NRF2 is a structure within cells of a body of all living organism containing DNA. Additionally, NRF2 helps regulation your internal defense system and is closely linked to lifespan due to the ability to protect your health as you age. Equine NRF2 behaves like a thermostat by regulating the levels of stress within cells. Small amounts of stress can be productive and healthy for overall wellbeing. However, sustained high levels of stress can impact your cells ability to perform their best, a critical component in equine sports.
Recorded high-stress levels in horses are due to environmental changes, nutritional deficiencies, and physical changes such as loss of sleep or an injury. Similar to a thermostat, NRF2 responds to increased stress levels by signaling the body to make protective molecules to return a body to normal function. Fortunately, natural NRF2 triggers can be found in common foods and supplements animals eat.
Natural NRF2 Equine Triggers
- Blueberries: This delicious source of dietary antioxidants.
- Grapes: Red, purple, and black grapes, full of anthocyanins (a class of antioxidants) are high in water (good for hydration).
- Avocados: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
- Spinach: High in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lutein.
- Tomatoes: With a high concentration of lycopene which is part of the antioxidant family called carotenoids.
- Sweet Potatoes: Another orange veggie rich in beta-carotene.
- Apples: Phytochemicals like quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid make apples an excellent choice for equine nutrition.
- Onions: With vitamin C, folic acid, and quercetin.
- Broccoli: Flavanoids like kaempferol and quercetin as well as carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Some of these foods occur naturally in pasture-raised horses and livestock, however many are not available in horse-sized quantities or long-term economically feasible. Nutritional deficiencies of horses raised solely on pasture lands have become commonplace, and many veterinarians credit a balanced diet with supplement intake. ExcelEQ, rich in vitamin e and omega 3, makes up for the lack of pasture biodiversity and will act as a natural trigger for nrf2 stress regulators.