Holistic Select dog and cat food recipes are formulated with our Unique Digestive Health Support System of Prebiotics, Probiotics, Natural Fiber and Digestive Enzymes because we believe total body health begins with digestive health.
Fiber is a key component of Holistic Select’s Unique Digestive Health Support System, promoting digestive regularity by helping to move food waste from the digestive tract through the colon at an optimal speed, ensuring adequate stool volume. Examples of quality, natural fibers include oatmeal and quinoa.
1. The Nutritional Benefits of Oatmeal
Oatmeal may be relatively new to the pet food industry as a whole, but it has been included in Holistic Select® recipes for years because of its effectiveness as a nutritious and effective natural and holistic ingredient for both dogs and cats. Natural, whole grains have always been known to be healthy and nutritious for our pets, if prepared properly and used in the correct amounts; oatmeal is no exception. In fact, Oatmeal is probably one of the best grains used in some pet foods today. Technically, oatmeal is ground oat groats. Groats are the hulled grain; in this case, hulled whole oats. Compared to other grains, oatmeal is higher in protein and fiber and lower in carbohydrate calories.
It is a great natural source of iron, manganese, zinc and B vitamins as well as essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The protein in oatmeal is an ideal complement to the meat proteins found in all of our foods. It contains almost a complete list of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) vital to a complete and balanced diet. Many vets feel that the protein in oatmeal is very hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction) and therefore an ideal nutrient to be included in a diet formulated for pets suspected of having a food sensitivity or allergy. Due to its fiber content, pound for pound, oatmeal contains less carbohydrate calories than other grains. This makes it an ideal ingredient to support weight management as well as optimum bowl function. The soothing properties of oatmeal can help a pet with some digestive issues.
Natural antioxidants in oatmeal help to protect the pet from the toxins in our environment thought to be responsible for many of the diseases and conditions seen in pets. Oatmeal has a very low glycemic index, and is lower in glutens than most grains. Both are important in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing digestive issues for pets.
2. The Nutritional Benefits of Quinoa
Organic Quinoa, chosen as an ingredient in Holistic Select Dry Recipes for its hypoallergenic properties and high digestibility, is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins, and is an excellent energy source. Quinoa’s high protein content is considered as good as that in milk.
Interestingly, technically Quinoa is not a grain, but a seed related to spinach, swiss chard and beets. It has been cultivated in South America for over 5000 years. The Incas called it the “Mother Grain”.
Since the 80’s consumers in North America have seen Quinoa on the shelves in grocery stores. Those shoppers interested in a more natural diet with holistic benefits have embraced the value of this unusual ancient nutrient. The nutrient value exceeds all of the grains commonly used in pet foods.
Although we do not use Quinoa as a significant protein source, it does contain more protein than any grain. In addition, the amino acid profile is ideal, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.
Quinoa is a great source of complex carbohydrates with a very low glycemic index, making it an ideal carbohydrate for diabetics. It is also gluten free which is ideal for animals with digestive issues and food allergies or intolerances.
It is lower in calories than grains and is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, folate and B vitamins.
In addition, Quinoa contains what are known as prebiotics that feed the “good bacteria” or probiotics essential to the health of the digestive tract.