Spinach is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, and it is definitely one of the most recommended foods for a balanced diet for pigs as well.
Pigs can definitely eat spinach, this “superfood” is very nutritious and healthy for them. Spinach provides a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B6 and C along with the minerals like iron, manganese, potassium and zinc.
Benefits Of Spinach For Pigs
Being a leafy plant it belongs to cabbage family along with cabbage, kale, collards and Brussels sprouts. It is rich in anti-oxidants and anti inflammatory properties, hence it becomes an important source of vitamins and nutrients for the health of pigs.
The list of nutrients found in spinach is quite long, here is a list of the most important:
–Vitamin K: Vitamin K is a single-carbon compound, which is very helpful in blood clotting process. It is also known to help in bone growth and the formation of normal blood. Vitamin K deficiency in pigs leads to Epistaxis (crying nose) and can cause blindness too. Spinach contains good amount of vitamin K and thus helps in preventing this condition.
–Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a cofactor for several enzymes including membrane phospholipid transfer protein (PTP). Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of collagen, which forms connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, bones and skin. It also helps to maintain normal immune system functioning. Deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy (a related condition) which could be fatal for pigs. Spinach contains a good amount of vitamin C and thus prevents scurvy in pigs effectively
–Healthy Fatty Acids: Healthy fatty acids are the building blocks that make up the cells membranes. This is essential for the pig’s development and hence the pigs need to have their diet laced with healthy fat like olive oil and linseed oil. This is also essential for good health of the myelin layer that protects pig’s nerves. Spinach contains a good amount of these healthy fatty acids and thus protects against scurvy
–Beta-carotene & Vitamin E: Both of these vitamins play important roles within pig’s body: Vitamin E helps in decreasing cholesterol levels, keeping pig’s heart healthy and antioxidant in nature keeps body cells from damage. Beta carotene is present in carrots, broccoli, spinach and yellow squash apart from other red leafy vegetables like cabbage, beetroot etc. Therefore it is quite evident that consuming plenty of fresh greens like spinach can prevent scurvy from occurring among pigs.
–Potassium: Potassium is essential for the body and has thus been added to the list of important nutrients. Pigs need it a lot and as they eat grains, vegetables, fruits and other unhealthy foods in their regular diets, they do not have much of this nutrient in their system. Therefore consuming spinach and other green vegetables is good for your piggy’s health as it helps them get enough potassium into their system
–Folic Acid: Folic acid is a vital vitamin to provide an essential boost to pig’s bone growth as it helps in the formation of certain tissues. Also, it plays a crucial role in helping pig’s body to absorb other important nutrients.
It also helps to have healthy bones because it supplies the body with plenty of calcium. Additionally, spinach is rich in iron which is essential for the health as well as production of hemoglobin in red blood corpuscles.
Great Vegetables For Pigs
Vegetables, of course, are an essential part of the daily diet of hogs, here are some of the most nutritious:
A good source of vitamin A, a must-have for digestion in pigs. The high sulphur content is also responsible for disease prevention.
Another good vegetable for pigs, It is rich in beta-carotene that is converted into vitamin A in the body and helps to improve the skin condition of pigs.
Another great advantage of carrot is that it has a high content of chlorophyll which is responsible for detoxification process located in the pig digestive system.
It helps to protect the liver and other important organs from toxins and harmful bacteria that may cause diseases.
In addition, carrot also contains many vitamins including B6 and C which are essential for proper functioning of the pig’s nervous system.
Lettuce is a healthy vegetable that helps to lower cholesterol, increase the immunity and strengthen the intestinal tract.
A nutrient-rich vegetable that is great for pigs because it lowers the blood pressure and slows down the development of high blood pressure in pigs.
What Pigs Shouldn’t Eat?
It is also extremely important to know what to avoid feeding to your pigs.
Here is a list of what you need to keep away from them:
– Citrus Fruits: Due to their high acidic levels will cause problems to their digestive system.
– Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to pigs.
– Chocolate: yes, you read it right, chocolate is bad for your pigs because it contains toxic elements.
– Coffee: I know, it’s a little bit harder to imagine that the pigs could eat coffee, but you need to know that caffeine is considered toxic for them.
– Ivy: yes, even beautiful flowers can cause problems if ingested.
-Apple seeds: yes, the seeds of apples can cause problems to your pigs, so try to remove them from your food before feeding them to your pigs.
– Tomatoes leaves: they contain a toxic substance called alkaloid tomatine, which is also toxic for some animals.