There always seems to be a new concern when it comes to maintaining your health. And it goes beyond just what you eat. Each new piece of knowledge aids in directing not only what you consume, but also what you feed your dog.
Another dish is in question, as if you weren’t stressed enough already. it is kale (along with other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower).
Why Kale May Not Be The Right Choice For Dogs
Back in 2015, a number of articles were written about the molecular biologist Ernie Hubbard’s discovery that cruciferous vegetables may be deadly heavy metal hyperaccumulators like thallium. Kale falls under this. The soil in which vegetables are cultivated is the source of heavy metals.
Additionally, a 2005 report by Jane Higdon, PhD, of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, raised worries that consuming too many cruciferous vegetables can cause thyroid levels to decrease. However, there are a variety of benefits, including:
Why Kale Is Good For Dogs
Additionally, it is bursting at the seams with antioxidants, which fight illnesses, including cancer.
Antioxidants In Kale
Your dog needs antioxidants to prevent oxidative damage. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in your dog’s body.
Free radicals are unstable compounds having an odd number of electrons. They result from normal processes, including metabolism and exercise. But they can also be brought on by environmental toxins like pollution, pesticides, or secondhand smoke.
In order to prevent free radical damage, your dog has to consume adequate antioxidants. Kale is a great option. Antioxidants included in it have strong health advantages.
Plant pigments called carotenes exist. They are in charge of giving plants, algae, bacteria, and fungi their characteristic red, orange, and yellow colors. Carotenoids are abundant in red tomatoes, yellow daffodils, and the warm tones of fall foliage. They also contribute to the pink color of shrimp, salmon, and flamingos, which consume diets high in these compounds.
Antioxidants found in abundance in carotenoids shield your dog from free radicals.
There are three main carotenoids in kale; beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein.
A pro-vitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene. This indicates that it changes in your dog’s body to vitamin A. Additionally, vitamin A is crucial for the skin, hair, muscles, and nerves of your dog.
Beta-carotene also helps:
- Improve eye health
- Boost the immune system
- Improve cognitive function
- Protect skin from sun damage
- Prevent cancer
Like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are great for the eyes and skin. The best nutrients for sustaining the health of the retina are lutein and zeaxanthin. The only carotenoids you can add to your dog’s diet that will cause them to accumulate in their retinas are these.
Research shows that this helps protect against:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal detachment
- Blue light damage
Your dog can benefit from the UV protection provided by lutein and zeaxanthin. Aging is slowed and skin irritation is decreased. Zeaxanthin and lutein enhance heart health, according to studies. They lessen the accumulation of plaque that causes artery hardening. This lessens the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Glutathione levels are also raised by lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidant glutathione is created in your dog’s cells. And it ranks among the strongest antioxidants his body can produce. Additionally, it aids with liver cleansing. In fact, up to 45% of canine liver illness may be brought on by low glutathione levels.
But glutathione is depleted by:
- Environmental toxins
Additionally, it is difficult to replace because dietary glutathione is broken down before it can be absorbed. Therefore, lutein and zeaxanthin are essential for your dog’s continued maintenance of glutathione levels.
Flavonoids are plant pigments that can be found in fruits and vegetables, much like carotenoids. They have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The two most prevalent flavonoids are kaempferol and quercetin. Kale includes both.
The ability of quercetin to combat allergies is widely recognized. Even Benadryl of nature is used to describe it. This is due to quercetin’s dual antihistamine properties. Histamines are released by your dog’s body to combat allergies. It’s what makes your dog itch and swell. Quercetin lowers histamine levels and prevents an allergic reaction in your dog.
While kaempferol doesn’t help ease allergies, it has many benefits. Kaempferol helps:
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Improve heart health
- Protect the brain
- Control diabetes
- Manage liver and metabolic disease
Quercetin and kaempferol can both protect against cancer.
Has your dog ever been caught eating grass? There are a few explanations if you have. Dogs will occasionally eat grass to calm an upset stomach. Sometimes people simply do it out of want; this is very acceptable conduct. Other times, your dog can be in need of chlorophyll, an essential mineral that he isn’t getting enough of.
Chlorophyll is yet another pigment found in plants. This is why the grass looks green. Chlorophyll shares a chemical composition with your dog’s hemoglobin. Hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells in your dog, helps carry oxygen throughout his body. Chlorophyll can help in the production of new red blood cells because of how close their structural similarities are.
There are numerous other advantages of chlorophyll. Although it isn’t as effective as the other antioxidants, it can reduce oxidative stress. This means that it can shield cells from harm.
Chlorophyll also helps:
- Fight infections and heal wounds
- Boost the immune system
- Break down stones in your dog’s urinary tract
Additionally, mercury and other heavy metals can be bound by chlorophyll. The kidney in your dog then removes the poisons from his body by transporting them there. This may lessen organ damage and shield against illnesses like cancer.
The issue is that your dog may not be able to properly digest the grass he is consuming in order to acquire enough chlorophyll. And that indicates that he isn’t taking in the nutrients he needs. Not to mention that harmful chemicals like Roundup can be used to treat the grass.
Fortunately, there are several things you can add to your dog’s meal to raise the amount of chlorophyll in his system.
One excellent source of chlorophyll is kale.
Your dog’s body uses vitamin C for a variety of purposes. It maintains blood vessels, teeth, bones, cartilage, and tissue. It enhances your dog’s calcium and iron absorption capacity. Additionally, it aids in regulating allergic reaction. It is also an antioxidant that aids in the fight against sickness and cancer.
Dogs manufacture their own vitamin C, unlike humans. But occasionally, your dog needs that extra push.
Vitamin C may be a good idea to add vitamin C to your dog’s dish if he:
- Has allergies
- Needs an immune system boost
- Needs more antioxidants
- Your dog is a senior (dogs over 7 have trouble producing enough vitamin C)
It’s beneficial if your dog is anxious. This is so because anti-stress hormones are made using vitamin C.
Dogs frequently experience stress from new situations, travel, dietary changes, new habits, relocating, and loud noises. His body may take up vitamin C faster than it can be created if he is under a lot of stress. Vitamin C is plentiful in kale. Kale contains more vitamin C per cup than spinach or an entire orange.
How To Feed Kale To Dogs
To help your dog reap the benefits of kale with the lowest risks possible, follow these feeding tips:
- Always buy organic to lower the risk of toxins and heavy metals in your kale.
- If you buy non-organic kale, add some chlorella remove thallium out of your dog’s body.
- Lightly steam the kale to reduce its effect on thyroid hormone production. Can dogs eat kale raw? On occasion, but steaming is recommended.
- Make it a part of a balanced diet and introduce kale slowly to avoid gastric irritation.
Cautions Against Kale
As previously discussed, the chlorophyll in kale can aid in the dissolution of bladder stones. The issue is that calcium oxalate, which is present in kale and can result in kidney and bladder stones. Dogs who are prone to stone formation should consume calcium oxalate-rich foods in moderation, such as kale.
Also present in kale are isothiocyanates. These substances have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer in people. However, it can irritate the stomach in dogs and, in big doses, may be toxic. It’s best to limit your dog’s consumption of kale and other cruciferous vegetables to no more than 10% of their diet.
Give some kale or other cruciferous vegetables to your dog to eat. They’re a beneficial supplement to his diet of meat. But don’t go overboard! Rotate some additional vegetables in. In this manner, your dog will remain healthy and benefit from all that kale has to offer.