INGREDIENTS – HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
Explore the nutritional, and environmental, science behind each of Bonza’s natural, plant-based ingredients.
Sweet Potatoes are nutrient-dense, antioxidant powerhouses - one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene.
Nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranked the sweet potato #1 in nutrition of all vegetables. With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable, potato, by more than 100 points and ahead of other superfoods including Kale and Spinach.
A rich source of fibre and antioxidants which may help protect your dog’s body from free radical damage and promote a healthy gut and brain.
Beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A helps to support good vision and your dog’s immune system.
They also contain a good array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, they're a good source of B vitamins and vitamin C.
A complex carbohydrate, sweet potatoes are low GI, digest slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so your dog feels satisfied longer after eating.
Sweet Potatoes contribute to the environment too. Multi-copping them with legumes results in significant reduction in damaging fertiliser use and they also have a smaller carbon and water footprint than most other plants and animal ingredients.
8 Science Informed Reasons to Include Sweet Potato in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Highly Nutritious - sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also high in antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage and chronic disease. (3, 4, 5,6, 7)
2. Promote Gut Health by Acting as a Prebiotic - sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibres and antioxidants that promote the growth of good gut bacteria including certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species and contribute to a healthy gut. (8,9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16,17, 18, 19)
3. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties - animal and test-tube research suggests that the anthocyanins and other antioxidants found in sweet potatoes may protect against certain cancers. However, canine and human studies are needed. (3, 20, 21,22,23, 24)
6. May Support Your Dogs Immune System - sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A and help support your immune system and gut health. (36, 37, 38,39,40)
7. Reduction of Nitrogen Fertiliser Use – multi-cropping legumes with sweet potatoes resulted in a 35% reduction in the use of environmentally damaging nitrogen fertilisers by comparison with cropping with cereals or leaving fallow. (41)
8. Low Carbon and Water Footprint – sweet potatoes require less water to produce than many other foods and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions making them an environmentally sustainable ingredient.
Oats are an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Oats contain some unique components — in particular, the soluble fibre beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides.
Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation and itching and reduced constipation.
In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that make them a weight loss friendly food.
Oats are among the healthiest foods your dog can eat.
Oats contribute to the environment by adding biodiversity, use in multi-cropping with legumes, restricting herbicide requirements, minimising erosion and water run-off and reducing aquifer depletion.
13 Science Informed Reasons to Include Oats in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Oats Are Incredibly Nutritious - oats are rich in carbs and fibre, but also higher in protein and fat than most other grains. They are very high in many vitamins and minerals. Oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods. (1, 2, 3,4,5)
2. Oats Are Rich in Antioxidants and Polyphenols including Avenanthramides - oats contain many powerful antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These avenanthramide compounds, almost solely found in oats, may help reduce blood pressure and also have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. (6, 7, 8, 9,10)
3. Oats Contain a Powerful Soluble Fibre Called Beta-Glucan - oats are high in the soluble fibre beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, act as a prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness. (1,11,12,13)
4. They Can Lower Cholesterol Levels and Protect LDL Cholesterol from Damage - oats may lower the risk of heart disease by reducing both total and LDL cholesterol and protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. (1, 14,15)
5. Oats Have Anti - Itching Properties – avenanthramides, polyphenols unique to oats have shown to have anti-itching properties. (36)
7. Oatmeal Is Very Filling and May Help Your Dog Lose Weight - oatmeal may help you lose weight by making your dog feel fuller. It does this by slowing down the emptying of the stomach and increasing production of the satiety hormone peptide YY (PYY). (12,21, 22,23, 24)
8. Oats Are Beneficial in Multi-Cropping - oats are especially valuable in environmentally sustainable crop rotation systems, helping to ensure sound cropping and soil conservation practices. (25)
9. Oats Greatly Reduce the Need for Herbicides - oats are often used as a “natural herbicide” – grown as a companion (or starter) crop to help establish forage legume crops by shading areas where weeds would grow. As a result, reduced herbicide use in oat production helps prevent contamination of surface and ground waters. (25)
10. Oats Reduce Surface and Groundwater Contamination - soil nutrient requirements (N, P, K) of oats are less demanding than those of wheat, barley and corn reducing the requirement for fertilisers and reducing both surface and groundwater nitrate contamination. (25)
11. Oats Don’t Deplete Underground Water Aquifers - oat crops can flourish with much less water than most other crops reducing the need for irrigation and consequent reduction in water aquifers. (25)
12. Oats Provide Excellent Soil Erosion Control - the dense cover provided by oats helps prevent soil erosion. Oats also require less tillage for seedbed preparation, which further helps prevent erosion. (25)
13. Oat Stubble is an Ideal Medium in a No-Till or Minimum-Till Program - more moisture is available for seedling establishment of other crops in oat residue compared to planting into row crop residue. (25)
Peas are powerhouses of nutrition that are a boon for your dog’s health and the whole planet.
Peas are high in nutrients, fibre and antioxidants, and have properties that may reduce the risk of several diseases.
Part of the legume family which include other pulses beans, chickpeas, lentils and lupins, they are an excellent source of molybdenum, a very good source of dietary fibre and a good source of manganese, copper, protein, folate, vitamin B1, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and potassium.
Peas also contain high levels of antioxidants including flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids and polyphenols. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties including a number of phytonutrients found almost exclusively in peas.
Legumes are identified by scientists as being climate smart crops that fix nitrogen in the soil decreasing the reliance on synthetic fertilisers, require less energy and water for cultivation and deliver healthy, bio-available proteins.
8 Science Informed Reasons to Include Peas in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. High in Many Nutrients and Antioxidants - peas are fairly low in calories and contain several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They're also high in fibre and protein. They are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which are likely responsible for many of their health benefits. (1, 2,3)
2. They're Filling and an Excellent Source of Protein - peas are a very filling food, mostly due to the high amounts of protein and fibre they contain. The unique protein content of peas makes them an excellent food choice for those who do not eat animal products. (4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12)
4. The Fibre in Peas May Benefit Digestion - peas are rich in fibre, which benefits digestion by maintaining the flow of waste through your digestive tract and keeping gut bacteria healthy. (3, 7, 18)
5. May Be Protective Against Some Chronic Diseases - peas have several properties including antioxidants (peas also provide flavonols, carotenoids and vitamin C that are anti-inflammatory and may help support the body’s fight against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. (7,19, 20, 21, 22, 23,24, 25, 26, 27,28, 29, 30, 31,32)
8. Peas Contribute to Global Food Security – peas are important and affordable sources of protein and minerals with a low wastage footprint (33)
The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C. and they were only bought to Europe in the 1530’s by the Spanish. They are now the most important non-cereal crop globally.
Potato protein is recognised as one of the most valuable non-animal proteins due to its high level of digestibility and high content of essential amino acids. It not only has a balanced Amino Acid profile but also a higher Essential Amino Acid score than egg and casein.
It is excellent source of many important vitamins and minerals including iron, a high vitamin C content that promotes iron absorption. Also, a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
Potatoes are rich in antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids which neutralise potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Potato Protein in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Excellent Nutritional Value – Potato protein is an excellent source of several nutrients, including vitamin C, which acts as powerful antioxidant and iron absorption enhancer, and beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, that can help prevent chronic diseases. (4, 5,6, 7)
2. Excellent Amino Acid Score and Balance – Potato protein has a balanced and excellent amino acid score. Higher than other plant proteins and egg and casein, the standard bearers for animal proteins, whilst closely resembling human skeletal muscle protein. (3)
3. Can Improve Blood Sugar Control – Potato protein has been shown to offer improved glycaemic and, insulinemic responses than whey and rice protein which is helpful in mitigating diabetes (8)
4. Naturally Gluten-Free – This makes it ideal for those who suffer from gluten-allergy or are looking to eat a gluten-free diet for other reasons
7. Helps Repair Muscle Damage – Recent research showed that potato protein stimulated muscle protein synthesis both at rest and after exercise helping to retain or increase muscle mass (12)
Rapeseed Oil health benefits include supporting brain health, supporting eye health, skin and hair health, promoting weight loss, strengthening immune system, supporting cardiovascular health, a gluten free oil option, supporting bone and joint health, and supporting the respiratory system.
- Contains the lowest saturated fat content of any oil – less than half that of Olive Oil.
- It’s a great source of Omega 3,6,9 with 10 times more Omega 3 than Olive Oil.
- It is a good source of antioxidant Vitamin E.
- High in monounsaturated fats.
- Contains no artificial preservatives and is trans-fat and GM free.
4 Science Informed Reasons to Include Rapeseed Oil in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. It is Abundant with Essential Fatty Acids - rapeseed oil is it is loaded with omega acids including omega-3 which can benefit brain health and joint health and omega-6 which has been shown to benefit the respiratory system, circulatory system and the brain. (14, 15,17,18, 19, 20,24)
3. Heart-friendly, Weight Beneficial Source of Essential Fats - rapeseed oil easily has the lowest levels of saturated fat compared to any other oil. It also has rich quantities of polyunsaturated fat, a fat that has been observed to lower levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).( 1, 6, 7, 8)
4. Supports a Reduction in Inflammation- it is known that vitamin E helps lower C-reactive protein levels and Omega-3 also provides anti-inflammatory benefits which may support a reduction in joint pain (12, 36, 37, 38)
Quinoa was known by the Incas as Chisiya (“Mother Grain”) and was considered sacred.
One of the best complete protein foods available, Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a 7,000-year-old plant that originated in the mountainous regions of South America.
While it is commonly known as an “ancient grain,” quinoa is technically not a grain or cereal grain, but a seed, and does not contain gluten.
It’s somewhat rare for a plant food to have the complete profile of all 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential acids our dog’s bodies do not produce and so must be provided in their diet.
Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. The quercetin content of quinoa is even higher than in other high-quercetin foods like cranberries
It may improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and even aid weight loss.
A food so healthy that NASA hopes we’ll grow it on interplanetary space flights and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization hails it as "the only plant food that contains all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins and contains no gluten." And a "crop with high potential to contribute to food security in various Regions worldwide."
Quinoa is a sustainable food, with a carbon and water footprint between 30 and 60 times lower than beef.
11 Science Informed Reasons to Include Quinoa in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Very Nutritious - the United Nations (UN) declared 2013 "The International Year of Quinoa," due to its high nutrient value and potential to contribute to food security worldwide. (4)
2. Contains the Plant Compounds Quercetin and Kaempferol - Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in animal studies. Quinoa contains more Quercetin than Cranberries. (5,6,7, 8, 9, 10).
3. Very High in Fibre, Much Higher Than Most Grains - one study found 17–27 grams of fibre per cup (185 grams). Most of the fibre is insoluble, but one cup of quinoa still contains 2.5 grams of insoluble fibre.
5. Very High in Protein with All the Essential Amino Acids - Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plant foods. It also contains all the essential amino acids that you need, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians and vegans. (18)
6. Has a Low Glycaemic Index which is Good for Blood Sugar Control - eating foods that are high on the glycaemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesitylinked to many of the common, chronic, diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. (19, 20,21,22)
7. High in Important Minerals Like Iron, Potassium, Zinc and Magnesium – these minerals are essential for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.
8. Has Beneficial Effects on Metabolic Health - studies show that quinoa can improve metabolic health, by reducing blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels. However, more research is needed.(26,27)
9. Very High in Antioxidants - Quinoa is very high in antioxidants, which are substances that neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging and many diseases. (28)
11. Sustainable Food – carbon and water food print 30 - 60 times lower than beef (33)
Carrots have a number of health benefits. They are a weight loss friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health, improved digestion, as well as reduced risk of cancer.
Carrots are one of the highest contributors of vitamin A — the powerhouse vitamin for so much of your dog’s body. Carrots also provide ample amounts of vitamins C, D and E as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Environmentally, carrots also have one of the lowest carbon footprints of all fruits and vegetables.
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Carrots in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Rich Source of Healthy Vitamins and Minerals - carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A (from beta-carotene), biotin, vitamin K (phylloquinone), potassium and vitamin B6.
2. Promotes Good Vision, Important for Growth, Development and Immune Function - carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A supports these health benefits. Lutein - one of the most common antioxidants in carrots, predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health) (15, 23)
5. Important for Blood Pressure Control - Potassium an essential mineral, is important for blood pressure control.
6. Supports Efficient Conversion into Energy - Vitamin B6 a group of related vitamins that are involved with the conversion of food into energy.
9. Supports Weight Loss - carrots, as parts of meals, can increase satiety and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals (33)
10. Environmentally Friendly – carrots have a small carbon footprint amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables at just .5 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food compared to lamb at 26.45 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food (30)
Fava Beans are part of the legume family which include other pulses peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils and lupins.
Also known as broad beans, they are a lean protein choice with lots of fibre, no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamine, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium and are also one of the top high-folate foods.
Our fava beans are dehulled to improve their nutritional value.
Eating these beans regularly may have benefits for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (Degenerative Myelopathy), help prevent birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
In his 2008 book ‘The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest’, the American writer and explorer Dan Buettner found that legumes such as peas were a staple food amongst the world's longest-living people. In fact, virtually all of the centenarians that Buettner's team examined consumed legumes on a daily basis.
Legumes are identified by scientists as being climate smart crops that fix nitrogen in the soil decreasing the reliance on synthetic fertilisers, require less energy and water for cultivation and deliver healthy, bio-available proteins.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Fava Beans in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Loaded with Nutrients - Fava beans are incredibly nutritious and an excellent source of soluble fibre, protein, folate, manganese, copper and several other micronutrients.
2. May Help with Parkinson’s Disease (Degenerative Myelopathy) Symptoms - Fava beans are rich in L-dopa, which the body converts to dopamine. Since Parkinson’s disease is characterized by low dopamine levels, eating fava beans may help with symptoms. Still, more research on this topic is needed. (4,5,6,7)
3. May Help Prevent Birth Defects - Fava beans are loaded with folate, a nutrient that promotes proper brain and spinal cord development in human infants. Adequate folate intake in pregnant women can help prevent neural tube defects. (3 ,8, 9, 10, 11) Gene mutation in dogs offers clues for neural tube defects in humans (12)
4. Contain Immune-Boosting Nutrients - Fava beans contain compounds that have been shown to boost antioxidant activity in test-tube studies. Since antioxidants enhance immune function, eating fava beans may boost immunity and delay cellular ageing, but more research is needed. (12, 13, 14,15,16, 17)
5. Beneficial for Bone Health - research in both animals and humans suggests that adequate levels of manganese and copper — two nutrients that are abundant in fava beans — may promote bone strength. (18, 19,20, 21,22,23)
9. May Help Lower Cholesterol and Reduce Hyperlipidaemia - Fava beans are high in soluble fibre that can bind to and remove cholesterol from your body. This type of fibre has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce hyperlipidaemia. (1, 40, 41,42)
12. Fava beans Contribute to Global Food Security – fava beans are important and affordable sources of protein and minerals with a low wastage footprint (33)
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world. In fact, they have been a part of certain traditional diets for over 7,500 years.
Chickpeas are a type of legume that offer a range of health benefits. Chickpeas nutrition is a potent package of protein, vitamins and minerals, which is why they are often included in many healing diets, including the Ayurvedic diet and the Mediterranean diet.
They contain vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline, and selenium. Besides being an excellent vegan and gluten-free source of protein and fibre, chickpeas also contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.
These characteristics are responsible for most of their health benefits, which range from weight management to blood sugar control.
Including chickpeas in your dog’s diet regularly will support their health and may reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Legumes are identified by scientists as being climate smart crops that fix nitrogen in the soil decrease the reliance on synthetic fertilisers, require less energy and water for cultivation and deliver healthy, bio-available proteins.
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Chickpeas in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Packed with Nutrients – chickpeas have an impressive nutrition profile.
Chickpeas contain a moderate number of calories and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of fibre and protein. ( 1).
2. May Help Keep Your Dog’s Appetite Under Control - chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, which makes them a filling food that may help lower appetite and reduce calorie intake at meals. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
3. Rich in Plant-Based Protein - chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, which has a variety of health benefits, ranging from weight management to bone health. They are a great choice dogs who want to avoid animal products. (1, 6, 10, 11, 12)
4. May Help You Manage Your Dog’s Weight - chickpeas have a fairly low-caloriedensity, contain a moderate amount of calories and are high in fibre and protein, all properties that play a role in weight management. (6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
5. Support Blood Sugar Control - chickpeas have a low GI and are also a great source of fibre and protein, all properties that support healthy blood sugar control and have been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. (5, 10, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21)
6. May Act as a Prebiotic and Benefit Digestion and Gut Health - chickpeas are high in fibre, which benefits dog’s digestion by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in their gut and helping waste flow efficiently through their digestive tract. (5, 9, 16)
7. May Protect Against Certain Chronic Diseases - chickpeas have many characteristics that may help prevent some chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. (1,16,21, 22, 23,25, 26, 27,28, 29, 30)
10. Chickpeas Contribute to Global Food Security – chickpeas are important and affordable sources of protein and minerals with a low wastage footprint (33)
Nutritional yeast is a nutrient-rich, vegan food product with many potential health benefits. It is sometimes called a superfood because even a little of this high-protein, low-fat, nutrient-dense food provides a host of vitamins and minerals.
It’s a rich source of B vitamins, which support the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Nutritional yeast is also high in iron, selenium, zinc, and potassium. It is also a good source of protein, providing essential amino acids that the body doesn’t make by itself.
Nutritional yeast provides energy and may help maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes, and mouth. It may be effective at supporting the nervous system and enhancing the immune system. Chromium in nutritional yeast may help control sugar levels for dogs with type 2 diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
It is also a potent source of antioxidants including beta-glucans, which studies suggest may help protect against oxidative damage and lower cholesterol.
For a product so rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, nutritional yeast has a small environmental footprint at just 3.204 kg CO2e/kg. By comparison chicken meat’s footprint is 1200% higher at 39.16 kg CO2e/kg.
6 Science Informed Reasons to Include Nutritional Yeast in Your Dog’s Diet:
3. It Contains Powerful Antioxidants - nutritional yeast contains the antioxidants glutathione and selenomethionine, both of which can help protect your dog’s body from chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and macular degeneration, caused by oxidative stress. (10, 11,12, 13,14, 15)
Despite its recently trendy, superfood status, seaweed has been eaten all over the world for thousands of years but has most notably been a prominent part of Asian diets for the longest period of time. It is thought to be partly responsible for Asian’s longevity.
The seaweed blend used by Bonza is a scientifically selected blend of red, green and brown seaweed designed to enhance the nutritional benefits.
Seaweed contains a rich supply of minerals, most prominently calcium, copper, iodine, zinc and iron. They are also rich in protein, fibre and vitamins, specifically vitamin K and folic acid, while being low in calories and fat.
Contains the most bio-available source of Omega-3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid ) which has significant health benefits as well as the potent antioxidant, Fucoxanthin, an antioxidant 13.5 times more potent than Vitamin E, that may help protect your dog’s cells from oxidative damage.
Red seaweed is rare in that it contains a plant-based source of Taurine, a compound that supports your dog’s heart health.
Brown seaweed ( Ascophyllum nodosum) has been clinically proven to provide improved oral health in dogs - reducing plaque, tartar and bad breath
This blend has been shown to help promote good gut health, reduce blood pressure which supports cardiovascular health, increase satiety and, as the best dietary source of iodine, supports a healthy thyroid function.
Seaweeds are a highly renewable food resource. They can be grown and harvested all year round, in any marine environment (for any temperature, depth of water or geographical location there is a species of seaweed that can grow there). Production is low impact - seaweeds need no chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides, they require no deforestation or freshwater to grow.
They don’t deplete their own environment of minerals - as over-intensive farming on the soil does. In fact, seaweeds actively improve the quality of the water. Brown seaweeds ‘fix’ the nitrogen content of their surrounding water - which is used as an environmentally friendly solution to nitrogen pollution from agricultural run-off.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Seaweed in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Contains Iodine and Tyrosine which Support Thyroid Function - seaweed contains a concentrated source of iodine and an amino acid called tyrosine. Your dog’s thyroid gland requires both to function properly. The thyroid gland releases hormones to help control growth, energy production, reproduction and the repair of damaged cells in your dog’s body (1, 2,9)
2. Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals - seaweed contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including iodine, iron, and calcium. Some types can even contain high amounts of vitamin B12. It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fats. (10,11, 12, 13, 14)
3. Contains Highly Bioavailable and Potent Omega-3 DHA – DHA has been shown provide skin and coat care, digestion and gut health, heart health, immune and inflammation response (joint care) and visual and brain health in young animals. Cell studies show it may inhibit cancer cell growth (3, 4, 5, 6, 21, 22,23,27, 28, 29, 33, 35, 36, 37)
4. Contains a Variety of Protective Antioxidants - seaweed contains a wide range of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids and flavonoids. These antioxidants protect your dog’s body from cell damage. (19, 20, 21,)
5. Contains Powerful Anti-Oxidant Fucoxanthin - the main carotenoid found in brown seaweed it has 13.5 times the antioxidant capacity as vitamin E. Fucoxanthin has been shown to protect cell membranes better than vitamin A (21, 23, 25).
6. Provides Fibre and Polysaccharides That Acts as a Prebiotic and Can Support Your Dog’s Gut Health - seaweed contains fibre and sugars, both of which can be used as food sources for the bacteria in your dog’s gut. This fibre can also increase the growth of “good” bacteria and nourish their gut. (28,29, 30,31)
7. Supports Optimum Oral and Dental Heath - Ascophyllum nodosum contains bio-actives, such as Fucoidans and Polyphenols, which have been clinically proven to reduce plaque, tartar and bad breath as well as improving gum and teeth health in dogs. (54, 55)
8. May Help Your Dog Maintain or Lose Weight by Delaying Hunger and Reducing Consumption- because it contains few calories, filling fibre and fucoxanthin, which contributes to an increased metabolism. (27, 29, 32, 33, 34,35, 36)
10. May Help Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by Improving Blood Sugar Control - Fucoxanthin, alginate and other compounds in seaweed may help reduce your dog’s blood sugar levels, consequently reducing their risk of diabetes. (46,47,48, 49,50, 51, 52)
11. Sustainable Source of Nutrition – seaweed provides our dogs with significant nutrients in an environmentally friendly way.
12. Seaweed Acts as a Carbon Sink – like other plants, as seaweed grows it absorbs carbon dioxide, but what makes seaweed a particularly appealing carbon sink is its growth rate: about 30 to 60 times the rate of land-based plants (53)
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood", made up of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA’s) and Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA’s). It is also high in healthy fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCT).
To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats that have different effects than most other fats in your dog’s diet. These fats can boost fat burning and provide your dog’s body and brain with quick energy. They also raise the good HDL cholesterol in their blood, which is linked to reduced heart disease risk.
Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) found in Coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats that go through a 26-step process!
It is a source of essential fatty acids and helps the body absorb important vital, fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.
The environmental impact of Coconut oil is very low. Growing coconuts doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides, and coconuts are harvested by hand. There are however some impacts that result from processing copra into coconut oil.
9 Science Informed Reasons to Include Coconut Oil in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Coconut Oil Contains Fatty Acids with Potent Medicinal Properties - Coconut oil is high in fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are metabolized differently than most other fats. These special fats are responsible for a lot of the health benefits of Coconut oil. (1)
3. Coconut Oil Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms - the fatty acids in Coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. This could potentially help to prevent infections. (6, 7, 8)
4. Coconut Oil Can Reduce Your Dog’s Hunger Helping Them Eat Less - the fatty acids in Coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may lead to reduced body weight over the long term. (9,10,11)
6. Coconut Oil Can Raise the Good HDL Cholesterol - studies have shown that Coconut oil can raise blood levels of HDL cholesterol, which is linked to improved metabolic health and a lower risk of heart disease. (15,16)
8. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer's Patients - preliminary studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase blood levels of ketones, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients and relieving symptoms although much more study needs to be done. (24,25)
9. Coconut Oil Can Help Your Dog Lose Fat especially Harmful Abdominal Fat - Coconut oil appears to be especially effective at reducing belly fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs (4,15,26)
Pineapples are low in calories and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
Their nutrients and compounds have been linked to impressive health benefits, including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, improved immunity, relief of arthritis symptoms and improved recovery after surgery and strenuous exercise.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, has been shown to jumpstart protein hydrolysis and extract more nutrition from plant proteins reducing quality differences between plant and animal proteins.
Pineapples have been a part of traditional medicine for centuries.
8 Science Informed Reasons to Include Pineapple in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Improves Protein Hydrolysis and Nutrient Extraction - Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, has been shown to jumpstart protein hydrolysis and extract more nutrition from plant proteins reducing quality differences between plant and animal proteins. (38)
3. Contains Disease-Fighting Antioxidants - pineapples are a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Many of the antioxidants in pineapple are bound, allowing them to survive harsher conditions and produce longer lasting effects. (5, 6,7,8, 9)
4. Its Enzymes Can Ease and Improve Protein Digestion - pineapples contain bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that breaks down proteins. This may aid digestion, especially in those with pancreatic insufficiency. (10,11, 12, 13,14, 15)
5. May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer - pineapple contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to cancer. One of these compounds is the enzyme bromelain, which may stimulate cell death in certain cancer cells and aid white blood cell function. (15, 16,17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)
8. May Speed Recovery After Surgery or Strenuous Exercise - the bromelain in pineapples may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain that occurs after surgery. Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties may also aid recovery after strenuous exercise by reducing tissue inflammation. (33,34,35, 36, 37)
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
Native to the southwest of India, turmeric root has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 4,000 years. It is one of the most clinically studied herbs today.
The turmeric root possesses natural oils, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals that combine to provide healing properties for almost every area of the body. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that boost the healthy functioning of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. These compounds include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, analgesics, and a wide variety of protective, preventative, and health-promoting derivatives that help support the natural functions of the body.
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects.
The powerful phenols contained within the flesh of the turmeric root not only help combat germs, bacteria, and viruses but also help aid in digestive processes, support immunity, improve energy, maximize metabolic functioning, cleanse the blood, regulate blood sugar, and increase mental processes.
Piperine, an active compound found in Black Pepper, enhances curcumin absorption by 2,000%. Without this substance, most of the curcumin just passes through the digestive tract.
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Turmeric in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound – scientists now believe thatchronic inflammation contributes to almost every chronic Western disease. 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)
3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body - curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your dog’s body's own antioxidant enzymes. (15, 16,17, 18, 19)
4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases - curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain. (20,21, 22,23, 24,25,26)
5. Curcumin Could Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Heart Disease - curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant. (28,29,30, 31,32)
7. Curcumin May Be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer's Disease - curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease. (39,40,41)
8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin - arthritis is a common disorder characterised by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. (42, 43, 44)
9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression – a study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition. (45,46,47, 48)
10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases - due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity. (49,50)
Ashwagandha is an incredibly powerful medicinal herb. Ashwagandha which in Sanskrit translates to "smell of the horse," referring to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength
Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for over 3,000 years and features flavonoids and steroidal lactones called Withanaloides. Withanaloides are believed to help support a healthy response to stress, to bolster mental and mood outlook, immunity and energy levels.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body adapt to fight the effects of stress, including the stress hormone cortisol, which has been implicated in numerous health issues.
Ashwagandha also provides all sorts of other benefits for your dog’s body and brain including increased energy, better sleep, less fatigue, lower blood sugar levels, promote healthy lipid profiles and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
11 Science Informed Reasons to Include Ashwagandha in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. It's an Ancient Medicinal Herb - Ashwagandha is a prominent herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and has become a popular supplement due to its health benefits. (1)
2. It Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels - Ashwagandha may reduce blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity and has been shown to be as effective as an oral diabetes medication. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6,)
3. It Has Anti-Cancer Properties - animal and test-tube studies have shown that ashwagandha promotes the death of tumour cells and may be effective against several types of cancer. (7,8 , 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Baobab is the fruit of Africa's 'Tree of Life' and is also known as the ‘Pharmacist Tree’. Baobab has also been hailed as "the vitamin tree" by National Geographic.
It is the only fruit in the world that dries naturally on the branch.
Among the best health benefits of baobab powder are its powerful antioxidants — more, in fact, than any other whole fruit; gram per gram, it has twice the antioxidants of goji berries and more than blueberries and pomegranates combined.
Baobab is one of the highest alkaline foods available as it has a PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) rating of -52 … The Journal of Environmental Health (2012) found that alkaline foods can also help defend our bodies from chronic diseases and ailments (such as hypertension, arthritis and deficiency in vitamin D).
Other important health benefits of baobab include its ability to boost the immune system, support bone strength, soothe the gastrointestinal system, lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure, and stimulate growth and repair.
5 Science Informed Reasons to Include Baobab in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Rich in Many Important Vitamins and Minerals - Baobab is highly nutritious and different parts of the plant supply varying amounts of protein, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and B vitamins. (1,2, 3)
5. High Fibre Content May Act as a Prebiotic and Promote Digestive Health - Baobab is high in fibre, which may optimise your dog’s microbiome and improve their digestive health and prevent conditions like constipation, intestinal ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease. (14,15,16,17, 18, 19)
Ganoderma lucidum, known as Reishi in Japan and Lingzhi in China, is popularly known as the “Mushroom of Immortality.”’ or ‘10,000-Year Mushroom’, has been a go-to for over 2,000 years in the Asian region. In fact, 16th century Ming Dynasty texts say that reishi can “mend the heart.” In Traditional Chinese Medicine Lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality and is regarded as the "Divine Mushroom of Immortality" symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity.
Reishi are considered to be one of very few adaptogens, herbs which act as biological response modifiers (BRMs) and restore the body’s innate immune function and help the body adapt to different stressors.
While Reishi has a rich history of benefits, it now has a more global reach and recognition of its health benefits.
These amazing fungi are noted due to their unique collection of compounds, which include triterpenes, alkaloids, sterols and a variety of essential polysaccharides.
Reishi also features antioxidants, beta glucans, and triterpenoids. They are a very rich source of organic Selenium, which is critical for the immune system and a key element in metabolism.
4 Science Informed Reasons to Include Reishi Mushroom in Your Dog’s Diet:
4. May Support Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity – recent studies have shown significant results in these areas. antioxidants from Reishi mushrooms were found to be absorbed quickly after ingestion, resulting in an increase in the plasma total antioxidant activity (23, 24, 25,26, 27, 28)
Siberian Ginseng, also called Eleuthero, has been used medically for at least 2,000 years. It’s a distant relative of another herbal remedy you may already be familiar with, Asian ginseng. Proponents of the Siberian version believe that it may be even more adaptogenic!
One of the most commons uses of this herbal remedy is as an adaptogen. This is why many athletes love it for boosting endurance and reducing fatigue. It’s also used for chronic heart conditions, blood pressure management, diabetes, kidney disease, chronic fatigue, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, colds and flu.
9 Science Informed Reasons to Include SiberianGinseng in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. It is a Natural Adaptogen - an adaptogen supports health and prevents disease in both sick and healthy individuals through nonspecific effects, which neutralize various environmental and physical stressors(1)
4. May Provide Anti-Cancer Potential – various studies have demonstrated Siberian Ginseng’s inhibitory effects on tumours. Experts believe that this plant may have strong potential to be developed as an effective anticancer drug. (6, 7)
6. May Improve Bone Density – studies have shown a capacity to increase bone density (9)
7. Supports Healthy Lymphatic System - eleutherosides have been shown to improve the lymphatic function of the lymph node network. (10)
Echinacea, also called purple coneflower, is one of the most popular herbs worldwide.
Echinacea was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes Today, it’s best known as an over-the-counter herbal remedy for the common cold or flu. However, it’s also used to treat pain, inflammation, migraines and other health issues.
Echinacea plants contain an impressive variety of active compounds, such as caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more
Echinacea benefits health and well-being like few other plants on the planet.
6 Science Informed Reasons to Include Echinacea in Your Dog’s Diet:
3. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels Lowering Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart disease - Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to suppress enzymes that digest carbohydrates. This would reduce the amount of sugar entering your blood if consumed (13,14, 15,16)
In China the pumpkin is called the ‘Emperor of the Sun’ and has become the symbol of fruitfulness.
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin is incredibly healthy. What’s more, its low-calorie content makes it a weight-loss-friendly food.
Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A. It also contains minerals including calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins E, C and some B vitamins.
Its nutrients and antioxidants may boost your dog’s immune system, protect their eyesight, lower their risk of certain cancers and promote heart and skin health.
Pumpkins have a very small carbon footprint, amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables, at just .09 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food.
9 Science Informed Reasons to Include Pumpkin in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Highly Nutritious and Particularly Rich in Vitamin A - pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. It’s also a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your dog’s body converts into vitamin A. (2)
2. High Antioxidant Content May Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Chronic Diseases - pumpkin contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and many others, which may protect your dog’s cells against damage by free radicals. (3,4, 5, 6)
3. Packs Vitamins That May Boost Immunity - pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system. Its supply of vitamin E, iron and folate may strengthen their immunity as well. (7, 8, 9,10, 11,12)
4. Vitamin A, Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Protect Your Dog’s Eyesight - pumpkins’ high vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents may protect your dog’s eyes against sight loss, which becomes more common with age. (13, 14,15,16)
5. Nutrient Density and Low Calorie Count May Promote Weight Management or Loss - pumpkin is packed with nutrients and yet has under 50 calories per cup (245 grams). This makes it a nutrient-dense food. It’s also a good source of fibre, which may suppress your dog’s appetite. (2)
6. Antioxidant Content May Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Cancer - pumpkins contain carotenoids, which function as antioxidants. These compounds are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers. (17,18, 19, 20, 21)
8. Contains Compounds That Promote Healthy Skin - pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock. It also contains vitamins C and E, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your dog’s skin strong and healthy. (5, 26, 27, 28, 29)
9. Environmentally Friendly – pumpkins have a very small carbon footprint, amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables, at just .09 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food compared to lamb, at 26.45 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food (30)
Cranberries may be among the healthiest fruits you can eat.
Cranberries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit, which help protect cells against free radical damage and aid in the prevention of chronic disease.
They are a good source of a few vitamins and minerals, and exceptionally rich in several unique plant compounds.
Some of these may be useful as a prevention against urinary tract infections, stomach cancer, and heart disease.
7 Science Informed Reasons to Include Cranberries in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals - cranberries are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, E, and K1, manganese, and copper.
3. High Levels of Bioactive Plant Compounds and Antioxidants, particularly Flavonol Polyphenols - some of these, such as the A-type proanthocyanidins, may be useful as a prevention against urinary tract infections. Others include Quercetin, Myricetin, Peonidin and Ursolic acid which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. (3, 6,7, 8,9, 10,11,12, 13,14, 15)
6. May Support Cardiovascular Health – cranberries contain various antioxidants thathave been shown to have beneficial effects on several risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol levels and blood pressure. (46, 47, 48, 49,50,51,52, 53, 54,55)
7. May Act as a Natural Probiotic - supporting the natural bacteria which grow in the human gastro-intestinal tract and killing off the bacteria which promote infections and foodborne illnesses. (56, 57)
Papaya is rich in valuable nutrients.
Papain, an enzyme found in pineapple, has been shown to jumpstart protein hydrolysis and extract more nutrition from plant proteins reducing quality differences between plant and animal proteins.
It may also defend against the visible signs of aging, helping your dog’s skin remain youthful.
7 Science Informed Reasons to Include Papaya in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Loaded with Nutrients - the papaya is a tropical fruit high in vitamins C and A, as well as fibre and healthy antioxidants known as carotenoids — particularly one type called lycopene. It also contains a potent enzyme called papain. Your dog’s body absorbs these beneficial antioxidants better from papayas than other fruits and vegetables (3)
2. Has Powerful Antioxidant Effects - papaya has powerful antioxidant effects, including the removal of excess iron in your dog’s system by lycopene, which may reduce oxidative stress and lower your dog’s risk of several chronic diseases. (4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9,10, 11,12, 13)
6. May Improve Digestion - papain enzyme in papaya can make protein easier to digest potentially reducing bloating and constipation. (27)
Spinach is a nutritious, leafy green vegetable. Eating spinach has been shown to benefit health in several ways, and it contains high amounts of all sorts of powerful nutrients.
7 Science Informed Reasons to Include Spinach in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Nutrient Rich Vegetable - spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium which contribute to healthy skin and bones, normal cellular function and improved immune function.
3. Rich Source of Important Plant Compounds - spinach contains many plant compounds that can improve health. These include lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercetin and zeaxanthin which are linked to improved eye health and heart health, chronic disease and cancer reduction as well as being anti-inflammatory. (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
5. Beneficial to Eye Health - spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health. These compounds may help block or reverse the damage caused by sunlight. (15, 16, 17, 18, 19,20, 21)
7. Regulates Blood Pressure - spinach contains high amounts of nitrates, which may help regulate blood pressure levels. This should lead to improved heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease. (7, 28, 29,30,31)
Of all the super healthy greens, kale is king.
It is one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence.
Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties including powerful heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects, to name a few
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Kale in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Kale Is Among the Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on The Planet - kale is very high in nutrients and very low in calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. (1)
2. Kale Is Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants like Quercetin and Kaempferol - many powerful antioxidants are found in kale, including quercetin and kaempferol, which have numerous beneficial effects on health including powerful heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects, to name a few (6, 7, 8)
3. Is an Excellent Source of Vitamin C - kale is extremely high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that has many important roles in the body. For example, it is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.
5. Kale Is One of The World's Best Sources of Vitamin K - Vitamin K is an important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting.
6. There Are Numerous Cancer-Fighting Substances in Kale - kale contains substances including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, that have been shown to help fight cancer in test-tube and animal studies. (15, 16, 17, 18, 19,20, 21)
8. Kale Is a Good Source of Minerals - many important minerals are found in kale including calcium, potassium and magnesium. These minerals are important for bone health and may be protective against heart disease. One advantage that kale has over leafy greens like spinach is that it is low in oxalate, a substance found in some plants that can prevent minerals from being absorbed (24,25, 26).
9. Kale Is High in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Powerful Nutrients That Protect the Eyes - kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that have been linked to a drastically reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. (27, 28)
Oregano is an outstanding health-promoting herb that has been used for thousands of years.
It is high in antioxidants and may help fight off bacteria and viruses, potentially reduce the growth of cancer cells and help alleviate inflammation.
Not only does oregano provide flavour for food, but it has also been noted for its powerful phenol antioxidants and their microbial-balancing benefits.
Two of the most important components of oregano are rosmarinic acid and thymol, both of which are powerful antioxidant compounds that can help support a healthy immune system.
Oregano has another powerful compound, carvacrol, which can help with healthy microbial balance, and acts as a major phenol antioxidant.
Oregano naturally contains a slightly stimulating agent that can positively influence microbial balance to keep the body in equilibrium.
Oregano contains pinene, limonene, ocimene, and caryophyllene to help support healthy microbial balance and healthy immune system function.
5 Science Informed Reasons to Include Oregano in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. May Help Fight Bacteria - studies have found that oregano and its components may be effective against certain strains of harmful bacteria including Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and numerous others. (7,8,9)
Though holy basil is typically added to herbal teas and supplements, studies suggest that sweet basil may provide similar health benefits, such as stress reduction and blood sugar control.
Basil is not only a popular folk remedy for ailments like nausea and bug bites but also widely utilised in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic medicine and other holistic medicine systems.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Basil in Your Dog’s Diet:
Preliminary studies have shown that Basil may:
5. Reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension ( 18)
7. Protect against aspirin’s damage to your gut, particularly preventing ulcers ( 21)
9. Inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause dental decay ( 26)
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. While it has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, parsley was used medicinally prior to being consumed as a food.
Even when eaten in small amounts, there are numerous parsley health benefits because it’s packed with beneficial nutrients, essential oils and antioxidants — to the point that it’s often called a superfood.
The impressive health benefits of parsley come via its active ingredients, which include phenolic compounds, antioxidant flavonoids, essential oils like myristicin and apiol, and various nutrients like vitamins K, C and A.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Parsley in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Provides Beneficial Essential Oils that May Fight Cancer – Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol and alpha-thujene that help fight cancer formation, in particular slowing tumour growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens. Parsley was one of the top four herbs revealed to have the highest inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing inflammatory compounds (7,8, 16)
3. Acts as Natural Diuretic and Helps to Relieve Bloating - Parsley benefits digestive health because it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and draws excess water out of the abdomen reducing bloating. (9, 17)
5. Supports Improved Digestion - can help increase bile production and beneficial gastric juices that are needed for proper enzyme functions involved in food and nutrient absorption. (12)
8. Good Source of Bone-Protecting Vitamin K - Parsley provides high levels of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for maintaining bone density, fighting bone breaks and fractures. It works together with the other bone-building nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and magnesium. (22, 23)
10. Helps Protect Eye and Skin Health by Providing Vitamin A - Vitamin A is essential for many physiological processes, including maintaining the integrity and function of all surface tissues (epithelia): for example, the skin, the lining of the respiratory tract, the gut, the bladder, the inner ear and the eye. (26)
Sage is a herb with several very promising health benefits.
It’s high in antioxidants and may help support oral health, aid brain function and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Botanically known as Salvia officinalis, it is native to the Mediterranean region. Sage's botanical name comes from the Latin word "salvere," meaning "to be saved."
Once highly prized for its medicinal value, in ancient Rome, sage was considered to have substantial healing properties and the Chinese used sage to treat colds, joint pain, typhoid fever, and kidney and liver issues.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Sage in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. High in Several Nutrients - Sage is rich in nutrients, especially vitamin K’ despite being low in calories. (2)
2. Loaded With Antioxidants - Sage contains over 160 distinct polyphenols, which are plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants and are linked to impressive health benefits, such as a lower risk of cancer and improved brain function and memory (1, 3)
Ginger is one of the very few "superfoods" worthy of the name.
The history of Ginger goes back over 5000 years when the Indians and ancient Chinese considered it a tonic root for all ailments. Roman, Greek and Arabic texts also documented the use of ginger root to help improve health and well-being.
It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Ginger contains the digestive enzyme zingibain, which is a protease. It may aid digestion by helping food move faster through the digestive tract and boosting the body’s own production of digestive enzymes.
10 Science Informed Reasons to Include Ginger in Your Dog’s Diet:
4. Ginger May Drastically Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors - Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. (11, 34)
6. Ginger Boosts the Body’s Production of Digestive Enzymes - Ginger contains the digestive enzyme zingibain, which is a protease. It may aid digestion by helping food move faster through the digestive tract and boosting the body’s own production of digestive enzymes.
7. Ginger May Lower Cholesterol Levels and Support Heart Health - there is evidence, in both animals and humans, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels at similar levels tothe cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin. (15,16)
9. Ginger May Improve Brain Function and Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease - studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function.(24,25,26, 27, 28)
10. The Active Ingredient in Ginger Can Help Fight Infections – shown to inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria including oral bacteria responsible for gingivitis and periodontitis. May also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections (29, 30,31,32)
Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well documented medicinal plants in the world and has been recommended for a variety of healing applications.
Traditionally, chamomile has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, mild astringent and healing medicine.
Chamomile is especially helpful in dispelling gas, soothing the stomach, and relaxing the muscles that move food through the intestines.
Chamomile has some unique properties that may benefit the quality of your dog’s sleep.
6 Science Informed Reasons to Include Chamomile in Your Dog’s Diet:
Yucca offers numerous health benefits and is often used medicinally. Parts of the yucca plant can be incorporated into your dog’s diet. Yucca was purportedly used in Native American herbal medicine as a cure for dandruff, headaches and arthritis.
4 Science Informed Reasons to Include Yucca in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. May Ease Arthritis Pain - Yucca has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe pain. Yucca also contains powerful antioxidants and saponins. These substances can decrease arthritis symptoms. (1)
3. May Aid in the Treatment of Diabetes - there is evidence that yucca helps regulate blood sugar. (2)
4. Helps to Inhibit Oxidative Stress - there is evidence that compounds in yucca, including antioxidants, help protect our bodies from oxidative stress and have a protective effect against the degeneration of multiple organs. (3)
Olive oil is incredibly healthy. Due to its powerful antioxidants it benefits your dog’s heart, brain, joints and more.
In fact, it may be the healthiest fat on the planet.
9 Science Informed Reasons to Include Olive Oil Extract in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Olive Oil Is Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats - olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects including reducing inflammation. (2, 3, 4, 5)
2. Olive Oil Contains Large Amounts of Antioxidants - olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful biological effects that may reduce your dog’s risk of chronic diseases. (6, 7,8, 9)
3. Olive Oil Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties - olive oil contains nutrients that fight inflammation. These include oleic acid as well as the antioxidant oleocanthal which are shown to have similar effects to ibuprofen. (2, 3,10,11)
5. Olive Oil Is Protective Against Heart Disease - olive oil has numerous benefits for heart health. It lowers blood pressure, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation and improves the function of blood vessels. (19,20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,26, 27, 28)
6. Olive Oil May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk - both observational studies and clinical trials suggest that olive oil, combined with a Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. (36, 37,38)
9. Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties - olive oil has antibacterial properties and has been found to be particularly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacterium that can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer and has been shown to be resistant to antibiotics. (47,48,49)
Methylsulfonylmethane, more commonly known as MSM, is a popular dietary supplement used to treat a wide array of symptoms and conditions.
It’s a sulphur-containing compound found naturally in plants, animals and humans. Our source is derived from plants.
MSM is widely used in the alternative medicine field by people looking for a natural way to relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
In addition, research supports its use in treating a number of conditions from arthritis to rosacea.
11 Science Informed Reasons to Include MSM in Your Dog’s Diet:
1. Can Decrease Joint Pain Which Could Improve Your Dog’s Quality of Life - studies have shown that MSM is effective in reducing joint pain, stiffness and swelling. In doing so, it can improve your dog’s quality of life. (1,2,3,86, 87, 90, 91, 132)
2. 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)
3. Can Speed Recovery After Exercise by Reducing Muscle Damage and Stress - MSM may help reduce pain, muscle damage and oxidative stress after intense exercise, helping you recover more quickly. (9,10,11,152, 160, 161)
4. Helps Alleviate Arthritis Symptoms by Reducing Pain and Stiffness - MSM has been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness in patients with arthritis. It may also help improve physical function. (12,13,14,18, 19, 135, 136)
5. May Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms by Reducing Inflammation - MSM may help reduce allergy-related symptoms such as rhinitis — including coughing, shortness of breath, congestion, sneezing and fatigue — by reducing inflammation. (15,16,17,22)
7. Could Improve Skin, Nail and Coat Health by Strengthening Keratin - MSM may improve skin, nail and coat health by strengthening keratin and reducing inflammation. It could even help reduce symptoms of certain skin conditions such as rosacea. (21,22)
Glucosamine plays a vital role in building cartilage, and it is used treat arthritis and osteoarthritis. It occurs naturally in the fluid around the joints, in animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish, and fungi.
While it is most often used to treat symptoms of bone and joint disorders, it’s likewise used to target several other inflammatory diseases.
Our source of Glucosamine is not only vegan but also significantly more environmentally friendly and sustainable than Glucosamine derived from citric-biomass or chitin from shellfish. Using chitin to produce Glucosamine depletes already stressed shellfish populations.
Chitin based Glucosamine uses 245 times more water, and 900% more Hydrochloric Acid (HCI) than our source while citric biomass is even less environmentally friendly using 87 times the water and 2250% more HCI as inputs.
Chitin based Glucosamine generates 227 times more wastewater and 55 times more solid waste than our source and citric biomass 110 times more waste water and 250 times more solid waste.
4 Science Informed Reasons to Include Glucosamine in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. Supports Healthy Joints - Glucosamine is involved in developing tissues crucial for proper joint function. While more studies are necessary, some research indicates that supplemental glucosamine may protect your dog's joints from damage. (1,6,7)
3. Often Used to Treat Bone and Joint Disorders – research shows potential for supplemental use of glucosamine to improve bone strength and minimise pain associated with joint disorders. (8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13,14, 15)
Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender.
The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.
6 Science Informed Reasons to Include Rosemary in Your Dog’s Diet:
2. May Improve Digestion - Germany's Commission E has approved rosemary for the treatment of indigestion.
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin needed for growth and development, cell recognition, vision, immune function, and reproduction. It is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs to function correctly.
Preformed vitamin A occurs in meat, fish, and dairy produce. Preformed vitamin A can be toxic when consumed in excessive amounts, either through diet or supplementation.
Provitamin A is stored in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products.
Beta-carotene, a carotenoid, is a precursor of vitamin A and is found in plants. This "pro-vitamin," in itself an antioxidant, is converted into vitamin A as needed by the body, so there is no risk of overdose or toxicity.
As the Bonza recipe is high in beta-carotene, a natural precursor to Vitamin A, our recipe requires very little added Vitamin A by comparison with other dog foods and lowers risk of unintended toxicity.
Unlike humans, our dogs have lost the ability to make vitamin D in the skin when exposed to the sun, and thus must rely on dietary sources to receive the vitamin D their bodies need.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for dogs, which means it must be part of their diet in order for your dog to maintain optimal health. Muscles and nerves require vitamin D for proper function because it helps regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption.
Vitamin D’s role in calcium absorption is also essential to the health of the dog’s bones. The most important muscle in the body is the heart insufficient Vitamin D levels can lead to congestive heart failure. New research is also showing that low levels of Vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of cancer.
There are 2 different forms of Vitamin D – D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is derived from plants and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from lanolin in sheep’s wool or algae. While the USA permit Vitamin D2 to be used in dog food the EU ruled in 2017 that it would no longer be permitted for inclusion after June 2019 and that Vitamin D3 must be used.
Vitamin D2 and D3 are not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status. Both are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the liver metabolises them differently. The liver metabolises vitamin D2 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and vitamin D3 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. These two compounds are collectively known as calcifediol.
Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and its blood levels reflect your body’s stores of this nutrient. For this reason, your health care provider can estimate your vitamin D status by measuring your levels of calcifediol ( 6).
However, vitamin D2 seems to yield less calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D3. Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol ( 7, 8).
Vitamin D2 is also thought to degrade more over time making it less available for use within our dog’s bodies. As this is such a vital vitamin for our dogs, Bonza only use a vegan-friendly algae-based source of Vitamin D3 in our recipes.
Vitamin E is more than good for dogs—it’s essential! Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help defend the body against free radicals in the skin and other cells.
Vitamin E is also an essential, fat-soluble vitamin that is good for a dog’s immune system, muscles, heart health, liver, nerve cell membranes and healthy skin and coat.
The Japanese have a life expectancy that is among the highest in the world. In fact, Okinawa, Japan’s famous “Island of Longevity,” likely has the world’s highest percentage of people over 100 years old.
Undoubtedly, there are many factors that play into the life spans of the longest-living populations, but evidence shows that they all have one thing in common: high dietary intake of an amino acid called taurine. ( 1)
The connection between taurine and a long life is so strong that researchers have dubbed taurine, “The nutritional factor for the longevity of the Japanese. ( 2)
Its benefits are so broad and extensive that scientists have described taurine as “a wonder molecule. ( 3)
Taurine is found abundantly in healthy bodies. Disease states - including liver, kidney, or heart failure, diabetes, and cancer - can all cause a deficiency in taurine. ( 4,5,6) And aging bodies often cannot internally produce an optimal amount of taurine, making supplementation vital. (7)
Taurine promotes cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, electrolyte balance, hearing function, and immune modulation. In animal research, taurine protected against heart failure, reducing mortality by nearly 80%. (8)
Taurine also supports eye health. ( 9)
We use a vegan friendly, plant-based source of Taurine in our recipes to provide your dog with the significant health support and benefits Taurine offers them.
The mitochondria act as engines within your dog’s cells, burning these fats to create usable energy. Their body can produce L-carnitine out of the amino acids, lysine and methionine. To produce it in sufficient amounts, your dog also need plenty of vitamin C ( 4).
In addition to the L-carnitine produced in their body, they can also obtain small amounts by eating animal products like meat or fish ( 5). Vegans or people with certain genetic issues may be unable to produce or obtain enough. This makes L-carnitine a conditionally essential nutrient (6). Deficiency of this nutrient can cause a variety of health problems for animals; most significantly, the association with heart disease (cardiomyopathy) in dogs.
We use a vegan friendly, plant-based source of L-carnitine in our recipes to provide your dog with the significant health benefits and support L-carnitine offers them.
Methionine is an essential amino acid in humans and dogs. As the precursor of other amino acids such as cysteine and taurine, versatile compounds such as SAM-e (a compound that's made naturally in the body and plays an important role in normal bodily function), and the important antioxidant glutathione, methionine plays a critical role in the metabolism and health of many species including humans and dogs.
Methionine is also an initiator of protein synthesis. It serves as a precursor to other amino acids like cysteine which can then be converted into taurine. Methionine can also be converted into glutathione, an important physiological antioxidant, It is an amino acid that is vitally important to the long-term health of your dog.
Chelates are organic forms of essential trace minerals such as Copper, Iron, Manganese, Calcium and Zinc which in their non-chelated form are inorganic. Chelates are trace minerals bound to amino acids.
Dogs absorb, digest and use mineral chelates better than inorganic minerals. This means that lower concentrations can be used in their food. Mineral chelates offer health and welfare benefits in pet nutrition. In addition, dogs fed chelated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their faeces, so there is less environmental contamination.
The poor retention and high excretion rates of inorganic minerals led to environmental concerns during the 1980s and 1990s, and so in 2003 Europe legislated a reduction in permitted feed concentrations of several trace metals (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn)
As certain minerals (Zinc, Copper and Iron) are vitally important to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing and are known to absorb better in chelated form, Bonza add these 3 minerals in the more expensive chelated form to ensure your dog benefits from optimum levels of these minerals.
Scientific studies show that Calcium and Manganese absorption rates are not improved by chelation and therefore there is no benefit to chelation of these minerals. One of our primary ingredients, water lentils, contains naturally chelated minerals which provides optimum absorption and benefits.
Our blend of ingredients provides very good levels of naturally chelated minerals and means we rely less on added trace minerals than many other dog foods.
The mineral zinc plays an important role in many substances in the canine body including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also important for immune system function and thyroid function.
Zinc deficiency can result in many problems for your dog including:
- Lack of protection from infection
- Abnormal iodine metabolism
- Interference with normal cell development including wound healing, and replacement of intestinal lining cells, skin cells, hair, and nails
- Interference with normal sexual function (important in breeding animals)
Puppies affected with zinc-deficiency experience stunted growth, diarrhoea, crusted and cracked footpads, and multiple infections. These puppies do not respond to zinc supplementation, and usually die or are euthanised.
Copper is necessary for a number of important bodily functions. It helps dogs’ bones form, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin, which coats and protects nerves. The mineral allows the body to absorb iron, boosting red blood cell function.
The formation of melanin requires copper, an antioxidant, and is part of many enzymes, such as monoamine oxidase, lysyl oxidase, ferroxidase and cytochrome C oxidase.
Copper deficiency can result in many problems for your dog including:
- Bone and joint disease
- Poor coat colour
- Ligament and tendon issues
As its primary function, iron combines with Copper (Cu) and protein to form haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Iron also is necessary for certain enzymes in the body to function normally.
Iron deficiency results in the development of anaemia (lower than normal number of red blood cells). In iron deficiency anaemia, the size of each red blood cell and the amount of haemoglobin it contains are also reduced. Symptoms of anaemia include decreased growth rate, weakness, and increased susceptibility to stress or disease. Animals with iron deficiency may also develop constipation.
The absorption of Iron in the body is aided significantly by natural sources of Vitamin C in the diet.
Calcium is known for its role in building strong bones, but it also performs several other functions in your dog’s body. Calcium helps keep your dog’s nails, teeth, and coat healthy.
Calcium is required for digestion, blood clotting, squeezing and relaxing muscles, releasing hormones, and proper nerve function. Calcium even helps your dog maintain a regular heartbeat!
Hypo-calcaemia (calcium deficiency) can be caused by a variety of factors, including low body protein, kidney failure, an overactive parathyroid, and even nursing offspring (since bodily milk takes up a lot of the mother’s calcium). It is often seen in dogs with poor diets - such as all meat diets or when homemade or raw food diets are not administered carefully.
Most minerals share the same functions, in both the human and animal body, when absorbed into the bloodstream.
Manganese helps your dog to digest and absorb proteins and carbohydrates he gets from his diet. Furthermore, this mineral also acts as a catalyst in over 300 enzyme functions in your dog’s body. Some of these enzymatic actions include the conversion of food into energy and fatty acids.
Manganese combined with other minerals, assist in the formation of a healthy skeletal structure for your dog. This is why you will find more of the mineral in the bones than any other parts of the body. Manganese also aids in the optimum functioning of your dog’s internal organs. Organs such as the liver and the kidneys function effectively which in turn promotes good health in your dog.
If you want your dog to look youthful for days, ensure he gets his manganese. This mineral is an active antioxidant that stops oxidation in your dog’s body. Internal oxidation releases free radicals that are harmful to body cells.
Manganese deficiency is very rare in dogs and cats; when it does occur, new born and young animals are more likely affected. The symptoms of manganese deficiency include poor growth, skeletal abnormalities, reproductive failure, and ataxia (loss of equilibrium)
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil. Selenium naturally appears in water and some foods. While dogs and humans only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in the metabolism.
Selenium, like the other trace minerals is necessary to sustain life of canines. Selenium is one of the critical nutritional factors for immune system along with zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and linoleic acid.
Adequate selenium is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland.
It is generally found that organoselenium compounds have substantially greater bioavailability than that of inorganic selenium. ( 1)
We use a highly bio-available organic food-form selenium, Organic Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3060 together with Sodium Selenite an inorganic form.
Oats and Reishi Mushroom offer rich sources of natural, organic selenium in Bonza products.