Bonus benefits of pet food ingredients: Superfoods

It’s a papaya, it’s a chia seed, it’s a superfood!

Food that has particularly high nutritional value is often labelled a “superfood.” These nutrient-packed foods are key sources of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein.

Superfoods in pet food are also functional ingredients. Functional ingredients provide bonus benefits beyond basic nutrition when they are part of a complete and balanced diet. Antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fibre provide some of these bonus benefits.


Antioxidants help keep pets healthy by protecting them from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of normal metabolism, but if more free radicals are produced than there are antioxidants to control them, health issues, like cancer and heart disease, can occur. Antioxidants in superfoods can work with antioxidants naturally produced by the body to control these free radicals.

The bonus benefits of antioxidants include immune system support and maintenance of healthy skin. Superfoods that are sources of antioxidants include quinoa, blueberries, carrots, oranges and spinach.

Omega Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are components of fats that are energy sources, are precursors of hormones and chemical signals, and have key roles in cell membrane integrity. Some omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential and need to be provided in your pet’s food because they either can’t be synthesised by the body or can’t be synthesised in enough quantities to meet nutritional requirements. They are required by young animals for proper brain and vision development.

The bonus benefits of some omega-6 or omega-3 fatty acids include healthy skin, shiny coat, anti-inflammatory effects and improvement of diseases like kidney disease and heart disease. Superfoods that contain omega fatty acids include chia seed, coconut, flaxseed, salmon and salmon oil.


There are two types of fibre — soluble and insoluble — that help support healthy digestion in pets. Soluble fibre turns into a gel-like substance and slows down food digestion, and insoluble fibre helps move food through the intestines.

Intestinal microbes (the microbiota) ferment some dietary fibre to produce an energy source for intestinal cells, regulate colon pH and encourage growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Fibre also promotes the production of regular, firm stools, helps with weight loss by improving the sense of feeling full and helps control hairballs in cats. Superfoods that are fibre sources include quinoa, blueberries, oranges and papaya.

Superfoods in Pet Foods

As well as providing a high nutritional value, superfoods as pet food ingredients can provide bonus benefits that help keep pets healthy and active. Below are some examples of superfood ingredients used in Diamond pet food formulas.

Examples of Superfoods Included in Diamond Pet Food Formulas


If you ever wonder about an ingredient in a Diamond-brand dog or cat food and why it’s there, be sure to check out our ingredient glossary, or reach out to our Customer Care Team

Written by: Diamond Pet Foods