• Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

Benefits of Fruits & Veggies

Updated: May 15

Vegetation for canines can be controversial, but it all comes down to quantity and quality. When added properly, it can have immense health benefits for every type of diet.

Why Are Fruits & Vegetables Beneficial?

High glycemic and processed carbohydrates in a canine bowl can lead to poor health. But high quality, low-glycemic plant matter has many health benefits.

A study done by The Voyageurs Wolf Project conducted a study that revealed during peak berry season (July-August), 80% of the wolf pack's diets consisted of berries.

Dogs are not obligate carnivores, unlike felines. Instead, they are facultative carnivores, which means that the animal can also eat non-animal foods. While their diet should be primarily made of meat, their food options are much more varied and have included vegetation naturally in the form of gut contents in their prey and scavenging for fruits and berries.

Fruits & veggies are an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and soluble & insoluble fiber. Ensure to only feed low-glycemic fruits and veggies and stay away from starchier ones such as potatoes, peas, and beans.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore, insulin levels. Feeding low glycemic vegetation is the key so dogs can easily digest the plant matter and get the full range of benefits!

Did you know that phytonutrients are only found in plant vegetation? The phytonutrients in fruits and veggies can help kill cancer cells, reduce inflammation, promote gut health, and support the liver.

Fruits are loaded with antioxidants, which help against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause long-term harm to your dog. Free radicals can damage cells and DNA, which speed the aging process. This is called oxidative stress, and it’s a bit like rust accumulating in the body. But antioxidants can help clean up the damage. Some fruits also contain digestive enzymes like pineapple (bromelain) and papaya (papain), which help with anti-aging, anti-degeneration, and overall better health!

Vegetation is also a fantastic source of fiber. This is crucial as the undigested fiber (insoluble) is food for the gut's beneficial bacteria! Fiber is food for the bacteria and is converted to Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). SCFAs are used for energy, immune cells, and protecting the gut lining, which is vital since more than 80% of the immune system lies in the gut. In addition, this fiber helps synthesize Vitamin K.