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Kale is an excellent superfood which can be added to a dog’s diet, in moderation. Kale is a green leafy vegetable of the cruciferous family. The vegetables in this family are known as the warrior vegetables and contain indol-3-carbinol; a compound with anti-cancer properties. Not only does kale have this benefit, it is loaded with more minerals and vitamins than many other vegetables, such as vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Vitamin A is essential for the health of the eyes, brain, skin and immune system. It stimulates basal skin cells to regenerate new skin cells, as well as maintain normal vision.
Vitamin C is an immune boosting vitamin. It readies the white blood cells in the blood in case of an infection, as well as also acting as an anti-oxidant.
The last vitamin is vitamin K which is vital for the health of the cardiovascular system. It is a major player in the process of clotting blood when there has been trauma to a vessel, and it also activates a protein which stops calcium from being deposited in the arteries.
Kale is also full of minerals. Calcium is in a high concentration in kale, which is vital for the development and strengthening of bones and teeth.
Iron is also very high in concentration, which is a vital mineral as it makes up a large portion of the haemoglobin section of red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen. A dog which has a low level of iron will feel tired all the time.
Magnesium is the next mineral found in kale. It helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as develop healthy bones, muscles and DNA.
Also found in high concentrations is potassium, which has many uses around the body. Without potassium, the body could not function. It helps maintain the heart in a regular rhythm, it is involved in the conduction of signals along nerves to and from the brain, and it is used when muscles contract.
Finally, copper has many health benefits. It plays a role in red blood cell production, nerve transmission, and it improves the immune function. It also aids the body to absorb iron.
There are no doubting kale’s fantastic benefits to those who consume it, however, kale has fallen in and out of favour with dog nutritionists. The reason is, kale has supposedly been linked to thallium ingestion, which can be toxic to dogs, however they would have to eat almost an exclusive diet of kale to reach those levels. Therefore, it is perfectly safe and beneficial for a dog to have a small amount of kale in its diet.
This superfood is clearly super when looking at all these health benefits, and so in healthy dogs with no underlying diseases, it can do them a great deal of good if added to their diet in small amounts.