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Helping overcome autoimmunity through food



There are thousands of dogs being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases every day and that number is on the rise. For most dog owners this means turning to drugs to help treat these patterns. And while this may be necessary especially in the initial diagnosis, what about the role of FOODS. In todays short video lets look at three foods to add into your dogs diet and three to avoid if they have been diagnosed with some type of autoimmune disease so stay tuned to learn more.


I think many of us forget the role that foods and nutrition play when it comes to any disease pattern and this includes autoimmune disease. But foods should never be underestimated in their ability to help heal especially when given consistently and over time. So let’s take a look at some foods to include and some to avoid when it comes to autoimmunity.


KALE AND LEAFY GREENS:

Firstly we want to add in kale and other leafy greens. Why? Because these contain lots of alkalizing chlorophyll and remember when your dogs body is in a slightly more alkaline state it is much harder for disease of any kind to take hold.

Given that autoimmune diseases are based around inflammation, alkalizing is important as this will also help naturally reduce that inflammation as well as strengthen and balance the immune system. Of course these veggies are also high in antioxidants and once again this will help to target and reduce that inflammatory pattern that is the hallmark of autoimmunity. It is best added into your dogs diet in the raw state but if feeding raw make sure that you blend or blitz the veggies to a pulp so that your dog can digest them. They can also be lightly cooked for dogs that are not strong or well enough to start off on raw foods.


PUMPKIN SEED MEAL:

Secondly we want to get some pumpkin seeds into the diet- these are best given raw and crushed to  a meal so your dog an once again digest them more easily. Why pumpkin seeds? Rich in zinc and other nutrients including omega fats, magnesium and iron, pumpkin seeds can help by way of once again helping to alkalise your dog body which will bring down inflammation and balance the immune system. And being more alkaline helps fight any infection too.

They are also excellent in the gut to help rid the intestines of worms and other parasites that may be indirectly contributing to the autoimmune disease through poor gut health. Add some pumpkin seed meal to your dos diet 3-7 times per week depending on their condition.


FERMENTED FOODS:

And thirdly start adding in small amounts of fermented foods such as kefir and fermented veggies to your dogs diet. These supply a good variety of probiotics and provide a more varied profile of good bacteria than many probiotics. Also because they are eaten as a food the body assimilates them more easily and can use them to help build up the gut microbiome and help heal leaky gut which is also strongly associated with autoimmune diseases. Always start with a very small amount when using any fermented foods as initially they may make your dog feel a little bloated and gassy and we really don’t need a gassy dog in the house.


So these are 3 great food choices that overtime can really help bring down that autoimmune pattern but what about foods to avoid.


There are no surprises here with these foods.

SUGAR:

Firstly avoiding sugar in the form found in processed foods, treats as well as simple carbohydrates like pasta or any human sweet foods we might occasionally feed our dogs as these break down to also form glucose. Sugar in these forms is highly inflammatory and will feed any autoimmune disease as well as other degenerative diseases including cancer. So we want to avoid feeding sugars in this form. Now remember that the natural sugars present in fruits like berries are a great option for our dogs for a little sweetness and these do not have the same negative impact and are also naturally anti-inflammatory.


DAIRY:

Secondly please avoid all dairy and this includes yoghurt. Why dairy,- well because dairy foods increase mucous in the body and particularly in the lining of the small intestine which we don’t want- this is the site of leaky gut so we don’t want to introduce any additional mucous that might affect or congest these tissues. Now we talked earlier about fermented foods including kefir which can be based on dairy or non dairy sources and in this fermented state it does not cause inflammation nor does it increase mucous in the body . In fact kefir is known to actually reduce that mucous in the body.


ALL PROCESSED FOODS:

And the third food to avoid is anything processed. Yes I know I always talk about this and it seems to obvious but still many people are feeding processed foods to their dog even when they have an autoimmune disease. Processed foods cause your dogs immune system to be on high alert and overactive as it tries to fight against these unnatural ingredients that are found in any processed food. And of course processed foods are very proinflammatory and increase inflammation everywhere in the body.


Well there you have some quick advice on 3 foods to feed and 3 to avoid when it comes to healing autoimmunity. And if your dog has an autoimmune disease and you’d like more information about diet or anything else please feel free to reach out to me.

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