‘Understanding the impact of an anti-inflammatory diet on silent inflammation can elevate the diet from simply a source of calories to being on the cutting edge of gene-silencing technology.’

Unfortunately, detrimental physiological changes occur later in life for both humans and dogs. One important aspect of aging is upregulation of the inflammatory response and increase in oxidative damage resulting in pathologies linked to chronic inflammation – a process that results in premature ageing or inflammageing (1) This Inflammageing results in immunosenescence in both dogs and humans (2, 3)

Chronic disease is driven by inflammation. Diabetes, cancers, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other chronic health issues, including anxiety, are a result of chronic inflammation.

Research shows that diets high in saturated fats (long chain saturated fatty acids) contribute to a chronic inflammation state (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) known to affect health, longevity and mood.

The major dietary source of long chain saturated fatty acids is food from animal sources, such as full-fat dairy products, red meat, and poultry.

The balance of macronutrients, micronutrients and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can alter the expression of inflammatory genes.

Anti-inflammatory nutrition should be considered as a form of gene silencing technology, in particular the silencing of the genes involved in the generation of silent inflammation. To enhance an anti-inflammatory diet, supplemental omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), should be included.

A diet rich in colourful vegetables would contribute adequate amounts of polyphenols to not only help inhibit nuclear factor (NF)-κB (primary molecular target of inflammation) but also activate AMP kinase (AMP functions to restore cellular ATP - cell ‘currency’) levels by modifying diverse metabolic and cellular pathways). Understanding the impact of an anti-inflammatory diet on silent inflammation can elevate the diet from simply a source of calories to being on the cutting edge of gene-silencing technology. (3, 4, 5, 6, 8)

Research shows that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in the variety of plant-based foods in the diet (7, 8).

A recent study by Giulia Alessandri et al (9) concludes ‘that a meat-based diet is less protective against inflammatory activity in the canine gut.’

Feeding your dog a diet rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients provides them with the best chance of slowing the ageing process associated with inflammation at the same time supporting an improvement in general wellbeing.

Bonza includes a wide variety of phytochemical rich ingredients in your dog’s food, each selected for their potent synergistic, anti-inflammatory properties.

Anti-Inflammatory Food Ingredients for Dogs

Olive Oil Extract:

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a chemical in extra-virgin olive oil, oleocanthal, inhibits inflammatory enzymes in the same way that ibuprofen does. Oleuropin and hydroxytyrosol are also potent anti-inflammatory compounds. (1, 2, 3)


Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme, makes this tropical fruit one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods. Studies show that eating pineapple may reduce pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and lower swelling in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. (1,2, 3)

Kale and Spinach:

Vegetables, like kale, chard, spinach, bok choy, and silver beet are anti-inflammatory foods because they’re packed with anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which are the plant pigments that give green and orange produce their vibrant colour. Kale also contains vitamins C and K, folate, fibre, and antioxidants. Kale, a source rich in sulforaphane, fights inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines, research shows. (1, 2, 3)

Reishi Mushroom:

Reishi mushrooms have a variety of powerful compounds that help fight inflammation, specifically phenols and other antioxidants, research shows. A special mushroom type considered an adaptogen, Reishi, has powerful inflammation-fighting benefits. They can also contain up to 72 μg/g dry weight of selenium and can bio transform 20–30% of inorganic selenium into selenium-containing proteins.

Reishi are also a rich source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione both of which have been shown to provide potent free radical scavenging, antioxidant capacity. Reishi also contain β-glucans shown to have excellent heart health properties. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)


Turmeric has received a lot of attention for its content of the powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient curcumin. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation without the side effects of manufactured drugs. (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

Turmeric is effective at reducing the inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes and other diseases. (45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51)


Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (1, 2, 3)


Oats contain special compounds called avenanthramides that play a role in significantly reducing inflammation. Avenanthramides are unique to oats and are not found in other cereal grains.

Oats are also a source of Ergothioneine and Glutathione both of which demonstrate powerful anti-inflammatory properties. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)


Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Quinoa contains more quercetin than cranberries, another anti-inflammatory superfood. (5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10)

Rapeseed Oil:

Rapeseed oil is loaded with Vitamin E and Omega 3. it is known that vitamin E helps lower C-reactive protein levels and Omega-3 also provides anti-inflammatory benefits. (12, 36, 37, 38)


Animal studies show that baobab’s antioxidant and polyphenol content may help reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative damage to cells. (11, 12, 13)


Cranberries contain powerful compounds including Quercetin, Myricetin, Peonidin and Ursolic acid which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.  (3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)


Parsley was one of the top four herbs revealed to have the highest inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing inflammatory compounds (7, 8, 16


Chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin, which helps lower inflammation and may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. (8, 9, 10, 11, 3943)

Echinacea Purpurea Root:

Echinacea has potent anti-inflammatory properties - numerous studies point to a significant reduction in inflammation markers.  (20, 21, 28)

Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero):

Siberian Ginseng, amongst its many other health benefits, acts as an anti-inflammatory helping to reduce inflammation which is considered a cause of most chronic diseases. (9, 10, 11, 12)

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM):

MSM has powerful anti-inflammatory effects such as increasing glutathione levels. MSM may reduce the release of molecules associated with inflammation, such as TNF-ɑ and IL-6, as well as boost levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. (4, 5, 6, 7, 86, 87, 90, 91)


The way glucosamine works in disease treatment is not well understood, but research indicates that it may reduce inflammation (3, 4, 5, 18)


Carnosic acid and carnosol are the chief anti-inflammatory molecules found in sage and have been shown to reduce inflammation markers. (1, 2, 3)


Rosemary is a rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds including carnosic acid, rosmarinic acid and carnosol that help reduce inflammation (1, 2, 3, 4)

Seaweed (Algae) and Seaweed (Algal) Extract:

Seaweed (Algae) contain a number of anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and chlorophyll a, β-carotene and fucoxanthin, and as dietary ingredients, their extracts have shown to be effective in chronic inflammation-linked metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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