How do we know if a superfood is really “super” or just marketing fluff?
As more dog and cat guardians embrace wellness and healthier eating, we have become more aware of what’s on our plates — and what’s in our animals’ food bowls. As a result, superfoods have become an essential piece of the puzzle when selecting the best diet for our dogs and cats. But how do we know if a superfood is really “super” or just marketing fluff?
The origins of superfoods
The word “superfood” is defined as “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health (Merriam-Webster, 2021).
Perhaps surprisingly, this word actually originated from a marketing campaign. During World War I, bananas were promoted as being not only cheap, but nutritious, easily digested, and readily available. Their popularity soared after they were endorsed in medical journals by physicians publishing their findings that a banana diet could be used to treat conditions like celiac disease and diabetes. The United Fruit Company promoted these health benefits while the press flaunted headlines about bananas, paving the way for the future of superfoods (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2021).
Today, a new superfood emerges every month, and it’s easy to know why when you see the sales that are associated with foods labelled “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain”. But how can we trust that the superfoods used in pet foods deliver on their promise to be “super”?
Animal-based vs. plant-based superfoods
“You are what you absorb, not what you eat.” — Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA
A carnivore’s stomach is full of acid. This acid is efficient at uncoiling large protein molecules so the body can absorb the amino acids contained inside. The proper array of amino acids must be absorbed into the liver for additional processing and recognition.
Whether a superfood is meat-based or plant-based makes a difference in determining the impact it will have on your dog or cat’s health and digestive system. Animal-based superfoods (e.g. organs, seafood oils, etc.) are more digestible than plant-based superfoods (e.g. berries, kale, etc.) due to the way the proteins are broken down within your animal’s digestive system.
“Animal-based protein sources like egg, meat, dairy, and fish contain more essential amino acids than do plant-based protein sources like soybeans or corn gluten meal.”
— Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA
A super solution
When selecting your next “super” pet food, look for recipes that feature animal-based superfoods. ZIWI Peak does just that – their patented Z-BOOST™ superfood blend is included in every recipe. With the ultimate nutritional boost, every ZIWI Peak recipe contains a minimum of 10% superfoods – a blend of cold-washed green tripe or poultry heart, whole New Zealand green mussels, and organic kelp.
These Z-BOOST™ superfoods are nature’s powerhouse source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for supporting brain, heart, and joint function, while contributing to skin and coat health.
Whether you use as a mouth-watering topper, a nutritious treat, or delicious meal, ZIWI Peak is crafted to deliver peak nutrition in every mouthful.