If you have a beardie pet, you may find yourself wondering if can bearded dragons eat arugula? This is a pretty important question since you must know what is safe for the beardies.
Bearded dragons have a great appetite for what they enjoy eating. They can eat a couple of different foods, and this is the main reason it’s easy to care for them. However, some foods are suitable for beardies, and others are not.
So, which category does arugula fall in? Is it safe for bearded dragons to eat? You will get the answer to this question plus other useful information further in the article.
What Nutrients are in Arugula?
Arugula is jam-packed with essential minerals and vitamins. It contains large amounts of calcium compared to the majority of green veggies like kales, mustard greens, cabbage, sweet potato leaves, etc.
Before we decide if arugula is a safe food for bearded dragons or not, we need first to check its water, sugar, fat, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, protein, acid, and vitamin content.
By considering arugula nutrients composition, we’ll get to learn its nutritional value and make a sound judgment on whether they are acceptable for bearded dragons or not.
According to USDA, one hundred gram of raw arugula contains the following nutrients composition:
- Water: 92%
- Energy: 25kcal
- Fat: 0.66g
- Protein: 2.6g
- Sugars: 2.05g
- Dietary fiber: 1.6g
- Calcium: 160mg
- Phosphorus: 52mg
- Potassium: 369mg
- Vitamin C: 15mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.07mg
- Vitamin A: 119µg
- Vitamin E: 0.4mg
- Vitamin K: 108.6µg
- Beta-carotene: 1424µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin: 3555µg
- Ca:P ratio→ 3:1
As is evident from the list, arugula is super high in vitamin A, calcium, vitamin K, water, and potassium. Furthermore, salad rocket (arugula) has high levels of beta-carotene and lutein-zeaxanthin, which are significant Phyto-nutrients.
Arugula is a low-calorie veggie with incredibly low sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content. These are not the only nutrients in arugula, but there are still more.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat arugula, but they should eat then on an occasional basis. Arugula is a supper vegetable to feed your dearest lizard as it is highly nutritious and supplies essential minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Similarly, it is a great source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, which plays significant roles in the beardie’s body. There is low sugar and fat content in arugula, and this makes it safer for the beardies to eat.
Baby arugula is better for feeding bearded dragons than the mature ones. This is because the young arugula has a mild flavor, is relatively peppery, and the leaves are more tender.
On the other hand, mature arugula has a strong peppery taste, and it is darker in color. The baby arugula also has bright leaves, and due to its less intense flavor, it makes a perfect salad.
You might also like: Complete list of common food can a bearded dragon eat that people usually ask.
What are the Benefits of Feeding Arugula to Bearded Dragons?
Giving more fresh veggies to your bearded dragon is essential for good health and prevents countless diseases. Vegetables make up the largest part of the beardies’ diet, and they supply most of the minerals and vitamins.
Arugula is a powerhouse veggie that you should consider including in your lizard’s diet but only occasionally. It is loaded with Phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that provide significant health benefits in bearded dragons.
Continue reading to learn what benefits arugula has in bearded dragons.
Great Source of Calcium
When it comes to the bearded dragon’s diet, the level of calcium and phosphorus is of most interest. A high level of phosphorus works against calcium and blocks its absorption into the bloodstream.
To prevent interruption of calcium intake into the body, bearded dragons require a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. If we look at arugula, it has a ratio of 3:1 calcium and phosphorus, respectively.
The Ca:P proportion in arugula is relatively high compared to the recommended ratio for bearded dragons. Although calcium is too high, phosphorus falls within a healthy range. This means that you can still feed arugula to your lizard but not more often.
Feeding arugula to your dragon is a perfect choice to supply them with calcium, which is essential for growth and development.
Also, to make sure that your lizard absorbs calcium from the diet with no problem, you should avoid foods that are high in oxalates such as spinach and avocados.
Decent Amount of Fiber
Arugula is slightly high in fiber, which aids in digestion. Bearded dragons feed on insects and herbivory diets that need to undergo proper digestion for the release of nutrients to the body.
Therefore, fiber helps to digest chitinous exoskeleton from insects and break down other food materials in the digestive system.
Besides, fiber improves the gut flora of the beardies and also helps in adding bulk to the stool, thus decreasing the lizard’s chance of constipation.
High Water Content
More often, bearded dragons won’t drink water without prompting them. Some dragons will never take water on their own, while some can drink freely. But the truth is, bowl water cannot satisfy the beardies because of their low drinking ability.
Bearded dragons mainly obtain water from the foods they eat to keep them hydrated. Arugula has a lot of water and is an excellent option to boost hydration in bearded lizards.
Even if your lizard pet doesn’t take water from a bowl, make sure there is a bowl with clean water in the terrarium at all times. The beardie will get something to drink when it feels like, and sometimes you might not be around.
Excellent source of Vitamins and Other Minerals
If a bearded dragon eats arugula, it will get vitamin A, C, and K plus magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium that have multiple functions in the beardie’s body. For instance, vitamin A is responsible for maintaining good eye health and supports the vision.
Vitamin C fortifies the immune system and supports growth. Arugula also has beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A.
Potassium regulates blood pressure, prevents kidney issues, and aids in the functioning of the muscles. So, arugula offers many health benefits to bearded dragons, but only if you feed it in the appropriate amount.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula?
Bearded dragons should eat arugula once or twice in a month in limited amounts.
High doses of arugula are not good for the health of your bearded dragons. Arugula contains some sugars, and if you mix it with foods that have a high level of sugars will pose the beardie to numerous health issues.
Additionally, arugula is low in protein and some other minerals, and this makes it unsuitable as a staple diet for bearded dragons.
How to Prepare Arugula for Your Bearded Dragon
Arugula is simple to prepare and does not cost you a lot of time. Below is an easy way to follow.
- Select young arugula as they are much tender.
- Wash them thoroughly with clean water.
- Cut the leaves into appropriate sizes to prevent the beardie from choking. The size of the leaves should be smaller than the width of the beardie’s eye.
- You can mix arugula with other veggies as part of the diet.
- It’s dinner time. Provide the meal to your lizard and enjoy watching it eat.
Arugula has plenty of calcium, which is vital for young bearded dragons, which have a high demand for this mineral for proper growth and development.
It would help if you allowed your dragon to eat arugula occasionally in smaller quantities as too much of it isn’t beneficial. Due to the higher calcium content than phosphorus in arugula, you don’t need to give a calcium supplement when feeding this veggie.