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5 Reasons To Feed Your Dog Sea Vegetables If They have An Autoimmune Disease

With more and more dogs being diagnosed with autoimmune disease daily, the more we can find foods that can help reverse this immune state naturally the better. Of course there is never going to be one food that can achieve this- its all about variety and balance over time. But today I wanted to explore sea vegetable or seaweeds and 5 ways they can help if your dog has an autoimmune disease so stay tuned to learn more in todays short video.

If you’ve been following my channel for awhile now you know I talk a lot about autoimmune disease- why?? Because I am seeing more and more of it in clinical practice everyday and have been ever since Covid. So I am always looking for something more I can share with you to help if your dog has an autoimmune disease.

The two main factors with any autoimmune disease is inflammation and how this damage the bodys tissues and immune system imbalance- this is what causes the problem in the first place as the immune system turns on the body and starts to attack a particular area. And this is where we can turn to sea vegetables a another way to help combat this disease pattern so Let’s take a closer look.

Sea vegetables or seaweed are marine algae that are edible and have a history of being used in cooking in a variety of cultures around the world such as Japan. Most of us would be familiar with the use of seaweed in sushi and other Japanese dishes. Sea vegetables or seaweed come in different colors, textures, and flavors, and have high nutritional benefits. Common seaweeds include nori, irish moss, dulse and wakame. These super food seaweeds are rich in  nutrients including a variety of antioxidants, omega 3 fats, and minerals such as iodine (a very rich source of this mineral), magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium. But seaweeds also contain special compounds that are not found in vegetables that grow on land and this helps make them a unique tool to help fight chronic disease patterns like autoimmunity and help with general health too.

These special compounds include Fucoxanthin, a type of antioxidant carotenoid that gives seaweeds a brown pigment, and which has potent anti-cancer properties, the ability to reduce liver fat and liver enzymes, and the potential to boost metabolic rate and assist in fat loss . And Astaxanthin, another antioxidant carotenoid that can help improve the health of your dogs skin, heart and joints as well as also reducing cancer risk. Other compounds found only in seaweeds help to reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system to help balance it out as well as controlling weight loss and appetite.

So now lets look at those 5reasons why you want to feed your dog seaweeds if they have an autoimmune disease. We know we need to reduce inflammation as a key component to autoimmune recovery. I mentioned above about a compound known as Fucoxanthin. Many compounds in seaweeds can help reduce inflammation but a big one here is this fucoxanthin which has the ability to reduce what are known as inflammatory cytokines -essentially, this carotenoid  can switch down inflammatory mediators and significantly reduce down overall inflammation associated with the autoimmune pattern. It can also neutralise free radicals that can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. Also a big factor with any autoimmune disease. And it has a positive impact on liver health helping protect it from damage so it can function in a healthy way. And keeping the liver healthy is also a piece in the puzzle of autoimmune disease.

One of the highest levels of this carotenoid is found in wakame although it is present in different amounts in all different types of seaweeds.

Our second reason is a more simple one- feeding seaweeds is a way of introducing nutrient dense food to your dog and while this is beneficial for any dog, those with autoimmunity need higher levels of nutrients especially antioxidants and omega 3 fats which seaweeds have I abundance. These nutrients play vital roles in helping balance  immune function, repair damaged tissue (which is another hallmark of autoimmunity) and support overall health. Because of the inflammation and sometimes malabsorption that is associated with autoimmune disease this is why your dog is in need of those higher levels of nutrients, making sea vegetables a valuable additions to their diet.

3. We all know the important of a strong and healthy gut but this is always going to be impaired when it comes to an autoimmune disease and healing leaky gut forms part of any natural regime here. Sea vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes healthy gut microbiome. And the more diverse and balanced your dogs microbiome is, the better it is able to help regulate and keep the immune system in balance to start reversing autoimmune patterns. The fibre found in sea vegetables can help feed beneficial bacteria helping grow a healthier microbiome. All seaweeds are powerful prebiotic foods and they can often contain up to 75% of this prebiotic fibre which is generally much higher than most fruit and vegetables.

4. Thyroid health- Seaweed is perhaps best known as a natural source of iodine, a crucial nutrient for thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. And keeping your dog thyroid healthy is essential to keeping the immune system balanced and healthy as these two are strongly linked. The iodine content in seaweed depends on the type, the season when it was harvested, and where it was grown but all seaweeds are rich in this important mineral.

Just remember here that Because getting a balance of iodine is essential- we don’t want your dog to have too much or too little, it is important to check with your practitioner before adding any iodine rich foods or supplements as it may push your dogs levels over or under. For autoimmune thyroiditis also always check with your practitioner before feeding these iodine rich foods as we need to keep the balance in check as here too. But seaweed can certainly be a powerful food to keep this gland functioning well. if you decide to include seaweed in your dogs diet, always choose Organic, sustainably harvested seaweed products from reputable brands as they are more likely to be free from harmful contaminants.

And finally today, seaweeds have an antiviral action. How does this relate to autoimmunity? One of the triggers to autoimmune disease are underlying infections including viral infections. Some of these infections may include distemper, parvovirus, canine papilloma or wart virus and others.

Viral infections can cause confusion within  the immune system, leading to imbalances in immune function and this in turn can lead to those autoimmune patterns. In addition, the proteins found within viruses can sometimes resemble proteins found in your dog's own tissues. When the immune system attacks the virus, it may also inadvertently attack the body's own tissues, leading to autoimmunity. Seaweeds have know antiviral properties found within those prebiotic fibres we talked about earlier which have the ability to block viral cells as well as deactivating the viral particles.

So what is the best way to use seaweed?? As I said when sourcing seaweed many will come as dried seaweeds in whole or powdered form. Make sure you are sourcing a clean and organic product and start low and slow with your dog. Dosage will range from ½ to 2 tspns daily but I would recommend starting only by giving a few times per week and then increasing depending on your dogs autoimmune state. And as I said before always check first before adding in any iodine supplement if your dog has a thyroid condition.

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