Featured Dog Food Ingredient of the Month: Chicory Root
Since the days of Ancient Rome, health conscious humans have utilized the roots of a bright blue flower from the plant Cichorium intybus, otherwise known as chicory, to bolster their digestive systems.
Within the last few decades, the same gastrointestinal wunderkind has made the jump to dog food. This prebiotic is known for its ability to enhance the intricate and complex systems of our canine companions.
Though less overt than a shiny coat or high energy levels, a healthy digestive system is an unseen, yet important marker of your pet’s health. Taking care of it can decrease costly vet trips and increase your dog’s healthy years.
Let’s see how including quality, natural pet foods supplemented with chicory root can do your dog a world of good.
Chicory: A Cheeky Prebiotic
Largely classified as a prebiotic, Chicory is part of a family of foods that encourage and support an environment in which healthy bacteria can thrive. By priming the digestive tract in this way, essential nutrients are more readily absorbed and transported to other systems in the body.
Chicory root has evolved from a coffee substitute into a full force prebiotic and probiotic that can promote the regeneration of healthy bacteria in the gut. Rich in a fibrous dietary polysaccharide commonly known as insulin, the indigestible ingredient is loaded with helpful simple sugars.
Its direct impact on intestinal microorganisms is second to none.
Chicory stimulates ‘friendly’ organisms in the gut that are said to ward of certain diseases and have a markedly positive effect on the overall immune system.
These prebiotics take up residence in the large intestine, get fermented by bacteria and produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that charge each cell with energy. They also prevent and relieve constipation while reducing inflammation and discouraging harmful bacteria.
Whether it comes in the form of chicory root extract or chicory root syrup, the high concentration of insulin produces a semi-sweet taste that is readily accepted by dogs. This makes it a natural choice because of its flavor enhancing abilities.
Some vets have been known to recommend chicory upon discovery of intestinal worms since it naturally emits oils thought to remedy certain parasites.
Overall, Chicory root, a natural fiber source that humans have used for generations, is gaining an earned reputation as a safe and effective dog food ingredient. Unlike other synthetic probiotics, Chicory offers a natural, unprocessed alternative that is both palatable and helpful.
When you are looking for a way to improve your pup’s health from the inside out, look for a quality, all-natural pet food bolstered with digestive-improving ingredients like chicory.