Oats are often referred to as a nutritive food or a strength giving cereal. They have a higher proportion of fat and protein than most other grains, as well as a high silicon content, which makes them good for bones and connective tissues. Oats are soothing to the digestive and nervous systems. They are low in starch and high in mineral content, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They are rich in vitamin B and a very good source of iron. Oats help to cleanse the intestines of impurities.

Bountiful barley

Juliette de Bairacli Levy, author of The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable, first published in 1952, refers to barley as the first cereal. Barley is rich in protein, the B vitamins, fiber, and all minerals, especially iron. It is generally considered to be a nutritive food and nerve tonic. Barley stimulates the appetite, aids with digestive disorders, and is also reported to help prevent tooth decay and hair loss. It is rich in the antacid magnesium, and is recognized as being the most alkaline of the cereals. It is an excellent blood cleanser and blood cooler during the hot weather.

Flax packs a punch

Flax seeds are considered one of the original health foods, going all the way back to the Roman Empire and the work of Hippocrates. Flax seeds are packed with nutrients. They are the best plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acid, and a good source of Omega-6. They also contain calcium, carotene, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and zinc, along with both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber called lignans, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Flax seeds support cardiovascular health, the digestive system, and the immune system.

Make sure you purchase fresh flax seeds, as they go rancid very quickly.

Carrots help more than eyes

Carrots contain betacarotene, vitamin B complex, vitamins C, D, E, and K, and iron, as well as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, copper and iodine. Carrots are valuable as a digestive aid, a glandular tonic, and as a skin cleanser and eye conditioner.

Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is slow good

Molasses has a long history going back as far as 1493, when Christopher Columbus brought sugar cane to the West Indies. Until the late 19th century, molasses was the most popular sweetener, due in part because it was more affordable than refined sugar. Molasses contains calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B6. Always look for blackstrap molasses that is unsulphured, and store it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or a cool dry place. Opened containers of blackstrap molasses have a shelf life of approximately six months.

“A” is for apple. . . and antioxidant

Red apples contain vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, flourine, and silicon, plus many trace minerals. Apples are powerhouses of antioxidant activity. Why red? Red fruits and vegetables contain specific phytochemicals, specifically lycopene and anthocyanins, that are being studied for their health-promoting properties. Apples, and especially apple peels, have been found to have a potent antioxidant activity that scavenges free radicals, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. The antioxidant activity of one apple is equivalent to about 1500 mg of vitamin C. Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Ida Red have more potent diseasefighting antioxidants reflected in their higher levels of polyphenol activity.

Sweet, sweet feed

Sweet feed is just that. You can buy it or make your own mix. Traditionally, 10 to 20 per cent sweet feed was added to regular grains, to make them more palatable. Commercial sweet feeds are usually corn based or oat based, and then other grains like wheat and barley are added to the mix. The addition of molasses makes the regular grain blend a sweet treat. The trick to purchasing sweet feed is to make sure that you are not seeing a mound of molasses. Read labels carefully, and always check for the manufacturing date.

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Audi has been successfully creating special needs diets for companion animals for two decades. She founded the University of Guelph’s Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Smiling Blue Skies® Fund for Innovative Research. She is the proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was honored with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for her work in cancer, from the University of Guelph/Ontario Veterinary College.