Benefits of Whole Food Feeding Programs
Unprocessed or minimally processed whole food provides more than nutrients, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and fat: it provides one of the keys to digestion: enzymes.
Processed feedd, refined foods, heavily processed, or pelletized forms lack the enzymes that live in all plants and seeds. The processing has killed the enzymes.
If we consider the equine digestive system as the gateway to nutrient delivery, we can also see the equine digestive system as the gateway to tissue repair and tissue renewal. Proper digestion provides fuel and energy to all body organs and systems. The nutritive fuel of digestion nourishes the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. These in turn play essential roles in the chemical breakdown of food. (1)
Food enzymes initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and stomach. Food enzymes reduce the body's need to increase production of digestive enzymes. As horses age, the ability to produce more digestive enzymes lessens. Food enzymes help the horse predigest the food so that the digestive system is less taxed and stressed.
Whole food also provides the body with nutrients that are in a matrix within the food. All these nutrients plus fiber, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and enzymes work together for the body to use for maximum utilization.
Since the digestion system is the foundation of the nutrient delivery system, what foods we provide our horses is hugely important. The ramifications of feeding food products not food effect the entire body system at large: from the blood and plasma, to the tissues and cells.
The result is a healthier horse, who can live longer, and perform to the fullest.
Next: Program for Whole Food Feed
- Yarema, T. 2006. Eat, Taste, Heal. Five Elements Press