The vast number of Phytonutrients. etc. in real food

by Sally Blanchard

This is one of the major reasons I believe so passionately in a real fresh food diet and NOT pellets!

- There are wonderful, healthy nutritional sources that fresh vegetable and fruits have that pelleted diets can't have because they are NOT stable in heated and processed foods. As a group, they are called Phytonutrients. These mega nutrients occur appear in all plants, therefore, a diet that includes a variety of grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables will provide these healthy substances. They have almost "miracle-like" properties that work wonders in regard to anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory protection for the body and boost the immune system. There are many different kinds; some are called flavonoids, some are classed as bio-flavanoids. Curcumin (from turmeric) and quercetin (from red grapes) contain these phytonutrients. The white connective part of citrus is full of bio-flavanoids. You and your animals can't get them from processed foods and/or foods that are heated at high temperatures. For example, eating a real carrot will provide more, better and much safer Vitamin A than taking beta-carotene pills or eating some sort of processed food for vitamin A. Plus it has so many other nutrients that a lot of us have never heard of.

- They can put all the processed and chemical crap in pellets and tell us they are wonderful "There's a sucker born every moment" as P. T. Barnum is given credit for saying. Anyone who really bothers to educate themselves whether they are parrot caregivers or avian veterinarians will learn that highly processed foods with questionable chemical nutrients in them are not healthy for our parrots. Although I do respect the vast majority of veterinarians, I know two things: 1. They don't get a lot of nutrition information in vet school and 2. they depend on sick birds for a lot of their income. Some necessary vitamins and enzymes are also not stable in high heat processing of extruded pellets so parrots need to get them from fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

- Just alone there are over 6,000 kinds of flavonoids in a vast array of vegetables and fruits. Chances are any of the fresh foods you feed, will have healthy many phytonutrients of one kind or another in them. There is a lot more on the Internet about this and at some point, I will be posting a more in-depth article about the topic.  Offseason, certain fresh frozen vegetables and fruits still contain the phytonutrients in fresh ones - just make sure the veggies don't have added salt and the fruits don't have added sugar. The parrots don't need more of these than are already found in their diet. Properly dehydrated and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables also retain nutrients. Gently steaming vegetables is the best way to cook them to retain a good amount of their nutrient content. 





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