Getting to the Root of This Superfood
This week, we continue our series on how healthybud is redefining the pet pantry by introducing superfoods into our products! Last week we explored what makes blueberries so special for dogs, and the fact that superfoods are ingredients packed with nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Today, we’re digging into the root of a really powerful plant: ginger!
Ginger, in summary:
Ginger is a flowering plant, and the rhizome (rootstalk) ginger root is widely used to add flavour to foods and for its antioxidant properties. Ginger is part of a family of plants that also includes turmeric and cardamom. Ginger is perhaps most well-known for its GI benefits (for gut health), but it doesn’t stop there! This ingredient is bursting with nutrients that can help your dog in many ways.
Ginger is not just a tasty way to help with nausea, it also contains vitamin B6, as well as magnesium and manganese. Vitamin B6 is known to support amino acid metabolism, and helps to support bladder health. Magnesium is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in your dogs’ body, so this is a very important mineral for your pet to get enough of! Manganese is important for your pup’s joint health. As you likely already know, ginger is an important spice for gut health.
Let’s first recap what antioxidants are. A common cause of cellular damage and aging is oxidation. Free radicals are a byproduct of metabolization, as well as various pollutants and toxins. Free radicals build up over time in your dog’s organs and cells, and lead to deterioration. Free radicals take electrons from a nearby molecule in a process called oxidation. This oxidized molecule will become a free radical if it doesn’t replace the “stolen” electron, which can lead to a ripple effect of free radicals. This oxidation process can lead to disease in our dogs if left unchecked.
So how does this tie into antioxidants? Well, like the name suggests, antioxidants are molecules that can help stop the oxidation process. Ginger, just like the blueberry, is an antioxidant, and has been found to be beneficial in brain health too!
If your pup suffers from nausea, ginger is a great natural remedy. It can be used for an upset stomach, car or motion sickness, and even to aid with medications that may cause GI upset. The gingerol and shogoal in ginger are what help in stomach upset. Signs of nausea in dogs include drooling (excessively), lip licking, loss of appetite, and drinking less water than normal. It can also help with flatulence (gas) since it is a carminative herb, meaning it helps to prevent gas from building up and helps release it from the digestive tract. Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help in arthritis and other joint diseases. There have been some studies that show ginger can help in treating heartworm infections in dogs, but it’s recommended to discuss this with your veterinarian. We believe that a healthy immune system is the building block for a healthy pet, and ginger is a super ingredient for immune health. Lastly (and this is a big one) ginger has even been shown to be a cancer-fighting supplement! Not only can ginger help with the nausea from certain medications, but early studies show promising data about its ability to actually fight cancer cells.
*Dosage- wise, your dog can have about 20-50mg/kg of their body weight.
This plant originated in tropical rainforests, and has been used for over 3,000 years in Eastern medicine practices. It can grow 3-4 feet tall, and is actually quite an attractive flowering plant that you will sometimes find in landscaping in more tropical climates!
If you’re eager to start incorporating ginger into your dog’s diet, check out these healthybud products:
Happy snacking, #healthygang!
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As new pet parents, we were overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting opinions surrounding pet health, and we figured we surely weren't alone. So we decided to take matters into our own hands, do the research ourselves, onboarded an incredible team of vets, and launched the healthybud platform to help pet parents like us 🐾 We're so excited to bring you as much relevant, current pet care and pet parenting information as possible!
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