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Who Doesn’t Wanna Be Healthy? What About Your Pets?

Who doesn’t want to be healthy? Who doesn’t want to be free of disease? Who doesn’t want longevity and high quality of life – not only for themselves but for their pets? I know you must be interested or you wouldn’t be reading this article!

The term nutraceutical is a relatively recent word in our lexicon, meaning “a food or supplement that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value.”

Published reports of studies conducted by experts in the fields of nutrition, disease prevention, and human and veterinary medicine, support the use of these unique nutrients in our everyday diets.  There is definitely a relationship between diet and health, longevity, and quality of life. Many diseases stem from poor nutrition and likewise can be reversed by returning to a healthy diet and using specific nutrients.  What many consider to be the inevitable consequences of aging – bone and joint degeneration, tooth decay, the decline of vision and hearing, poor digestion, tumors – may actually be thwarted by attention to good nutrition practices.  This empowers us to contribute to our own health care, as well as our pets’ care, to maximize our vitality and longevity.

Nutraceuticals are best incorporated in the form of a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich whole foods diet. Supplements can also be added if increased concentrations of a particular nutrient are needed.

Researchers and authors Stephen Holt, MD, and Dean R. Bader, DVM describe in their book Nature’s Benefit for Pets: Unifying Human and Pet Nutraceutical Technology, “the concepts that unify human and pet nutraceutical technology”, stating that “human and veterinary medicine are closely linked.” It may surprise you to know that veterinary scientists themselves may have developed the nutraceuticals in your kitchen or medicine cabinet. The medicinal nutraceuticals described in Holt & Bader’s book are extracted or manufactured from botanicals, herbs, fruits, and animal products from around the world.  

For example:

  • Essential Fats from marine animals, plants and seeds, for the immune system, smooth muscle, and neural health, the regulation of responses to pain and inflammation, preventing infection and cancer.
  • Enzymes from cultured microorganisms and plants, for optimal digestion of foods, healing from injuries, and preventing or treating infections.
  • Probiotics from cultured bacteria and yeasts, to assist with digestion and balancing our immune system.
  • Vitamin C from fruit, for metabolic functions in all cells; eye, skin and heart health, wound repair, bone and cartilage growth, immune system function, and increased longevity.
  • Vitamin E from seeds, for essential cell function in the body as well as the development and function of the immune system. Vitamin E is especially helpful at times of illness and stress.
  • Calcium from organic bone, shell and inorganic mineral deposits, may protect against inflammatory diseases and cancer, along with other important macrominerals like magnesium.

Nutrients, herbs and supplements to prevent and treat specific health conditions should always be discussed with your holistic care practitioner for yourself and your family, or with your holistic veterinarian for your animals.  While many products are readily available on store shelves nowadays, it is still best to consult with a trusted health care professional when considering incorporating these products into a daily regimen. Some nutraceuticals, and certainly many herbal medicines, must be used with caution, considering potential interactions with other medications and any health challenges.

Chef Joanie V’s Recommendations:

For the benefits and usage of glucosamine and chondroidins, Vitamins A, D, B complexes, calcium and phosphorus, vital nutrition for skin & coat health, as well as oral, eye and digestive health for pets, I recommend a holistic vet every time.  I also highly recommend reading Holt & Bader’s book to learn more information.

Please understand that this article is not a diagnosis and/or a prescription to treat illnesses; however, with this knowledge, one may wish to share with their health care provider on a journey to good health and longevity.

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