Can bearded dragons eat broccoli? Since bearded dragons eat a wide variety of different vegetables, you might be wondering if broccoli is safe for them. Well, you will get the answer right here.
If you aren’t sure whether it’s safe to give a particular food to your beardie, the best idea is to research it deeply. Not all veggies are suitable for the beardies, as some of them are harmful. So, what about broccoli? Is it safe for bearded dragons to eat broccoli?
Read on to know if bearded dragons should eat broccoli, how often to feed broccoli to the beardies, and more useful information.
What Nutrients are in Broccoli?
Broccoli is edible to humans, but that doesn’t guarantee that they are safe to bearded dragons. You should know that some veggies that we eat can be harmful to the dragons.
Getting to know the nutrients in broccoli is important as it determines how often the beardies can eat these veggies. It also explains the nutritional benefits broccoli might have if bearded dragons can eat them.
So, to tell if broccoli is good for the bearded dragons, you should consider checking its protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin, fat, water, sugar, and acid content.
Check out the list below and see the nutrients in 100 grams of broccoli, according to USDA.
- Water: 89.3g
- Energy: 34kcal
- Protein: 2.82g
- Dietary fiber: 2.6g
- Sugars: 1.7g
- Calcium: 47mg
- Phosphorus: 66mg
- Sodium: 33mg
- Potassium: 316mg
- Vitamin C: 89.2mg
- Vitamin A: 31µg
- Vitamin K: 101.6µg
- Vitamin E: 0.78mg
- Beta-carotene: 361µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin: 1403µg
- Ca:P→ 1:1.4
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli, and you should feed them sparingly in limited amounts. Broccoli provides several minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and some other nutrients that have positive impacts on the bearded dragon’s health.
Your bearded dragon will only benefit from the nutrients in broccoli if you feed them in the appropriate amount. Too much broccoli is harmful to the beardies.
As you can see from the list above on the broccoli nutritional profile, this veggie mainly consists of water, which plays a huge role in hydrating bearded dragons.
That’s not all; broccoli has high vitamin C content that is essential for growth and strengthening the immune system. It also contains vitamin A that is good for vision, and Vitamin K to regulate the blood clotting process.
The fiber in broccoli enhances the smooth digestion of food and is key for preventing constipation in the beardies. Moreover, broccoli contains several antioxidants that are important in preventing inflammation.
Keep in mind that not all bearded dragons will accept broccoli. If your beardie does not show interest in this veggie, please don’t force it. If you are looking forward to your beardie eating broccoli, provide them on an occasional basis.
How Often to Feed Broccoli to Bearded Dragons?
It is okay if your lizard eats a few pieces of broccoli once or twice a month; too many broccolis are destructive and can be harmful to bearded dragons.
Unfortunately, two primary issues disqualify broccoli from being an everyday vegetable. First, broccoli has higher phosphorus composition than calcium, and this can be dangerous for bearded dragons.
Healthy and safe foods suitable for bearded dragons to eat every day should contain a Ca:P proportion of 1:1 or 2:1. So, due to disproportionate Ca and P in broccoli, the beardie cannot eat it daily.
With high phosphorus, there will be poor absorption of calcium, and the body starts removing calcium from the bones. If this proceeds for a long time can cause metabolic bone disease.
Another issue with broccoli is the presence of oxalic acid, which can be fatal for bearded dragons. Similarly, to excess phosphorus, oxalic acid hinders the absorption of calcium. It binds with calcium making it unavailable for the beardie’s body to absorb.
Oxalic acid does not only cause metabolic bone disease but can also cause kidney stone disease.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli Stalk?
Broccoli stems are nutritious, just like the leaves, and bearded dragons can eat them. You will need to chop the stems into smaller portions after cleaning.
Shredding is necessary after you chop the stalk to make them finer and encourage your bearded dragon to swallow them easily.
Broccoli stem and leaves supply the beardies with relatively higher protein than you may think of them.
It would help if you also fed broccoli stalk in moderation since they are rich in water and can cause diarrhea in excess amounts.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Broccoli?
Cooked vegetables contain low nutrients compared to the raw veggies, and broccoli is no exception.
That’s not all, bearded dragons enjoy eating raw foods, and they are accustomed to that, cooked broccoli can cause unpleasant reactions in bearded dragons. The beardie’s stomach is more sensitive and will not tolerate all the foods.
Cooked broccoli can lead to diarrhea as they contain some spices, which is pretty horrible for bearded dragons. It’s good not to feed cooked broccoli or any other food to bearded dragons because they are not 100% safe for them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Broccoli?
I would not suggest you feed your lizard with frozen broccoli. During the freezing process, the food loses some essential nutrients, and this lowers their nutritional value.
When it comes to feeding bearded dragons, the key point is to feed them with raw and fresh veggies, greens, and fruits. You can get the fresh stuff from the grocery store or directly from your home garden if you have one.
But if you want to use frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw them at room temperature and mix them with fresh vegetables in the diet.
Are Broccoli Sprouts Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Yes, broccoli sprouts are bad for bearded dragons. They are rich in goitrogens and oxalates, which poses threats to the beardies.
For instance, oxalates inhibit the absorption of calcium into the body, and the beardies may suffer from calcium deficiency. Some people tend to feed broccoli to their bearded dragons as a treat, but the best thing is to avoid them.
Vegetables that are Better Option than Broccoli for Bearded Dragons
To come up with a healthy and well-balanced diet for the beardies, you will need to use a variety of veggies and greens.
Using a single veggie, again and again, is boring, and it is also not healthy. Below are some veggies and greens that you can add to the staple foods and make the salad pretty interesting for your dragon.
- Sweet potatoes
- Green bell peppers
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
- Collard greens
- Acorn squash
Preparing Broccoli for the Beardies
Now, it’s time to prepare broccoli for your lizard; I have several steps below for you to follow and prepare a delicacy meal for your beardie.
- Look for fresh broccoli, and be sure to inspect and remove any spoiled floret part.
- Wash the broccoli thoroughly with clean water to remove any chemicals.
- Cut the floret into appropriate sizes, which the beardie can easily swallow.
- Include the chopped floret as part of a salad and enjoy watching your lizard while eating.
It is clear that bearded dragons can eat broccoli but only in limited amounts and occasionally. They can also eat broccoli stalk and leaves as they are highly nutritious.
However, it would be best if you do not feed broccoli sprouts and cooked broccoli since they are not good for bearded dragons.