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Information About Vegetables

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Asparagus:

Green asparagus tips are a good source of beta carotene. Asparagus is also a good source of chlorophyll which is said to help build the blood. Asparagus is also said to be a general kidney stimulant, but Dr. Bernard Jensen author of Foods That Heal suggests that too much asparagus can be irritating to the kidneys, especially if used during kidney inflammation.

Beet:

Beets are said to benefit both the digestive and lymphatic system. Beets have a natural purging action and help in elimination. Beets can turn the urine or stools red. With beets, it's best to start off small and then gradually increase the amount used. Beets will literally purge the bowels if you give too much as beets are a naturally bowel cleanser.

However, while beets have some nice health benefits for us humans, I personally do not suggest feeding them to your pets because they are high in oxalic acid. When oxalic acid combines with calcium an indestible compound is created. Since the foods we feed our pets are high in calcium, beets is not a food that should be fed.

More Information about what vegetables should not be fed to dogs and cats can be found in Part 2.

Broccoli:

An excellent source of calcium. One pound of broccoli can have as much as 360 mg of calcium. The fiber in broccoli assists the colon. Fresh broccoli spoils fast, so purchase only as much as you can use.

Brussels Sprouts:

Along with plants like broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family. A good source of sulphur which is said to help both with blood circulation and skin problems. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Cabbage:

Cabbage is also a good source of sulphur and so this vegetable is said to help with blood circulation as well. Also, cabbage is a source of calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, iodine, sodium, and potassium.

Sauerkraut, fermented (or rotten) cabbage, is a very good source of vitamin C. In fact Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the famous English explorer of the Pacific Ocean, adamantly fed his crew sauerkraut to prevent scurvy. Capt. Cook maintained the healthiest crew of his time.

If feeding sauerkraut to your pets, try to get it made without salt. Use unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurizing kills all the beneficial properties of sauerkraut and other fermented foods. Hey, why not make sauerkraut yourself? Your health food store will probably have books on how to do this or you can find information on the Internet.

Carrot:

This tap root is an excellent source of beta carotene. The roughage helps with constipation. Carrots generally have a nice sweet taste that most dogs like.

Cauliflower:

Another member of the cabbage family, cauliflower is a good source of fiber and sulfur. Cauliflower itself does not contain a lot of calcium, but the greens around the cauliflower do. Do not be afraid to use some of the greens in your companion's foods. Just chop the greens up with the rest of the vegetables. Cauliflower is one the vegetables that I like to use on a regular basis not just because of its nutritional value though, but because it breaks very easily into small pieces when chopped in the food processor. Remember, the finer we can chop the vegetables the easier it will be for our pets to digest them.

Celery:

Celery is naturally rich in chlorine, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Celery helps to purify the blood and is a natural diuretic. Celery is said to be one of the best overall foods. It is said that celery leaves are beneficial for those who are nervous. Celery seed is said to help with arthritis.

Collard:

Originating from countries in and around eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, collard is one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and is closely related to kale. Collards are rich in calcium, beta carotene and vitamin C. Collard is said to help most parts of the body including the skeletal system, respiratory system, digestive system, lymphatic system, eliminative system, urinary system, and nervous system.

However, collard is high in oxalic acid just like beets. Therefore, I don't feed or give collards for the same reason that I do not give beets.

Dandelion:

As a member of the sunflower family, dandelions are looked upon as a weed to most people. Unfortunately, dandelions tend be destroyed instead of cultivated. Dandelion leaves have long been used to help the liver detoxify, increase the flow of bile and for stimulating glands. Dandelions are an excellent source of calcium and have more vitamin A than most other vegetables. Always remember though that the bigger the leaves, the more bitter the taste. It's best to harvest the leaves in the spring, so start picking and take advantage of this plant.

Garlic:

It should be noted, that as good as garlic is, garlic is reported to be toxic to pets in larger doses. Garlic is a member of the onion family and onions are toxic to pets. Other herbs that are members of the onion family include chives which should also not be fed.

There is a compound in onions that cause damage to the red blood cells in pets. However, it is reported that garlic is less toxic than onions and would need to be consumed in larger amounts for there to be a problem in our pets. Nonetheless, I prefer not to use garlic just to be safe (most pets don't like garlic anyway).

Many people do and have added garlic to their pet's diet without any problem. While this may be the case, I prefer to not take the chance and as mentioned, most pets don't like the taste of garlic.

Although garlic shouldn't be used in your pet's diet, it is worth learning about garlic because it is something we humans can definitely benefit from.

This miracle food is extremely high in sulphur. Sulphur, which is found in other foods as well, but especially garlic, is necessary in order to help prevent skin problems like ring worms, fleas, mange and so on. Garlic has also been known to expel worms naturally. Due to these reasons it is understandable why people in the past fed their pets garlic. But luckily, there are other natural solutions to these problems such as homeopathy making it unnecessary to use garlic.

During World War I, medics placed raw garlic cloves into the wounds of the soldiers as a natural antibiotic. In some places, people still put garlic over cuts to help prevent bacterial contamination. Garlic contains a bacterial fighting agent called crotonaldehyde and garlic is also said to be an internal antiseptic.

Garlic is also said to be a natural immune booster along with a lot more. Please note, garlic is absorbed through the skin and so if you rub some onto your body, you will have garlic breath the next day.

Kale:

Kale, which is closely related to collard, originates from the same basic area as collard. Both kale and collard closely resemble wild cabbage. Kale, like other members of the cabbage family is high in sulphur. Kale is also a good source of calcium and iron and is said to help the digestive and nervous system.

Kohlrabi:

Kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip. Kohlrabi is high in vitamin C. As with many foods that are high in vitamin C, kohlrabi is said to help the skeletal system (bones), plus the digestive, and lymphatic system.

Okra:

Okra originates from tropical Africa, but is now grown in other warm regions. Okra is known as gumbo when used in Creole cooking. Okra is high in sodium and is said to be soothing to the intestines.

Parsley:

High in iron, parsley is also a good source of copper, manganese, and chlorophyll. Although too much parsley can irritate the kidneys, especially if already inflamed, parsley is a natural diuretic and will help the kidneys.

However, parsely is high in oxalic acid and therefore should be avoided for the same reasons that we do not give beet.

Parsnips:

Parsnips are high in fiber and can help to improve bowel action. Some say parsnips have a beneficial effect on the liver.

Peas:

This prehistoric vegetable is said to have no special therapeutic value. Peas are a good source of magnesium, but if the pea pods are used, then your pets get the added benefits of chlorophyll and calcium. Try growing some peas in your back yard as fresh peas have a nice, sweet taste to them.

Pumpkin:

Pumpkin is a very good source of potassium and sodium; and it contains a fair source of vitamin B and C. Pumpkin is extremely high in vitamin A (one pound of pumpkin can contain as much as 5,080 I.U.). Pumpkin has a taste that appeals to many dogs, especially mine. You can sometimes find cooked organic pumpkin at your local health food store. The canned pumpkin is usually already ground into a very nice purée.

Rutabagas:

It is suggested that rutabagas should not be used when kidney troubles are present. However, rutabagas are said to help in cases of constipation.

Spinach:

I personally do not feed spinach due to its high oxalic content which can lead to kidney stones and a depletion of calcium. Other vegetables also contain oxalic acid, but spinach is one of the higher sources of oxalic acid. At the same time, since spinach is readily available most people will overfeed spinach. Therefore, I simply do not suggest you feed spinach especially when there are a whole bunch of other vegetables that can be fed.

Spinach should ultimately be avoided because oxalic acid combines with calcium to create an indigestible compound. Read the information about beets to learn why we do not feed foods that are high in oxalic acid.

Squash:

Squash, which was eaten by native Indians long before white men arrived in North America, is said to help with the eliminative system. There are five general types of squash which are: hubbard, turban, mammoth, banana, and summer. Squashes, including pumpkin, may need to be slightly cooked before feeding in order to soften the rind.

Sweet Potato:

Sweet potatoes are extremely high in vitamin A (1 pound can contain 30,030 I.U.). Sweet potato is said to assist the eliminative system and is a good source of niacin.

Swiss Chard:

Containing a great deal of vitamin C and A; potassium, sodium, and calcium, Swiss chard is said to benefit the digestive system. Swiss Chard can have a bitter taste and so feed in small amounts only. Swiss Chard can also be a powerful detoxifier and so too much can make the body detoxify too fast.

However, Swiss Chard is high in oxalic acid and therefore should be avoided if the pet (or human) suffers from or are at risk for kidney stones, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and if the stomach is easily irritated.

Swiss Chard should be avoided for the same reasons we avoid feeding beets.

Turnip:

It is said that turnips have been used in bronchial disturbances and even asthma. Turnip leaves supposedly help the body in controlling calcium.

Zucchini:

This excellent cleanser is smooth on the system and readily available.


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