Antioxidants: What Are They and Why Are They Important For Health & Longevity?

Antioxidants... We have all heard of them but what exactly is it that they do and why are they beneficial to health? To simplify, it’s easier to first understand what a free radical is. The body is composed of many different types of cells. Free radicals form when the bonds fusing cells together split.

Free radicals in the body can cause the disruption of cells and in excess leads to oxidative stress. Long-term oxidative stress is known to contribute to a host of diseases; immune, cardiovascular, neurological, cancer... the list goes on. Free radicals also play a vital role in fuelling the ageing process. Antioxidants; found primarily in fruit and vegetables, in simplistic terms, neutralise free radicals.

Toxins, chemicals, pollutants, nutritional deficiencies and stress are all known contributors to the formation of free radicals. When the balance in the body of pro-oxidant free radicals and antioxidants is off, disease can set in. It’s important to consume antioxidants (particularly from food rather than synthetic supplemental sources) to offset the multiple factors contributing daily to free radical formation.

It is primarily antioxidant and nutrient-dense qualities that have given rise to the term ‘superfoods’. There are thought to be 4000 antioxidant compounds found in food! When we think of antioxidants we often think of blueberries, but actually some other berries are higher in value. Lingonberries for example contain over four times the antioxidant content of blueberries.

Rockster foods contain more antioxidant rich content than you would expect to find in a pet food. This is due to our unique recipes containing bio-organic fruits and vegetables such as; Lingonberries, Cranberries, Seabuckthorn, Mango, Blueberries, Spinach and Jerusalem Artichoke. As we have Bio-Organic certification, our food is naturally higher in phytonutrients and certified free of the very chemicals and toxins which can also lead to free radical formation.

Using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) database and measuring system, it’s estimated that ourrecipes average at over a huge 2000 µmol/TE of antioxidant value. The minimum recommend for humans is thought to be 3000-5000 µmol per day. It is doubtful the majority of commercial pet foods would reach above 150 µmol/TE, based on ingredient composition (synthetic additions aside). In comparison, Rockster is significantly higher in antioxidant value, with Sound of Game estimated as being nearly 20x more than other commercial pet foods:

 Rockster Recipe Estimated Antioxidant Value
A Fisherman's Dream 1013 units (µmol/TE)
Boeuf du Cap 1820 units (µmol/TE)
Sound of Game 2898 units (µmol/TE)
Heaven and Earth 2748 units (µmol/TE)
Birds of a Feather 1671 units (µmol/TE)
Chickenrella 2543 units (µmol/TE)
Duck a la Royale 1671 units (µmol/TE)
Sunday Roast 2725 units (µmol/TE) 

A superfood for dogs indeed!

Could this have been the key to The Rockster’s longevity? At over 20 years old and fathering a litter only a few years ago, we think it’s certainly played a part!