I won't steam the cucumbers since they are made of mostly water and blend easily. But I will blanch the leafy greens since they are harder to blend with no moisture
7. While the veggies are cooking blend your watery ingredients like the berries, bell peppers and cucumbers
8. As you're blending have a huge bowl to continually dump your mix into
9. Once the veggies are cooked, strain and let cool for a few minutes
10. Once cooled add to the blender and blend
11. Mix everything together once more and store in containers to freeze
1/2-1 tsp small dogs
2-3 tsp medium dogs
1-2 tbsp large dogs
Now you have the knowledge to go create your own polyphenol supermix. I hope you learned something new about nutrition and veggie/fruit mix! If you make your own batch at home make sure to tag me @gsdstormy.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and Always Keep Exploring.