Asparagus is a highly nutritious and tasty vegetable famous throughout the world. It offers many health benefits to humans, but can bearded dragons eat asparagus like us? Well, you got into the right place.
The simple answer is YES, but! Keep reading to feed bearded dragons asparagus the right way.
Bearded dragons are fussy lizards, and they’ll not eat what they don’t want. You may notice that your lizard loves eating asparagus, or it’ll merely not stare at them. Since you don’t want to feed your pet what can harm it, you may wonder if asparagus is safe for the beardies.
Here, we’ll explore bearded dragons and asparagus plus other useful information.
Asparagus Nutritional Profile
Knowing the nutritional data about asparagus is one way to help us determine if it’s a suitable vegetable for bearded dragons or not.
According to USDA, 100 gram of asparagus contains the following nutrients;
- Water: 93.2g
- Energy: 20kcal
- Protein: 2.2g
- Dietary fiber: 2.1g
- Sugars: 1.88g
- Calcium: 24mg
- Phosphorus: 52mg
- Vitamin C: 5.6mg
- Vitamin A: 38µg
- Vitamin K: 41.6µg
- Vitamin E: 1.13mg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin: 710µg
- Ca:P ratio →1: 2.2
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus?
Bearded dragons can eat asparagus without any problems so long as you feed them on an occasional basis and in small quantities. Asparagus is among the foods that experts confirm to be safe for bearded dragons.
But it is so unfortunate that these vegetables do not have many nutritional benefits to the beardies due to their low nutritional value. The only way for your bearded dragon to enjoy the few benefits from asparagus is by providing this veggie in the right amounts.
Asparagus contains a decent amount of vitamins A, C, E, and K. Every vitamin here plays a different role in the beardie’s body. For instance, vitamin C helps to fortify the immune system, vitamin K aids in blood clotting, while vitamin E prevents inflammation.
Asparagus is relatively high in fiber, which plays a crucial role in food digestion and helps maintain a smooth and regular bowel movement. Although this veggie is low in most nutrients, it is high in vitamins and has several benefits in bearded dragons.
It is also high in the water that is essential to keep the beardie hydrated and contain some minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, etc.
You might also like: Complete list of common food can a bearded dragon eat that people usually ask.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus?
Bearded dragons should eat a few portions of asparagus around once or twice a month. Though asparagus offers several benefits to the beardies, it has a couple of setbacks, and that’s why you should feed them sparingly.
The main reason why you would need to limit the amount of asparagus for your beloved loved is that this vegetable has a lot more phosphorus than calcium. When phosphorus is too high in the dragon’s diet, it binds to calcium and stops its absorption into the bloodstream.
When the body does not get sufficient calcium, it will absorb much of it from the bones. Removal of this mineral from the bones is dangerous, and if this continues for a long time may result in metabolic bone disease due to calcium deficiency.
Likewise, asparagus has oxalic acid, which also interferes with calcium absorption similarly to phosphorus. This compound combines with calcium and forms insoluble calcium oxalate. This compound can also result in metabolic bone disease.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Asparagus?
Generally speaking, asparagus has a rough texture, and this makes it hard to chew, especially for bearded dragons. Our beautiful lizards here find it difficult to chew any hard foods. Bearded dragons can eat cooked asparagus as they are as easy to chew.
So, it is best if you slightly cook asparagus before providing them to your beloved lizards. But you need to avoid cooking these veggies with salt, cooking oil, or any spices because they can make your pet sick.
Don’t cook the asparagus for too long; it might become mushy, bitter, and lose its color. Also, in the process of cooking, the food loses some vitamins and minerals, although it becomes softer. Boil them for a few minutes and let them cool down.
You may also decide to use raw asparagus instead of cooked one. If that’s what you want, make sure you cut the veggie into pretty small pieces to prevent the lizard from choking.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus Peels?
The peels from asparagus are incredibly tough, especially the white asparagus. I don’t advise you to give your bearded dragon asparagus peels because they can cause choking hazards.
Please peel the asparagus any time you want to feed them to your lizard friend. Also, avoid mature asparagus and use the young ones that are somehow tender.
The old asparagus will require some more time during cooking to soften them, and in the end, they lose a lot of nutrients. So, it would be better if you can avoid them and use what you know can benefit your dear pet healthwise.
What to Feed Bearded Dragons Instead of Asparagus
Because of the low nutritional value in asparagus, it is best to look for other vegetables to feed your beardie, which is much higher in nutrition.
There are many veggies to choose from, all of which are recommended by experts. These include Mustard greens, Kales, Dandelion greens, Swiss chard, and Bok Choy.
All these veggies have proportionate calcium to phosphorus, which makes them more suitable for bearded dragons. Moreover, they are rich in other nutrients that are beneficial for the beardies.
Preparing Asparagus for Your Bearded Dragon
It is good to learn how to prepare each food you choose to offer to your lizard pet because most of them differ in their preparation manner.
Asparagus are sprayed when growing, and this requires you to wash them thoroughly with clean water to remove the chemicals before feeding. It is much better if you can get organic asparagus as they are free from chemicals.
Then, cooking the asparagus will be necessary to reduce the oxalate level and also to soften it. Lastly, cut the asparagus into an appropriate size. The best size for a bearded dragon should be smaller than the width of its eye.
Mix the asparagus in the beardie’s salad together with other greens and veggies. Watch the lizard as it enjoys the meal.
Asparagus is not toxic, and bearded dragons can safely eat it. However, don’t give too many asparagus as they don’t have a lot of nutritional benefits to the beardies. It would be best if you fed them occasionally, about 1-2 times a month, and in limited amounts.