Functional foods, or nutraceuticals as they are sometimes referred to, are defined as ingredients which deliver additional or enhanced benefits over and above their basic nutritional value.

The most common of these are nutrient-rich ingredients like fruit and vegetables, the functional food and nutraceutical category also includes foods fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fibre.

Oats, for example, contain beta glucan, a type of fibre which has been shown to reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, and improve heart health (1).

Fruit and vegetables contain a multitude of different potent antioxidants, beneficial compounds that help to protect against disease.

Functional foods are most often separated into two separate categories: conventional and modified foods (2).

Conventional foods are natural, whole-food ingredients that are rich in health-giving nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, heart-healthy fats and fibre.

Modified foods on the other hand are foods which been fortified with additional ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics, or fibre, to increase the health benefits offered.

Examples of conventional functional foods include:

  • Fruits: berries (cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry), kiwi, pears, peaches, apples, oranges, bananas, baobab
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, kalespinach, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato
  • Nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts
  • Seeds: quinoa, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Legumes: peas, black beans, chickpeas, navy beans, lentils, fava beans
  • Whole grains: oats, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, couscous
  • Seafood: salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, cod, seaweed
  • Fermented foods: tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, rosemary
  • Oils: olive oil, coconut oil, linseed oil, algal oil, hempseed oil, rapeseed oil

Functional foods are associated with numerous potential benefits for your dog’s health.

They provide important nutrients that can help protect against disease.

Many are especially rich in antioxidants. These phytonutrients support the neutralisation of harmful compounds known as free radicals, helping prevent cell damage and certain chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Some functional foods are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy type of fat shown to reduce inflammation, boost brain function, and promote heart health.

Other types are rich in fibre, which can promote better blood sugar control and protect against conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Fibre may also help prevent digestive disorders.

Functional foods acting as nutraceuticals not only prevent nutrient deficiencies but also protect against disease and promote proper growth and development.

In formulating our 100% plant-based food for dogs our canine nutritionists have included a carefully selected variety of functional ingredients that offer a diverse range of benefits that support your dog’s very best health.

Bonza. Nose to Tail Good Health

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