Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email

From the sultry red of an apple to the vibrant green of broccoli and the yellow of split peas, the plant world offers a stunning array of colorful — and delicious — delights. But did you ever wonder where these colors come from and why eating a variety of them is important?

Realted: What Fruits and Vegetables Are Safe for Dogs?

Let’s dive into the “secret” behind plant colors — phytochemicals. Of course, putting down a plate of colorful plants is not your dog’s complete diet (discuss that with your veterinarian or dog nutritionist), but feeding your dog “all the colors of the rainbow” does promote health and longevity.

What they are

Phytochemicals are natural chemical pigments produced by plants (“phyto” means plant). They are biologically active compounds that serve a purpose, such as protecting plants from insect predation, pathogens and diseases. They also contribute to the plant’s color, flavor and odor.

Researchers are discovering that phytochemicals also provide important health benefits. It’s estimated that there are more than 5,000 phytochemicals. Scientists are just beginning to uncover their disease-fighting properties:

✤ Benefiting heart health
✤ Boosting the immune system
✤ Fighting inflammation
✤ Increasing longevity
✤ Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
✤ Promoting healthy vision
✤ Protecting against cancer

your dog should eat the rainbow

Behind the colors

Plant foods fall into five color categories based on their phytochemical content:
—Red, Orange/Yellow, Green, Blue/Purple, Brown/White

Let’s take a closer look:

Red: Red-pigmented plant foods are rich in lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene, an antioxidant in the carotenoid family, benefits heart health and helps fight certain types of cancers, including prostate cancer. Anthocyanins, a group of compounds in the flavonoid family, help prevent heart disease and diabetes, improve eye health, decrease obesity, halt the growth of cancerous cells and protect cells in the nervous system from oxidative damage and neurotoxicity.

Orange/Yellow: Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables boast high levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, phytochemicals in the carotenoid family. These compounds are referred to as “pro-vitamin A,” because dogs, like people, canconvert them into pre-formed vitamin A (Retinol). Vitamin A is an antioxidant with important benefits, including supporting healthy eyes, skin and bones, boosting the immune system and promoting optimal reproductive health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are plentiful in the retina. Studies show higher intake of these phytochemicals reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Green: Green fruits and vegetables are powerful anti-cancer foods packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals, including carotenoids, isothiocyanates and indoles. Their dominant green pigment comes from chlorophyll, one of the most important compounds on Earth. Plants use chlorophyll to capture and convert sunlight into the energy they need to grow. This process, called photosynthesis, results in the release of oxygen into the air, which is necessary for humans to sustain life. Animal studies have shown that chlorophyll may slow and prevent the growth of cancer.

Blue/Purple: Like their red cousins, blue and purple plant foods get their pigments from anthocyanins. Anthocyanins possess powerful antioxidant activity, and their ability to scavenge free radicals enables them to play an important part in blocking a number of disease pathways. Anthocyanin pigments appear redder in acidic conditions and bluer in alkaline conditions.

Brown/White: White fruits and vegetables are rich in anthoxanthin, a flavonoid pigment that may help promote cardiovascular health, decrease inflammation and protect against cancer. Allicin in white foods such as garlic possesses powerful antimicrobial effects and has been shown to inhibit certain bacteria, viruses and yeasts. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage, contains potent anti-cancer properties. Polyphenols and flavonoids in button mushrooms act as powerful antioxidants studied for their heart health and anti-cancer properties.

And, let’s not forget proteins. Lentils are a great protein source, especially those that are red or yellow, as they cook up nice and mushy for dogs. Also, split peas, peas and all beans (such as black beans and red kidney beans) are good pigmented plant protein sources.

When considering phytochemicals, opt for whole foods rather than supplements. Nature provides the perfect synergy of compounds for optimum nutrient delivery and absorption.

Read Next: 5 People Foods That Are Good For Dogs

17 thoughts on “Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’”

  1. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat 'All the Colors of the Rainbow' | And A Dog Food Deals Ok

  2. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – 2Good2BTRU

  3. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Top Rank Pets

  4. As a personal trainer and nutrition coach of people I am familiar with the benefits of eating colorful fruits and vegetables. I often wondered if our dogs should have similar diets. Turns out, they can eat a lot of the same stuff because it’s all about macronutrients and micronutrients. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat 'All the Colors of the Rainbow' | Divine Medicare

  6. Paula Loughlin

    I was told that garlic is poisonous to dogs and that apple cores are poisonous too as the seeds contain cyanide so although most rainbow foods are probably healthy there could be a few that aren’t so caution and knowledge is needed.

  7. Kenice Cozens

    I use my grater machine to cut up a LARGE mixture of fresh carrots & fresh broccoli & I throw in a bag of commercial riced cauliflower and 2 bags of commercial frozen peas & this makes a LARGE batch of fresh veggies I freeze in a bag & daily I put 1/2 cup of this mixture in with their half cup of super healthy kibbles & 1 Tablespoon of powdered doggie vitamins (AM only) & mix that all together & I put 1 Tablespoon of nonfat yogurt for their bones on top of all that & I feed them this mixture for their breakfast & dinner. BOTH my mid-size dogs LOVE this combo & eat it all up eagerly every day. They are the pictures of health & energy!!!!

  8. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Chipper Pets

  9. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Fur Kiddos

  10. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Selective News

  11. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Post Vibes

  12. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat 'All the Colors of the Rainbow' | Your World

  13. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – Pet Dedicated

  14. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ | ITS A NEW PETSTORE EVERYDAY

  15. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat ‘All the Colors of the Rainbow’ – thepethero.net

  16. Pingback: Yes, Your Dog Should Eat 'All the Colors of the Rainbow' – Pets Equips View

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart