Getting important nutrients from food is certainly one of the safest ways to maintain a good overall health. This is true for both humans and pets. But often foods that we eat lose their nutritional values due to the wrong ways of cooking or even wrong combinations of ingredients in our plate.
A poor food combination might take away all of the great benefits veggies, meat or dairy products could bring, and even have bad effects on your health. On the other hand, eating well-combined foods with different nutrients at the same time might be much healthier when combined than when taken alone. However, not all foods that we eat are suitable for our dogs. It is because their digestive system breaks down food in a different manner. So you have to be careful when feeding Fido with veggies and fruits because he probably doesn’t need as many vegetables as you do.
Most dogs eat commercial dog food during their entire lifespan, which might not always be the best decision. First of all, it is dry, and if it’s not the high-quality commercial food, then it might not even be that healthy for your pup. Including occasional healthy treats is a great way of introducing fresh sources of good nutrients of your dog’s diet.
We will discuss today which food combinations will provide your dog with some superior health benefits. This is possible thanks to a phenomenon called food or nutrient synergy, which basically means that one mineral might double up its power and benefits when combined with another compound. Giving any of the following foods alone will bring some benefits to your dog, but it won’t even be close to what your dog could get from the combination suggestions we will now list.
Let’s discover which foods you can mix to make sure that your dog’s treat is super healthy!
1. Banana + Yogurt
Inulin + Calcium = Healthy Tummy + Stronger Bones
This might probably be the food combination you’d have most likely in your fridge right now. If that’s the case, why don’t you make a small treat for your pup? Plus, you can try some too, as the taste will definitely be quite refreshing and you will also benefit from it!
But why is this combination super healthy?
We will first have to explain what these foods contain. Bananas make a great source of dietary fiber. Not only, but they are also rich in inulin, a powerful type of fiber that aids the digestive system and enhances calcium absorption. On the other hand, yogurt contains high levels of calcium which is why it makes a perfect pair with bananas.
If you mash a quarter of ripe banana and mix it to a half cup of yogurt, your pup will get a great healthy boost. Not only will it affect his bone strength positively, but it will also maintain his tummy health in peak!
2. Kale + Egg Yolk
Vitamin D + Calcium = Stronger Bones
Another treat that could help your dog get stronger bones is combining kale and egg yolk. This is a great alternative if your pup does not adore dairy products so you can’t give him our first food combination. Or you can opt for this one if you just want to focus on your dog’s bone health.
Calcium is a mineral that is best absorbed from our diet, and kale contains high levels of it. This mineral works best when combined with vitamin D found in egg yolks and even fish.
If you want to make a bone-strengthening treat that will ensure your pup is strong and sturdy, opt for this one! Kale is very low in calories, so if you want to make a fit treat, put more of this greeny vegetable than the egg yolk.
3. Peanut butter + Bell Peppers
Vitamin E + Vitamin C = Sharp Vision + Skin Maintenance + Overall Health
Is your beloved dog getting older and you might be suspecting his sight worsened? If yes, the chances are that your dog will enjoy a nutritional boost that will improve his eye health and ease his vision.
Apart from having healthy fats, peanut butter is also a great source of Vitamin E that is one of the most important vitamins for our bodies. On the other hand, vitamin C contained in the bell peppers (capsicum) works great when accompanied by Vitamin E.
But what do these two vitamins do when combined? First of all, both of them promote tissue function but in different ways. While vitamin C helps brain communication, vitamin E aids the constriction of the blood vessels. Both of these vitamins promote healthy skin and hair as well as good eye health.
Their roles here are complimentary which is why combining them in one treat is a great way to quickly benefit your pup’s health. Their beauty properties will also make your dog’s fur better and help in curing mild skin conditions.
But, that’s not all! Vitamins C and E actually support each other’s antioxidant function. The vitamin E requires regeneration after it restores cell damage caused by free radicals in order to perform his antioxidant function again. Here intervenes the vitamin C in your cells that regenerates vitamin E’s functions in a way that it can continue to heal tissue damage.
4. Quinoa + Broccoli
Iron + Vitamin C = Energy Boost
Are you an owner of an active dog that gets plenty of exercises each day? Then you might want to think about energy-boosting treats that won’t be hard on your pup’s stomach and will provide him with the perfect amount of nutrients.
A body’s energy level is often connected to our blood quality and the amount of oxygen our body gets. And do you know what is the strongest compound that has some great oxygen-carrying properties as well as features that improve the blood count? The powerful nutrient we’re talking about is Iron!
Iron is found in meat as well as in leafy vegetables. But, quinoa also has a fairly high amount of iron that in addition to broccoli makes a wonderful treat for your pup. Remember that you shouldn’t season any of it. Just cook the quinoa and steam the broccoli (avoid the stems) and that’s it!
But why should you mix it with broccoli? Well, you could also choose another vegetable that is high in vitamin C, but we believe broccoli will give this treat a good taste and consistency. However, vitamin C makes the body’s absorption of iron much more successful. But that’s not everything this great combination of compounds can bring. Vitamin C also has an important role in synthesizing red blood cells that are also the main focus of iron’s function.
5. Cabbage + Peanut Butter
Vitamin K + Healthy Fats = Brain, Heart and Bone Health
Vitamin K plays an important role in our body’s overall functionality. It is in charge of maintaining strong, flexible bones, brain memory, but also a healthy heart. But it was also found that this fat-soluble vitamin is actually best absorbed when taken with healthy fats. So, basically, adding a bit of fat to a vitamin K source will only enhance this vitamin’s properties.
That’s why adding a bit of Vitamin K rich cabbage to low-sodium and dog-friendly peanut butter might be a perfect treat for an adult dog. The combination of the two might work together to prevent osteoporosis in dogs because the enhanced powers of vitamin K will support better the maintenance of strong bones by improving bone density.
Vitamin K is also successful in healing wounds, preventing strokes and maintaining proper brain function.
6. Cantaloupe + Coconut oil
Beta Carotene + Healthy Fat = Beauty Boost
Beta-carotene is an orange pigment found in many yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. It plays a very important role in health because it converts to vitamin A inside the body.
Similarly to vitamin K, beta-carotene is also best absorbed when taken with healthy fat sources. Although you can find other dog-friendly foods that are rich in beta-carotene, we chose the cantaloupe that is very healthy for canines and with a bit of coconut oil, it could make a wonderful summer treat that will make your pup even prettier than he already is.
Beta carotene’s main functionality is fighting against free radicals. While doing this, beta-carotene also promotes brain health, as well as a good eye health. But, beta-carotene is mostly known for its outstanding beauty benefits. It will make your dog’s skin healthier and his fur softer and stronger.
7. Eggs + Cantaloupe
Long Energy Boost
In this case, we’re not talking about the amazing healthy compounds both of these ingredients have, but about a perfect combination of the protein found in the eggs and the type of carbohydrates that cantaloupe contains.
Researches have shown that this type of food synergy works to slow down the absorption of glucose. This means that the insulin and blood-sugar spikes are controlled which leads to a stabilized energy level.
This treat is a perfect one for medium to large sized dogs that are highly active. If you feed them with this delicious treat, they might feel the energy boost not only for the next hour but also throughout the day. Save this combination for when you want to bring your dog hiking, swimming or to any other activity that requires a lot of energy.
Only, make sure to serve properly the eggs to your dog, so no additional fats or oils, and forget about salt and pepper!
8. Yogurt + Almonds
Vitamin D + Healthy Fats = Immunity Boost + Bone Health
Natural sources of vitamin D are hard to find, which is why it’s important to ensure that the daily intake of it is assured. While high-quality commercial dog foods might already contain this vitamin, dogs that are on a raw diet should get their daily dose of it through a smart choice of foods.
As its other vitamin relatives, vitamin D is also better absorbed when combined with healthy fats. The fats will raise the levels of this vitamin found in blood. By combining the vitamin D-rich yogurt and high-in-healthy-fats almonds you’ll make sure to provide your dog with a fair dose of this important vitamin.
But how can your dog benefit from this vitamin? Well, not only will it strengthen your dog’s bones, but it will likely make his immune system stronger.
Make sure to crush the almonds so you prevent choking hazards and your dog will enjoy this healthy treat!
9. Salmon + Broccoli
Vitamin D + Vitamin K = Ultra Bone Strength
A recent study has found that when combined, Vitamin D and Vitamin K do miracles when it comes to bone health. But not only, it was found that the same vitamin combination also benefits heart health.
This type of combination is probably the best for older dogs that might have problems with joints and bones in general. Being a great source of vitamin D, salmon will be a great meal for your dog when combined with vitamin K-rich broccoli.
Be careful how you prepare both of them. Salmon and broccoli are healthiest for your dog when cooked or steamed. Also, be careful of the serving size of this treat as measuring the right amount of fish can get a little tricky. Consult your vet to see what would be the best amount of it for your dog.
9. Kale + Cheese
Calcium + Vitamin D = Strong Bones
This is a great food synergy combination that will improve your dog’s bone quality. But, you can feed this only if your dog is lactose tolerant because of the cheese. Calcium-rich cheese often works great as a reward treat, so this will be a combination that your dog will probably adore. You can either slice everything to smaller pieces and serve him, or simply make small kale-cheese sandwich-like bites.
Vitamin D in the Kale will enhance Calcium’s function and will support your dog’s bone strength.
10. Sweet Potato + Peanuts
Vitamin C + Vitamin E = Immunity Booster
This is another food combination that can provide your dog with plenty of benefits. As we mentioned above, vitamin C and vitamin E are real partners in fighting damaged cells. They are much more powerful when taken together, which is why you’d have to know about another food synergy of these two vitamins.
Sweet Potato is rich in both of these vitamins, but giving an extra boost of vitamin E through peanuts will definitely make this treat even healthier. This great synergy will keep the cardiovascular system healthy, improve your dog’s immune system and support his eye health.
Although vitamin E deficiency is quite rare in canines, they can, however, develop with age and can result in poor vision, reproductive dysfunction or neurologic abnormalities.
Read also: Best dry dog food – Find super healthy dry foods for your dog.