As more pet guardians embrace wellness and healthier eating, we have become more aware of what’s on our plates and what’s in our pet’s food bowls. As a result, superfoods have become an essential piece of the puzzle when selecting the best diet for our dogs and cats – but how do we know if a superfood is really “super” or just marketing fluff?
The word “superfood” is defined by Merriam-Webster as: a food (such as salmon, broccoli or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health. (Source: Merriam-Webster, 2021)
Perhaps surprisingly, this word actually originated from a marketing campaign. During the first World War, bananas were promoted as being not only cheap, but nutritious, easily digested and readily available. The popularity of the term soared after being endorsed in medical journals, due to physicians publishing their findings of a banana diet to treat conditions like celiac disease and diabetes. The United Fruit Company promoted these health benefits while the press flaunted headlines about bananas, paving the way for the future of superfoods. (Source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2021)
Today, a new “superfood” emerges every month, and it’s easy to see why when you see the sales associated with foods labeled “superfood,” “superfruit” or “supergrain.” So how can we trust the superfoods in our pet foods to deliver on their promise to be “super”?
ANIMAL-BASED VS PLANT-BASED SUPERFOODS
Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA, states: “You are what you absorb, now that you eat.”
Pet food companies often use plants or grains to increase protein levels in their products. This isn’t ideal for your carnivore, so be sure to select a protein-rich recipe crafted from meats and organs. Nature’s way of delivering essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids ─ from immunity to heart health, it is meat and organs that fuel your cat or dog to thrive!
A carnivore’s (cats and dogs) stomach is full of acid. This acid is efficient at uncoiling large protein molecules so the body can absorb the amino acids contained inside. The proper array of amino acids must be absorbed into the liver for additional processing and recognition.
Whether a superfood is meat-based or plant-based makes a difference to determine the impact it will have on your pet’s health and digestive system. Animal-based superfoods (e.g. organs, seafood oils etc.) are more digestible than plant-based superfoods (e.g. berries, kale etc.) due to the way the proteins are broken down within your cat or dog’s digestive system.
Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA, states: “Animal-based protein sources like egg, meat, dairy and fish contain more essential amino acids than do plant-based protein sources like soybeans or corn gluten meal.”
A SUPER SOLUTION
When selecting your next “super” food, look for recipes which feature animal-based superfoods. ZIWI Peak does just that – its patented Z-BOOST superfood blend is included in every recipe. The ultimate nutritional boost, every ZIWI Peak recipe contains a minimum of 10 percent superfoods – a blend of cold-washed green tripe or poultry heart, whole New Zealand green mussels and organic kelp.
COLD-WASHED GREEN TRIPE
A class of its own, nutrient-rich tripe from grass-fed lamb, beef, or venison is an exceptional source of probiotics and digestive enzymes to promote optimal digestive health. Plus, it’s irresistible to even the fussiest cats and dogs!
NEW ZEALAND GREEN MUSSELS
Recognized as one of the most sustainable seafood ingredients in the world, New Zealand green mussels are nature’s powerhouse superfood. They are a rich source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which supports long-term joint health, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids to keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy.
Kelp is a great source of bio-available nutrients including iodine and minerals, which not only help maintain a healthy metabolism but can also help to eliminate fleas naturally and reduce skin itchiness.
As you now know, these Z-BOOST superfoods are nature’s powerhouse source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support brain, heart, and joint function, while contributing to skin and coat health.
Whether you use ZIWI Peak as a mouth-watering topper, a nutritious treat, or delicious meal, ZIWI Peak is crafted to deliver peak nutrition in every mouthful.