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Broccoli


The animal food industry, long immersed in a simple objective, speed, practicality for the master, satiety for the dog, has made many dog owners almost forget that no, in nature, there are no kibbles. The basis of a dog's (or cat's) diet is not kibble.

So let's not throw stones and rush into oversimplification. The kibble is made up of several elements, of more or less good quality depending on the brand. But if you want to be sure to bring a big plus in terms of health and longevity to your dog, whether he is fed with kibble, housemade ration or RAW, regularly add a little broccoli to his plate. And why not, eat some too, because it's as good for you as it is for him!


The benefits of broccoli have long been recognized in humans, rich in fiber, rich in vitamins, low in calories, good for the respiratory system and with "anti-cancer" properties. So even if some will be reluctant to eat it because broccoli has a particular taste, cook it (preferably healthy), or learn to love it because its benefits are worth it. For your dog, it's preferably raw or barely blanched, but be careful with the quantities, as with everything, the benefits are in "measure" and not "excess".


Benefits in dogs:

  1. Prevention of oxidative stress

  2. Cancer prevention

  3. Reduction of inflammation

  4. Liver detoxifier

  5. Support fragile/permeable intestines

  6. Improves eye health

  7. Reduces the risk of Zinc deficiency

  8. Support brain health

  9. Helps fight anxiety and depression


1 - PREVENTION OF OXIDATIVE STRESS

First of all, what is oxidative stress? To simplify as much as possible, it is when different factors, chronic inflammation, poor quality food, pollutants, pesticides, lead to stress in the animal's body. This stress leads to the production of free radicals which damage healthy cells. When oxidative stress becomes too much, the anti-oxidants already present in your dog's body find it increasingly difficult to fight against it and maintain balance and healthy cells. This leads to inflammation, mutations, which can lead to cancer, premature aging, heart problems, or even brain problems.

Broccoli acts positively on oxidative stress on the one hand by its richness in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant (fighting against free radicals resulting from oxidative stress) and by its richness in sulforaphane, a powerful activator of the production of antioxidants .


2 - CANCER PREVENTION

As we have just seen, the importance of broccoli in the production of antioxidants makes it a major weapon in the fight against the appearance of cancer. But its benefit in this fight is not only due to its role in the production of antioxidants.

Sulforaphane, of which Broccoli is rich, also plays an important role in reducing inflammation, sorting/eliminating carcinogenic elements, in cell apoptosis (death and elimination of damaged or cancerous cells), slowing down cancerous proliferation (metastases) and finally, inhibits the production of vascular networks irrigating cancer cells.


3 - REDUCTION OF INFLAMMATION

Although the inflammatory process is a natural process necessary in a healing process, chronic inflammation, i.e. which lasts over time, can be the cause of major problems such as allergies, osteoarthritis, diabetes, dementia or once again cancers.

Here too, the richness in vitamin C and sulforaphane in broccoli plays a major role in reducing the inflammatory response. But the important role of Broccoli does not stop there, sulforaphane can cross the cerebral barrier and thus act with its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role, also at the cerebral level.


4 - LIVER DETOXIFIER

Dogs, like us, are exposed to many pollutants and pesticides, in the air they breathe, the water they drink, in their food, and even worse than us because who has never had a dog? who took pleasure in grazing the grass on his walk, grass potentially treated with pesticides.

Fortunately, the detoxifying capacities of the liver make it possible to "limit the breakage" and to eliminate a number of toxins.

Broccoli plays an important role in activating the enzyme responsible for breaking down these toxins into more water-soluble compounds. The compounds resulting from this breakdown are even more dangerous than the toxins from which they are produced, but fortunately the process activated by broccoli continues and breaks these compounds into products that are very soluble in water and can easily be eliminated through urine. of your dog.


5 - SUPPORTS FRAGILE / PERMEABLE INTESTINES

It is often said that our intestines are our second brain. Indeed their role is essential. Without intestines there is no life. The same is true for our dogs.

It is at the level of the intestines that a large part of the beneficial and harmful elements are sorted. When we understand that the only thing that separates the intestinal contents from the rest of the body is a simple "barrier" of cells, we understand the whole issue of maintaining the intestines and this wall in an optimal state.

When the intestines are irritated and especially when it becomes chronic, the space between these cells increases, the space left, however small it may be, makes this intestinal wall permeable and it then binds many harmful compounds through it, such as bacteria or toxins, in your pet's blood. This can then lead to deficiencies, inflammations or serious chronic diseases in the dog.

How to avoid this? Maintaining optimal digestive health and avoiding/limiting any intestinal inflammation.

As we have seen previously, Broccoli has significant anti-inflammatory activity (vitamin C, Sulforaphane), less inflammation, less risk of intestinal permeability.

In addition Broccoli like many crucifers is rich in glucosinolates, which converted into indolocarbozole plays a major role in maintaining intestinal health by maintaining a healthy microbiome, by causing the production of healthy cells in the intestinal wall, as well as by triggering a surveillance response from the immune system.


6 - IMPROVES OCULAR HEALTH

When it comes to eyesight and diet, one of the compounds that tops the list is the carotenoid family. These carotenoids are essentially of plant origin and are responsible for the color of some of our orange, yellow or red vegetables.

The main carotenoids present, including Broccoli, are beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein.

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in your dog's body. Vitamin A is essential in eye health (formation of eye cells / protection of these cells).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that accumulate in the retina and make them essential elements for its health.


7 - REDUCES THE RISK OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

Zinc deficiency, common in Nordic breeds such as huskies or Malamutes, can also affect any breed of dog, with a higher incidence in large breeds.

Zinc deficiency has disastrous consequences on your dog's health, skin problems, blindness, heart problems, gastrointestinal problems.

The 2 main causes of this Zinc deficiency are that your dog's body does not absorb or assimilate it correctly, that his diet is too low in Zinc.

The first signs of a Zinc deficiency, before arriving at the diseases that we have just mentioned, are a weak immune system, dermatitis, epilepsy, digestive problems.

Broccoli is rich in Zinc and a regular intake of broccoli reduces the risk of Zinc deficiency.


8 - SUPPORTS BRAIN HEALTH

It is once again the Sulforaphane component contained in Broccoli that plays a major role in brain health by promoting the production of a brain derivative of neurotrophic factor, essential in the production and survival of neurons.


9 - HELPS FIGHT AGAINST ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Chronic inflammation is one of the causes of depression.

When your dog is stressed or anxious his body releases a large amount of stress hormones, these consume a large amount of Zinc, Vitamins B and C.

In times of stress it can be all the more important to give him broccoli, reputed to be rich in Zinc and vitamins, to compensate for the loss due to stress.


How to give broccoli to your dog and bring him what is necessary without risk?

As with everything, excess can be just as harmful as lack. We are therefore going to see how to give your dog the benefits of broccoli without risk.

Always favor foods of organic origin, because otherwise there is the risk of bringing more harm via possible pesticides than the desired benefits.

If you find them in organic food stores, broccoli sprouts are even more beneficial because they are richer in all the components we have just mentioned, than the inflorescences.

It is necessary to always test your dog's tolerance starting with small amounts, a teaspoon for a small dog up to a tablespoon for a large dog. You can also give him a treat/reward to test his appreciation. If all goes well and your dog has had no digestive problems following the ingestion of broccoli, you can increase the quantities gradually, not to exceed 3 teaspoons for a small dog and 2 tablespoons for a big dog.

In general, the portion of broccoli in your dog's daily food ration should not exceed 10% of its total portion for the inflorescences and 5% for the broccoli sprouts.

To preserve all the benefits of broccoli, it is best to give it raw or barely blanched (3.4 minutes in boiling water), because heat kills most of the vitamins and components of broccoli.

It has also been found that the benefits are better assimilated when broccoli is chewed well, which is rare in dogs who tend to swallow whole. So it's best to chop broccoli before giving it to your dog.


With all the benefits we have just mentioned, you no longer have an excuse not to give broccoli to your dog and eat it too!


CAUTION: If your dog suffers from a specific health problem diagnosed by your veterinarian, always seek his advice before modifying your dog's diet.

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