Luscious Nutritious Legumes

lentils and legumes

Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fibre, carbohydrates and dietary minerals including folate and manganese. They contain no cholesterol and little fat. The protein of food legumes is a rich source of the amino acids lysine and tryptophan but is relatively low in sulphur amino acids which is why we add the Vegdog supplement to out protein packs. They are also delicious and dogs are naturally drawn to eating them as they can smell the protein in legumes.

Legumes have been cultivated by humans going back thousands of years, with dry pea seeds having been discovered in a Swiss village that are believed to date back to the Stone Age!

 

Why do we add Lupine Flour to our Protein Packs?

Lupines are one of the best replacements for meat in that they are powerhouses of not only protein, but they are packed with other nutrients too. Some studies have suggested that the quality of the protein in lupines is better than that of other types of legumes. That’s because they contain almost all the essential amino acids, except for methionine. This means that by combining the lupine flour with the Vegdog supplement in our protein packs, we ensure that all the amino acids are included in your dog’s daily diet.

 

Are legumes environmentally friendly?

Rice is shown to be more damaging to the environment which is why we are not recommending it for your pets (13. Rice agriculture accelerates global warming: More greenhouse gas per grain of rice). Legumes are very different to rice, as they fix atmospheric nitrogen and release high-quality organic matter in the soil. They are the soils natural ‘fertilisers’ and a bonus to grow further life-giving plants to feed us and our pets.

 

What are the concerns about feeding lentils and legumes?

There have been plenty of articles written recently highlighting the possible effects of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs fed on a plant-based diet specifically high in lentils or legumes as the protein source. The articles are very non-conclusive as to the exact cause of heart disease in dogs being fed ‘alternative diets’ but we do know that phytic acid, or phytate, is an antioxidant found in all edible plant seeds, including legumes.

It impairs the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium from your pet’s food and may increase the risk of mineral deficiencies in dogs who rely on legumes or other high-phytate foods as their main protein source.

For this very reason, we have ensured that our protein packs and recipe contains the correct amount of added iron, zinc (from marine phytoplankton and yeasts) and added calcium to make up for the phytate concern. Extra taurine is also supplemented as so many of the articles about dilated cardiomyopathy include deficiencies in taurine as a possible cause of heart disease.

One of our recipes – ‘Supersprouts Recipe’ uses sprouted lentils rather than purely soaked lentils as it has been shown that sprouting the lentils reduces the amounts of phytates. We also sell the sprouts and sprouting jars as they are super-easy to grow!

We do feel however that the high nutrient content of the other foods that we add to the homemade umami recipe also positively counteracts these deficiencies, it seems that grain-free diets are most harmful to your pet’s heart health.

13. Rice agriculture accelerates global warming: More greenhouse gas per grain of rice – Trinity College Dublin – 2012

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