Superfoods for Pets
So-called "superfoods" get a lot of press, but many of us aren't exactly sure what makes a food "super". Well, a "superfood" is a food which is high in nutrients, low in calories and has extra properties which make it nourishing. It's well-known that superfoods are great as part of a balanced diet for humans, but what you may not have realised is that many of them are also great for pets! We've compiled a list of "superfoods" that your pet will enjoy, while giving them a little vitamin boost.
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Sweet potatoes are one of the easiest superfoods to sneak into your pet's diet. Sweet potato is full of B and C vitamins, but the starch makes them so tasty that you shouldn't have too much trouble convincing your pet to give them a try. Just boil them and give them a good squash with a fork. You can even bake them plain and scoop the flesh out, but please remember to make sure any cooked food is cool before you feed it to your pet! If your pet is a little sceptical at first then try drizzling the mash with some fish oil or studding it with some of their usual kibble.
Blueberries are jam-packed with anthocyanidins, natural chemicals which promote blood vessel health. They also contain manganese (which aids enzyme function, nutrient absorption, wound healing, and bone development), vitamin C which is great for overall health, and vitamin E which may have antioxidant properties. These can be enjoyed fresh or frozen, in small amounts.
Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and fibre, but broccoli is an all-rounder. Not only does it have detoxing properties, it also contains beta-carotene (which is a high-performing nutrient that can improve immune and bone health, vision and skin) and lutein, which contributes to macular health. Broccoli also contains a cocktail of beneficial minerals like calcium and potassium. Many dogs will eat fresh florets, but most animals are more likely to eat it steamed and mashed into their regular food. The florets, leaves and stems are all edible.
These little seeds are proof that great things come in small packages. They are full of all sorts of good stuff, like omega-3 fatty acids (which moderate cholesterol levels and brain function), fibre, calcium (for strong teeth and bones), magnesium (for nerve and muscle function) , phosphorous (for energy conversion and cell function), manganese (good for skin, blood sugar control and bone growth), molybdenum (for enzyme production), niacin (for turning food into energy), zinc (for healing and building protein), and copper and iron (for red blood cell production). Mix them into your petís regular food for a big nutrient enhancement.
Fish are great sources of omega-3, and the bones of small fish are soft enough to be eaten safely and used as a source of calcium. Sardines preserved in spring water or olive oil are a great way to get some fish into your pet's diet as the life span of a sardine is too short for them to store toxins in their bodies. Eaten infrequently they are a really good way to get some extra nutrition into your pet's diet.
Greer, A. (2013, May 15th) retrieved 5th April 2015 from http://www.care2.com/causes/the-shocking-truth-about-whats-in-your-pets-food.html
Tudor, K. (2013, May 16th), retrieved 5th April 2015 from http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2013/may/supplementing-commercial-pet-foods-with-people-food-30283