Bearded dragon keepers often prioritizes feeding healthy foods to their beloved pets. Brussel sprouts are becoming the top choice but can bearded dragons eat them? Are they safe?
Most veggies and fruits fed to bearded dragons contain high water content and maybe compounds like oxalates that interfere with calcium absorption. It is necessary to glean on every food first and see if it is worthy of feeding to bearded dragons.
You will get to learn about Brussel sprouts and see if they are suitable for bearded dragons to eat, how often should the beardies eat the sprouts, and more.
Nutritional Information of Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are relatively high in vitamins A, C, and K, as we are going to see in the nutritional table below, according to USDA.
From the table, it is evident that Brussel sprouts are richer in phosphorus than calcium and have high water content. The sprouts are a great source of vitamins and certain essential minerals.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat Brussel sprouts but only on rare occasions. Although the sprouts are abundant in vitamins and antioxidants, specific reasons make them suitable for occasional consumption and not regularly.
We will see why bearded dragons can’t eat brussel sprouts every day, but let’s first major in why you should offer the sprouts to your bearded dragons.
Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C and K. If you revisit the table above, you will see that Brussel sprouts have 85mg of vitamin C per 100g and 177µg of vitamin K per 100g.
The sprouts also provide a decent amount of fiber, which is around 3.8g per 100g. Fiber is essential in bearded dragons because it aids in the smooth digestion process. Also, these sprouts contain a lot of water that helps to hydrate the beardies.
You might also like: Complete list of common food can a bearded dragon eat that people usually ask.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Brussel Sprouts?
If you are into feeding Brussel sprouts to your bearded dragons, I recommend you to provide them once a month. Beyond there or excess sprouts are harmful to the beardies because of low calcium, goitrogens, and oxalates.
Brussel sprouts don’t provide a lot of calcium, as it only contains 42mg of calcium per 100g. Compared to dandelion greens with 187mg of calcium per 100g, it proves that the sprouts supply pretty little calcium.
Moreover, the sprouts are relatively high in oxalates, as they contain 360mg of oxalates per 100g. The problem with oxalates is that they bind to calcium and prevent its absorption. Giving your lizard foods that are high in oxalates exposes the dragon to a calcium deficit.
Brussel sprouts are not staple foods because of the presence of goitrogen in them. This substance is dangerous because it affects metabolism by blocking iodine from entering the thyroid gland. Insufficient iodine can cause hypothyroidism and slows metabolism.
Foods that You Can Feed to Your Bearded Dragons Instead of Brussel Sprouts
Bearded dragons require nutritious foods that aren’t acid and with low sugar content. Feeding foods that don’t supply enough nutrients will only fill the small stomach of your lizard pet, and with minimal or no nutritional benefit.
Instead of Brussel sprouts, opt for other food options such as bell pepper, turnip greens, green beans, butternut squash, sweet potato, clover, parsley, cilantro, etc.
To understand the nutrients that are present in these greens and veggies here is their nutritional information.
|Name||Butternut squash||Bell pepper||Turnip greens||Cilantro||Parsley|
Note that these are the most relevant nutrients only, but if you want, you can get the full nutritional details from USDA.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Brussel Sprouts?
If you are a dragon owner and you usually feed cooked foods to your bearded dragons, I’m afraid you might be making a big mistake. Cooked foods have lower nutritional value than fresh and raw foods, and Brussel sprouts are no exception.
Likewise, the bearded dragon’s stomach is accustomed to eating raw foods, and they are fine that way. Cooked food tends to cause digestive disturbances, especially if there are spices and cooking oil.
I would recommend you to stick to feeding nothing more but raw foods to your beloved lizard, and this also applies to Brussel sprouts. You will also need to avoid frozen sprouts as they are poor nutritionally.
How to Prepare Brussel Sprouts for Bearded Dragons?
Start by choosing fresh and raw Brussel sprouts. Organic sprouts are more preferred over the inorganic ones because the former is free from pesticides and fungicides.
Whether you have organic or inorganic sprouts, you need to wash them with clean water. Cleaning helps to remove any unwanted materials like dust or chemicals. Remember that the veggies or greens pass through many hands before they end up in your home.
Then, you will have to chop the sprouts before feeding. While sprouts are likely to make the pet choke, something you don’t want to happen. Ideally, check the space’s size between your lizard’s eye and chop the sprouts no more than that size.
It’s time to feed your lizard pet. Mix the Brussel sprouts with other greens and veggies. Provide the food to the lizard and watch it gobbling up the meal.
Fully understanding your bearded dragon will help you better take care of them. As a suggestion, we would recommend you to get a good bearded dragon book. Not to become an expert on bearded dragon care but will help you avoid the common mistake in new pet lizard owners.
Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Now you know that bearded dragons can eat Brussel sprouts, but you should feed them on rare occasions. Always avoid cooked sprouts or any other foods, but go for raw and fresh Brussel sprouts.
Please limit the number of Brussel sprouts you are feeding to prevent the potential health risks due to overfeeding them. Remember, the sprouts contain oxalates, goitrogen, and disproportional calcium to phosphorus.