Keep Your Dog Young With Antioxidant Rich Food
Veronica DeLisle | June 23 2018
Although it’s easy to go to the pet store and find the dog food brand you saw on TV claiming to be “healthy” for your pup, don’t fall into this trap. What your dog eats is one of the most important parts of keeping them healthy and around for a long time. When you check the labels of dog food to decide which to buy, one of the most important words you should see is “antioxidant”. Antioxidant rich dog food leads to dog wellness and longevity, and here’s why.
What Do They Do?
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, enzymes or other chemical compounds that can stop the process of oxidation in your cells. When free radicals roam around in our bodies, they are looking for another electron to pair with and end up stealing important ones from other cells. This is oxidation and can be very harmful to your body. Antioxidants fix this problem by releasing their own electron to the lonely cells in your body! Ultimately, antioxidants slow down your body’s aging process when they protect your body from free radicals. They also support a healthy immune system, and reduce the risk of chronic degenerative disorders such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
Where Can I Find Antioxidants?
Antioxidants can be found in a multitude of foods that we eat everyday! Not all of them are safe for our furry friends however, so make sure to ask your veterinarian if you’re unsure if Spot can have some too. Some of the best antioxidant-rich foods that are safe for dogs are berries such as cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, prunes, apples (Red Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith), pecans, plums and black plums, and broccoli.
Berries: A majority of berries such as cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries contain an abundance of antioxidants. Vitamin C is the most prominent antioxidant found in berries. Cranberries and blueberries also contain resveratrol, which is a natural compound that has been found to have anti-cancer properties and lower the risk of heart disease.
Prunes: These dried plums are actually ranked #1 when it comes to cancer and disease fighting antioxidants. They far surpass any other fruit when measured by their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), meaning if you’re looking for the antioxidant-rich fruit that really packs a punch, look for prunes!
Apples: Apple varieties such as Red Delicious are packed with antioxidant activity. Like berries they are loaded with Vitamin C, but also contain polyphenols which are thought to prevent chronic diseases.
Pecans: While prunes may be number one in the fruit category, pecans reign supreme in the nut category. It is thought that pecans contribute to heart health and disease prevention due to their ability to absorb so many free radicals with their antioxidants.
Plums and Black Plums: Plums are the lower calorie version of prunes, yet prunes still surpass plums in antioxidants. If you or your pup can’t stomach the thought of dried fruit, plums are a good alternative!
Broccoli: We might have hated it as kids, but our parents were right to have us finish our broccoli before dessert! It contains antioxidants such as lutein and sulforaphane which are potent antioxidants. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Why Do Dogs Need Them?
Your pup is just as liable to free radicals as you are! In fact, dogs typically don’t get the amount of antioxidants they need to fight them off that humans recieve. Your pup is also subjected to tons of environmental pollutants and harsh chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and cigarette smoke, all of which lead to free radicals. Dogs don’t eat the fresh fruits and veggies that we get on a daily basis to battle those harmful radicals. That’s why finding a natural dog food packed with antioxidants is super important for your dog’s wellness. When looking at the ingredients in your dog food, be sure to keep an eye out for the antioxidant-rich foods mentioned earlier. Healthy dog food leads to a healthy dog!