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We add sprouted seeds to every single Carna4 product we make for a good reason!Sprouted seeds are one of nature’s superfoods. They contain highly bio-available plant-based vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotics that are not provided by meats, and plant-based enzymes are biologically active in a wider pH range compared to pancreatic (meat based) enzymes. This means that the enzymes from sprouted seeds will support a dog’s healthy gut flora in a larger portion of its digestive tract, where pH levels can vary considerably.

Sprouting = germinating = Awakening of the dormant nutrients inside

As a seed prepares itself to break through the soil and grow into a plant, a process of natural transmutation converts its stored nutrition into more plentiful and bio-available forms intended to nourish the plant as it grows. It is at this point that a seed is at its nutritional peak and contains all of the nutrients and energy that enables it to become a big strong plant! The nutritional value of sprouted seeds is enhanced many times greater than the nutritional value of the original unsprouted seed or bean. Starches and proteins are converted into simple sugars, and amino acids become more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. In the case of nuts, the fat content is reduced or converted into fatty acids. Minerals, too, become naturally chelated making them far easier to absorb.

Furthermore, nature has protected the nutrition contained in all seeds – nuts, grains and legumes, by coating them with digestion inhibitors such as phytic acid to prevent them from germination until they are ready to grow into plants, preferably in soil. So if an animal consumes the seed instead, phytic acid blocks the body from accessing the nutrition contained in the seed, inhibiting enzymes from assisting nutrient metabolism. Specifically, phytic acid significantly reduces the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals into the blood stream. However, when the seeds are sprouted in water, these digestion inhibitors are completely dissipated, making the nutrients available to the body just as if it were planted in moist soil. This is the beauty of sprouting!

A Word About Sprouted Grains
A grain and a seed are different parts of the plant. They have much different nutrition and digestibility. The grain is the edible ”fruit” of the plant, usually found at the top of a stalk, and very often called a ‘seed’ on the internet. It has a moderate amount of nutrition and digestibility for some animals, and provides most of the cereals eaten by people all over the world. The seed, on the other hand contains all the nutrients required to build a new plant. These nutrients are dormant and protected within a hard shell until the seed is germinated, or sprouted. Then it activates (enzymatically speaking) and becomes extremely digestible and a super-food supplier of nutrition.

For example, barley is a cereal grain when harvested for its fruit (the grain we grind into flour), but its seed contains no gluten because the protein is significantly reduced in the enzymatic process during sprouting. The protein containing the gluten will increase later in the mature plant’s fruit. Both wheat grass and barley grass are considered gluten-free until they begin to produce fruit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in its finalized gluten-free label rules, has said that wheat grass and barley grass could be used to make foods labeled gluten-free, as long as the finished products contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten (which can get mixed in during processing of the rest of the plant), as is the case with Carna4’s sprouted barley seed.

Barley seed is beautifully nutritious, especially in synergy with our custom sprouted mix of flax and lentils. For example, during the sprouting process of barley seeds, digestive enzymes increase 400% for Lipase and 1400 % for Amylase over the enzyme levels of non-sprouted mature barley grain. This makes it very suitable for people and pets looking to avoid grains due to gluten sensitivity, but needing plant-based enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Many gluten-sensitive people find they can enjoy sprouted grain bread Ezekiel’). Sprouting makes the world of difference.

Ingesting sprouted seeds & grains is not only safe, but it guarantees an explosion of good bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract. We know 80 percent of the immune system is located there; we also find the building blocks for preventing disease via proper nutritional components entering the circulatory system. If a dog’s digestive system is crawling with an array of unhealthy bacteria, there’s a good chance the dog’s immune system will be suppressed as a result.

Sprouted foods have been an important part of many traditional diets for thousands of years, but the science behind the process is still new. The list of nutritional improvements found in spouted seeds continues to grow and more and more people (and their pets) are rediscovering the many health benefits this superfood can provide.

Carna4 products all contain this amazing superfood! To learn more and stay current, follow us on Facebook, Twitter @Carna4natural or visit our website.

Maria Ringo
Director of Health for Carna4 Hand Crafted Pet Food