The next ingredient we’re covering in our ongoing series on Healthy Ingredients for Your Pet is flaxseed. You might not think of a seed as containing anything beneficial to you or your pet, but flaxseed is a superfood.What is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil is a colorless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. It has long been considered one of the healthiest foods you can consume. During the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it.
Why would it be in pet food?
Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, or the “good” fat. It also contains lingans which offer beneficial antioxidant qualities and soluble and insoluble fiber. It has health benefits for humans as well as your pets, including protections for certain types of cancer, cardiovascular health, digestion and inflammation.
Feeding your pet flaxseed nourishes their skin and gives their coat a healthy glow. It boosts their immune system and adds protections against inflammation (arthritis) and aids their digestive system with added fiber in their diet.Are there any risks to feeding your pet Flaxseed?
There are a couple of things to watch out for when considering flaxseed for your pet. It should be refrigerated after being ground as it can go rancid. And be sure to feed the appropriate dose as that added fiber may cause discomfort, bloating and diarrhea.Flaxseed Factoids:
The Flax Council estimates close to 300 new flax-based products were launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 alone.
The Babylonians cultivated flaxseed as early as 3,000 BC, and later, Hippocrates used flaxseed for relief of intestinal discomfort.
Flaxseed is good for you too. Whole flax seeds add crunch and interest to your foods like salads, baked goods and oatmeal, but to gain the nutritional benefits, ground flaxseeds are best.
Pet foods that contain Flaxseed: