Phytochemicals are chemicals in plants (‘phyto’ = plant) that don’t contain nutrients, but do contain qualities that can prevent or protect against disease.
Some research suggests phytochemicals in plants have the ability to protect us against disease because the plants protect themselves against disease by producing these compounds.
Phytochemicals work in several ways. They act as antioxidants, protecting our bodies against free radicals and oxidative stress. They can help optimize enzyme function, protect DNA and cell wall integrity, and more.
Some phytochemical-rich foods are not dog-friendly, like onions and grapes. But many others are. These include the following.
- Carotenoids in fruits and orange vegetables
- A wide range of vegetables
- Some beans and legumes
- Cranberry extract
To increase your dog’s phytochemical consumption, consider adding fresh vegetables to his or her diet.