Ingredients Glossary

Ingredients Glossary:

Apple:
Apple is rich in Vitamin C as well as a host of other unique antioxidant and botanical compounds such as flavenoids. Apples provide soluble and insoluble fiber, some vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and boron.

Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple Cider Vinegar is made from apples. It is freshly pressed juice that also contains pulp, skins, stems, and seeds. Apple cider vinegar helps to maintain proper acid/alkaline balance in the body.

Ascborbic Acid:
Ascorbic Acid is also known as the nutrient Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant that helps maintain a healthy immune system, may support wound repair, and facilitates nutrient metabolism. Vitamin C in the diet is beneficial especially during times of stress (gestation, lactation, weaning, and travel), illness, or old age. Green vegetables, citrus, and tomatoes are great natural sources.

Ash:
Ash is the inorganic (non-carbon) mineral portion of any substance. When referring to pet food, “ash content” is the mineral matter, such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and copper.

Beef:
Beef is the striated muscle (skeletal and cardiac) from cattle and is an excellent source of protein, with many essential nutrients (including high levels of zinc and iron) to help maintain stamina and heart health. Beef is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids.

Beef Fat:
Beef Fat is extremely palatable and provides nutritious fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Beef fat is also an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids to fuel your dog’s energy during exercise and play.

Beef Hearts:
Beef Hearts are a nutrient-rich striated muscle meat, and are a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and taurine.

Beef Kidneys:
Beef Kidneys are a mineral rich organ, with high protein and little fat

Beef Liver:
Beef Liver is a nutrient-rich organ meat, and is a good source of lean protein, vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals. The liver is a multi-faceted organ and while it does participate in detoxification of the body, these toxins do not build up in the liver tissue– they are voided. As a result, liver is safe to consume in appropriate quantities

Bison:
Bison grass-fed Bison provides nutrient dense, low fat, low cholesterol meat with as many Omega-3s per serving as salmon, and three to six times the amount of omega-3s as grain fed animals. It contains the highest-know levels of the fat-blocker and anti-carcinogen, CLA (conjugated linolaic acid). Research on CLA is showing evidence that CLA has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders. It also has high concentrations of selenium, a natural trace element that acts as a mood elevator. The original “happy meal”. In research conducted by Dr. Martin Marchello at the Carrington Research Extension Center, grass fed Bison was determined to contain as much as four times more selenium than grain fed Bison. Grass-fed Bison contains four times the amount of vitamin E found in grain fed beef. It is also a rich source of the vitamin beta-carotene, a vital antioxidant which reduces the risk of cancer by preventing cell degeneration.

Bison Hearts:
Bison Hearts are a nutrient-rich striated muscle meat, and are a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and most importantly taurine.

Bison Kidney:
Bison Kidney is a mineral rich organ, with high protein and little fat. Our bison meat, bison organs, and bison bones are sourced from a USDA-inspected human food facility. Moreover, our bison ingredients are considered “natural” according to USDA definitions; they do not contain any added growth hormones or antibiotics.

Bison Liver:
Bison Liver is nutrient-rich, highly palatable organ. It supplies lean protein, Vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals. Northwest Naturals uses bison that are grass-fed and free-range. Our bison meat, bison organs, and bison bones are sourced from a USDA-inspected human food facility. Moreover, our bison ingredients are considered “natural” according to USDA definitions; they do not contain any added growth hormones or antibiotics

Blueberries:
Blueberries are a source of powerful antioxidants that may help support health and vitality.

Broccoli:
Broccoli is a plant of the cabbage family. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, and soluble fiber, and also contains multiple nutrients, making broccoli a “super food” to support health and wellness.

Carrots:
Carrots are a source of important vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids to help support the immune system and digestive system. They may also help support proper skin and eye health.

Chicken:
Chicken is the clean combination of flesh and skin (with accompanying bone), that comes from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken. Chicken is an excellent source of highly digestible, lean protein, and essential amino acids. All chicken is sourced from a USDA – inspected human facility.

Chicken Hearts:
Chicken Hearts are a nutrient-rich striated muscle meat, and are a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and taurine.

Chicken Liver:
Chicken Liver is a nutrient-rich organ meat, and is a good source of lean protein, Vitamin A, and iron.

Chondroitin:
Chondroitin is naturally found in the cartilage of joints where it directly impacts the compression or cushioning aspects of cartilage. In conjunction with Glucosamine, Chondroitin may support healthy joints.

Cranberries:
Cranberries provide antioxidants and natural acidic properties that may support urinary tract health. Cranberries are rich in flavenoids.

Egg:
Egg Whites are rich in protein and are of high nutritional value, with little fat. Defined as the nutritive portion of a whole egg, egg yolks are a source of fat soluble vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, and yellow carotenoids.  In baking and other food applications, egg yolks are used to help emulsify (or break down) fats.  Northwest Naturals uses only US sourced, human edible egg yolks.

Flaxseed:
Flaxseed is the whole seed of the flax plant. Flaxseed is an outstanding source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Together these fibers aid in digestion and help to prevent constipation. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of amino acids, Omega-6, and more importantly Omega-3 essential fatty acids. When in the proper ratio with Omega-6 fatty acids, Omega-3 fatty acids regulate and control inflammatory reactions. The richest source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) is found in flaxseed.

Freeze Drying:
Freeze Drying is a food preservation process that requires no chemicals or additives and effectively retains the nutritional value, color, flavor and cellular structure of the food. It is a process whereby frozen food is placed under a vacuum and water removed to make the raw food shelf-stable. If processed correctly, there is barely any difference between the original food and the rehydrated freeze dried food. Freeze drying takes advantage of the process called sublimation – water is turned from a solid phase (ice) into water vapor without ever entering the liquid phase. 1) Food is frozen. 2) Frozen food is placed on hollow shelves in the freeze-drier chamber. 3) The chamber is sealed and a pump vacuums out the air to an atmospheric pressure much lower than that at sea level. 4) The shelves are gently heated with hot oil to a pre-set and controlled temperature. 5) Evaporative cooling keeps the actual product temperatures lower than the set point and retains nutrients (NOTE: hot oil never touches the food, it circulates inside the shelves). 6) The low pressure in the chamber forces the ice to go directly into a gas phase; it never turns into water. 7) The water vapor is vacuumed off and expelled.

Garlic:
Garlic contains powerful sulfur compounds such as allicin and diallyl, which may support the cardiovascular and immune systems. Garlic also possesses antioxidant properties and is extremely palatable. (Click here for article on garlic)

Ginger:
Ginger is made from the root of a ginger plant that has been peeled, dried, and powdered. Ginger is often used as a natural way to alleviate the symptoms of nausea, and it also possesses antioxidant properties. There is a wide range of benefits of ginger such as nausea, digestive problems, circulation and arthritis. Nausea caused during pregnancy or by travelling is one of the benefits of ginger root. Ginger is also known to have the ability to calm an upset stomach and to promote the flow of bile. Stomach cramps can be eased and circulation can also be improved. Ginger supports a healthy cardiovascular system by making platelets less sticky which in turn reduces circulatory problems.

Ground Beef Bone:
Ground Beef Bone is an excellent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, and enzymes.  Bone contains calcium and phosphorus in the correct ratio and is the most bio-available source. It is also a significant source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, naturally occurring compounds associated with joint health.

Ground Chicken Bone:
Ground Chicken Bone is an excellent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, and enzymes. Bone contains calcium and phosphorus in the correct ratio and is the most bio-available source. It is also a significant source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, naturally occurring compounds associated with joint health.

Inulin:
Inulin is an insoluble plant fructan, also known as a prebiotic, that stimulates growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive system.

Iron:
Iron is an essential mineral and found in all body cells. It is vitally important for red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Our iron is specially bonded (proteinated) with amino acids to enhance absorption and assimilation. Once absorbed from the diet, iron is stored in the body and seldom lost. As a result, the requirement for iron only increases drastically during periods of unusual blood loss, such as in cases of parturition, major surgery, injury, or severe parasitic infection or gastrointestinal disease.  AAFCO establishes minimum and maximum levels of iron.

Kelp:
Kelp is a general term used to describe seaweeds and have been used throughout the world for centuries as a rich source of natural organic minerals and vitamins like iodine, potassium and calcium. The thyroid gland depends upon minerals, especially iodine, to function properly and to secrete adequate amounts of thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones influence metabolic rate and body temperature. Kelp is rich in iodine, and is also an additional natural source of beta-carotene, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

Lamb:
Lamb is an excellent source of highly digestible meat protein, and contains many essential nutrients (including high levels of zinc) for stamina, skin, and heart health. It is considered a hypoallergenic protein and used in many diets for pets with GI distress. Lamb is a complete protein meaning it contains all essential amino acids.

Lamb Hearts:
Lamb Hearts are a nutrient-rich striated muscle meat, and are a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and most importantly taurine.

Lamb Kidneys:
Lamb Kidneys are a mineral rich organ, with high protein and little fat.

Lamb Liver:
Lamb Liver is a nutrient-rich organ meat, and is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, and other vitamins/minerals.

Manganese:
Manganese is a trace mineral critical for brain and nervous system function. Our manganese is specially bonded (proteinated) with amino acids to enhance absorption and assimilation. Manganese is also a key component of several cell enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions and help the body use vitamin E and B1. Manganese is necessary for normal bone development and reproduction.

Organ Meats:
Organ Meats (liver, heart and kidneys) Did you know that most predatory animals instinctively eat the organ meats from their kill before moving to the muscle meats?  What do the animals know instinctively?  They know that the organs contain some of the most concentrated sources of nutrients and are the most important part of the animal to eat. Compared to regular cuts of muscle meat, organ meats are more densely packed with just about every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and vitamin B12. Organ meats are also loaded with minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine, and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Benefits of Organ Meats:

Liver

Liver is known to be one of the most concentrated sources of natural vitamin A of any foods. Natural vitamin A works to aid digestion, keeps sex organs/reproductive organs healthy and is a powerful antioxidant in the body. A 4-ounce serving of beef liver provides more than 10 times the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.

Good source of vitamin B12. Liver contains 35 to 50 times (depending upon how it’s prepared) the RDA of vitamin B12.

Iron and zinc. Liver contains 100% or more than 50% of the RDA’s for iron and zinc. Iron is necessary for many functions in the body including formation of hemoglobin, brain development and function, regulation of body temperature and muscle activity.

Liver is a great source of folic acid which is important for brain development and function.

Liver contains many nitrogen-containing compounds that are building blocks for DNA & RNA. In combination with the B vitamins, this makes it extremely helpful to people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.

Heart

Heart provides high-quality protein and less fat and cholesterol than other organ meats.

The heart is a very concentrated source of CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is necessary for the basic functioning of cells, as well as optimizing the heart’s rhythm. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be lower in some patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV / AIDS.

The heart also contains twice as much collagen and elastin than regular meat, which is good for the skin and connective tissue, and actually helps prevent wrinkling and aging.

Heart is high in vitamin B12, iron, and potassium; in addition, also contains Selenium, Phosphorus & Zinc, along with essential amino acids that help build muscle, store energy and boost stamina and endurance.

Kidney

Kidneys are low in fat and high in protein. They provide large amounts of vitamin B12, riboflavin, and iron, and they supply useful amounts of B6, folate and niacin.

Parsley:
Parsley is an herb that serves as a dietary source of antioxidants, chlorophyll, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

Proteinated Minerals:
Proteinated Minerals are minerals bonded to an amino acid. They are more easily absorbed during digestion. Better nutrient absorption supports better health for pets. Northwest Naturals uses proteinated minerals in all of our diets. Proteinate in animal’s food are organic forms in animal food, forms of essential trace minerals such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc.  The animals absorb, digest and use mineral proteinates better than inorganic minerals. This means that lower concentrations can be used in animal feeds. In addition, animals fed proteinated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their feces and so there is less environmental contamination. Mineral proteinates also offer health and welfare benefits in animal nutrition.

Two compounds are used as a source of copper. The copper from copper proteinate is highly available while the copper from copper sulfate is less so.  Trace minerals are found in all body tissues. It works in respiration, synthesis of hemoglobin and production of collagen. It is also an antioxidant and helps prevent oxidation of fatty acids.

Salmon:
Salmon is high in essential amino acids, easy to digest, and is considered hypo-allergenic. Salmon contains an abundance of Omega Fatty Acids to help nourish healthy skin and modulate the body’s inflammatory responses.

Salmon Oil:
Salmon Oil is an excellent source of essential amino acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids to help balance the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to modulate the body’s inflammatory responses, such as arthritis. Northwest Naturals uses only wild caught Alaska salmon oil.

Sea Salt:
Sea Salt in a natural mineral complex; it is source of sodium, chloride, and many other beneficial trace minerals. It is obtained by evaporating seawater. Sodium is essential to maintaining proper acid-base balance, cell function, and hydration. AAFCO has minimum sodium requirements for pet food to be compete and balanced.

Striated Muscle:
Striated Muscle, also called voluntary muscle, striped muscle, or skeletal muscle, most common of the three types of muscle in the body. Striated muscle is attached to bone and produces all the movements of body parts in relation to each other; unlike smooth muscle and cardiac muscle, striated muscle is under voluntary control. Its multinucleated fibers are long and thin and are crossed with a regular pattern of fine red and white lines, giving the muscle its distinctive appearance and its name. Types of muscle in animals: smooth, cardiac, and skeletal. Smooth muscles, found in the organ systems including the digestive and reproductive tracts, are often used as casings for sausages. Cardiac muscles are located in the heart and are also often consumed as meat products. However, most meat and meat products are derived from skeletal muscles, which are usually attached to bones.

Tocopherols:
Tocopherols are a mixture of vitamin E isomers. When mixed with rosemary and citric acid, they provide a potent natural preservative, which also supplies a small amount of the benefits of dietary vitamin E.

Turkey:
Turkey is the clean combination of flesh and skin (with accompanying bone), that comes from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey. Turkey is an excellent source of highly digestible, lean protein. Turkey is also a complete protein meaning it contains all essential amino acids.

Turkey Hearts:
Turkey Hearts are a nutrient-rich organ meat, and a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and taurine.

Turkey Liver:
Turkey Liver is a very good source of lean protein also rich in vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium.

Vitamin D3:
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. Its main function is to stimulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. This important vitamin aids in the formation of normal bones and teeth. It also aids in the maintenance of a healthy nerve and muscle system by regulating the level of calcium in the blood. Calcium is necessary for normal nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Nerves and muscles depend on a constant supply of this mineral from the blood.

Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble group of 8 structurally distinct molecules known as tocopherols; they are potent antioxidants. In the body, it protects fat and Vitamin A from destruction by charged oxygen called free radicals. It functions to stabilize cell membranes and protect them from damage by air pollutants, particularly the cells in the tissues of the lungs and mouth. Vitamin E is known to help reproductive development and hormone production.

Zinc:
Zinc is specially bonded (proteinated) with amino acids to enhance absorption and assimilation. Zinc is critical to enzyme function for many of the body’s major metabolic pathways. Zinc aids in the development of cartilage, blood, bone, keratin, and mammary glands. Wound healing and oxygen transfer also rely on zinc.


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