Shiitake mushroom: an immunity booster for your dog
The medicinal properties of shiitake mushrooms have long been understood by East Asian cultures – and now we’re learning of the benefits they can make to our dogs’ health. So, what is it about shiitake mushrooms that makes them a nutritional powerhouse?
Benefits of shiitake mushrooms for dogs:
- They’re high in potassium. We’re like our puppers when it comes to potassium, as it plays a critical role in regulating fluid in our bodies and is essential to life. Over 60% of your pup’s body is made up of water, so it’s no surprise that staying hydrated is key to life. Potassium plays a part in this. Along with sodium and other electrolytes, it has to be in perfect balance for functions such as muscle contractions and the nervous system to work properly. Nerves transmit messages from the brain to all parts of the body – they tell muscles to contract and the heart to beat. Yes, we love Shiitake mushrooms when it comes to potassium!
- Shiitake mushrooms are high in B-vitamins. B-vitamins are a big group, essential for many processes in your pup’s body, and shiitake mushrooms contain quite a few of them. Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin is an essential vitamin that’s needed for enzymes in the body to function. Enzymes are involved in pretty much every function of your pupper’s body, speeding up all the chemical reactions that take place – from helping with digestion to metabolism. Without riboflavin, our pups wouldn’t have the energy to run, jump and enjoy life. Shiitake mushrooms are also rich in Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, which is essential for metabolic function.
- Immune boosters. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to strengthen the immune system. Evidence is emerging that suggests this might be due to polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms that reduce inflammation in the body. A stronger immune system helps your pupper fight infection as well as helping to prevent diseases.
- They’re high in Vitamin D. Humans are lucky when it comes to Vitamin D as, in addition to getting it from food, our bodies can produce it with the help of sunlight. It’s not the same story for our puppers, who rely on their food to obtain their Vitamin D. We know how Vitamin D is important when it comes to musculoskeletal health, but studies indicate that it also helps improve immune function, hormone health and the ability to recover from cancer, possibly due to its role in controlling inflammation in the body.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain selenium. Trace minerals like selenium are needed in tiny amounts in your pupper’s diet but are critical to health. Selenium is needed for a healthy immune system and plays an important role in thyroid function. It’s also looking likely that selenium has other roles to play too – such as joint and skin health and antioxidant properties.
Lyka: goodness in every pouch
The nutritional properties of shiitake mushrooms are why we love them at Lyka. But your pupper will love them too as they add a delicious hint of umami flavour, that’s similar to a beefy taste. Our tip: if your pup doesn’t like drinking water, try adding some shiitake mushroom to give it a taste that they’ll love!
Shiitake mushroom powder is in our Free-Range Chicken bowl, so why not try a Starter Box today?