Lucky Dog Blog
The Lowly Potato is the new Superfood
Years ago, people ate real foods. Imagine that! Foods that don't come in a can, jar or tetrapack!
Nutritionists are encouraging all of us to get back to basics. Eating whole, less processed foods is good for us. Those of you who have read any of my articles know that I am constantly saying that "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts". Scientists have not been able to create a pill or a vitamin or mineral supplement that is as complete as the real thing. Often the body does not even recognize synthetic vitamins and they are not properly absorbed. But unprocessed, whole foods, now that's a different story.
Here's an example. Recent studies conducted by the US Agricultural Research Service have found some interesting benefits of the lowly white potato. People have often categorized potatoes with white pasta or white bread and therefore considered them not nutritious.
Dr. Roy Navarre is a genetist with the ARS in Prosser Washington. His studies showed that potatoes are packed with phenols. Phytochemical profiles revealed an amazing list of flavinoids.
- Quercetin - has anticancer and cardio-protective properties
- Kekoamines - regulate blood pressure
- Carotenoids - protect against cancer
- Luteine and Zeaxanthin - also protect against cancer and macular degeneration
- Caffeic acid - antioxidant
So, white potatoes have been found to have anticancer and cardioprotective properties. Red skinned potatoes and Norkotah (a variety of Russet) contain high amounts of polyphenols in the range of those found in broccoli, spinach and brussel sprouts.
Not only are potatoes loaded with great phenols, they also contain:
- Vitamin C - a powerful anti-imflammatory agent that also helps fight free radicals and increases resistance to infection.
- Vitamin B6 - this anti-oxidant can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease by a process called "methylation". This eliminates toxins and a dangerous molecule called homocysteine from damaging blood vessels in the heart.
- Vitamin A, B and Folate - important for brain and nervous system health.
- Potassium, copper, manganese and niacin - help with cardiovascular, urinary tract and digestive system health.
- Fiber - helps protect against colon polyps and cancer. Fiber also slows digestion and aids in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
All of this was shown in a paper published in Agriculture Research Magazine entitled "Phyochemical Profilers Investigate Potato Benefits", September 2007.
Potatoes now have heart
As we develop methods for testing and researching the properties of whole foods we will continue to find out more about the nature of foods we eat.
It becomes increasingly clear that we need to trust Mother Nature. When we think we can get our nutrition (or our dog's) from a pill, think again. What could be more simple? Loading up on synthetic supplements or eating an apple, or in this case, a potato?
Yours in good health,
Dr Janice Elenbaas
Arsenic and Old Lace
Clean Rice and New Beginnings
I do have to admit that I love food! I love reading about it, cooking it and sharing it with friends and family! Eating good food is a way of life for me. So when I formulate recipes for Lucky Dog Cuisine, I get excited! I know that dogs will be enjoying their food and I’ll be proud to serve it to them.
When the story came out about arsenic in rice products for human consumption, I was naturally concerned. All of our ingredients are foods that I would eat myself, so the idea of having heavy metal poisoning in our rice made my stomach turn. We immediately sent samples to the independent lab that we use to see if our levels were safe. I held my breath over the few days it took to get the results back. They came in late on a Friday afternoon. You would have thought I had won the lottery…there was no arsenic! I didn’t have to worry about ‘safe’ levels because they couldn’t find any at all!
The idea of arsenic in rice is just one example of the attention that I do pay to what is going into our food. I agonize over every single thing that goes into my dog’s and by extension, your dog’s mouths. I did the same for my children when they were babies. Twenty eight years ago, when my daughter was born, no one thought of organic baby food or making their own baby food for that matter. Opening a jar was standard practice. Not with my kids! I went to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto to buy the freshest ingredients I could find; brought everything home, steamed it and ran it through a food mill. No one used a food processor in those days either! I was pretty fanatical. I sure loved my babies and cooking great food for them was an expression of that love….nothing was too good for them.
So over the years as my kids grew and my dogs were there to share our lives, it was very natural for me to cook and feed my furry babies with the same kind of devotion. I just felt good every time I put their food down.
Now my son and daughter have grown and happily, more than survived their crazy mother. Meghan has had lots of exposure to great food and enjoys her well earned reputation as a “foodie”. She really did mistakenly take the dogs’ food back with her to university and she really did share it with her roommates. But now that she has grown and is on her own, she is joining me in the Lucky Dog Cuisine family business! It did seem like a natural evolution. She loves to cook too, loves good food and loves dogs. It is a lifestlye that she grew up with and it couldn’t be more fitting. I am so proud of her!
Please follow us on our journey. There will be lots of stories about our mother/daughter venture as the Lucky Dog Cuisine story unfolds!
US Lucky Dogs Murphy and Molly with new Canadian
Lucky Dog Cuisine Founders Meghan and Mark
For more info visit
The only thing that made me smile after Bugsy passed away, was pictures of puppies! It took my mind off my grief and worry about Murphy. My husband and I poured over websites of anything doodle! There were Shepadoodles, Sheepadoodles, Aussiedoodles and naturally, my favorite, Goldendoodles. Although the Sheepadoodles were unbelievably adorable, they had no tails! I can’t imagine coming home and not having a tail wagging party!
The Ultimate Tail-Waggin Party?
We found our little Molly in Blacksburg, Virginia. The breeder, Dr. Kelly (a local veterinarian) had a litter of Standard Goldendoodles. The kennels were in such a tranquil, clean, lush environment. There was lots of yard area for the dogs and the puppies to run and play. Our group was in a kennel, all anxiously waiting to see new faces. But the strangest feeling came over me…. For some reason, none of these adorable little faces called out to me. I am the dog lover of all dog lovers and yet I was numb inside. Maybe this was all too soon. Then I looked over at another kennel. There was Molly and her sister with their paws up on the door and tails furiously wagging. I picked them both up and was immediately covered with puppy kisses. My heart melted and I knew that one of these girls was coming home with us. How to decide?
How could I resist this face?
After watching them run and play and visiting with their parents, we had our little girl. Her dad was smaller than our usual Standard Poodle. He was only 30 lbs. but her mom was a 55lb white English Golden – a real beauty.
We introduced her to Murphy, hoping and praying that they actually liked each other.
"Molly meet Murphy - Murphy, Molly."
Within hours of being home, Murphy was running and playing with his new little sister. Over the next few days, there was some adjusting to do, but Murphy gradually became himself again. He enjoyed his food, wanted to go for walks and play…all the things that stopped after he lost his brother. Molly is 6 months old now and they have been together for 4 months.
I think he likes her!
Murphy is still not the same dog. But I am not the same person either. A light has been dimmed for both of us. I know that we will get back to full speed one day. For now, we snuggle a lot, play with Molly and go for lots of long, healing walks.
Life will never be the same without our Bugsy but we all cope the best we can. Molly has made us laugh, and brought my Murphy back to life.
"I'm telling you Molly if we sit down they will feed us here!"
If you are having difficulty coping with the loss of a beloved canine friend, there are support groups out there. I recommend contacting the wonderful people at For Paws Hospice.
Molly has been a wonderful help to me in overcoming the loss of my beloved Bugsy but in addition she has certainly been a huge help to Murphy as well. Never underestimate the healing power of puppies!