Kale – probably you won’t find even a single person who will deny the health benefits of this nutritious vegetable. Whether you’re asking for protection against cancer, bone issues, or eye issues, this vegetable can easily back you up. But will it be okay to give this one to your bearded dragon too? Can they actually eat it?
Bearded dragons can eat kale, but sparingly. Though the food contains major nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, it comes with some harmful elements as well. The oxalates within kale can trigger MDB under the condition of excessive consumption. Plus, its Goitrogens can influence the reptile’s thyroid glands negatively.
Now the question is if the vegetable is okay when the consumption is limited, do these elements make it totally unsafe for the dragon to eat? And is there any specific process for feeding them? Well, to know that, you need to check below.
From the intro, you’ve already got an idea that kales are good for bearded dragons. But we didn’t say how much good. Well, it’s time to put some light on that.
1. Vitamin A
When it comes to keeping your reptile’s skin, eyes, and immune system healthy, it’s literally impossible to skip the need for Vitamin A. And if you’d ask us, we’d say Kale will be the perfect source of it.
In fact, just a single cup of chopped kale can get your reptile more than 200% of its daily recommended dose of vitamin A. Since this vitamin is fat-soluble, it must be used in moderation. Otherwise, your lizard might have to deal with toxicity.
2. Vitamin C
This might sound a bit surprising, but it’s true that bearded dragons have the ability to make their own Vitamin C. However, consuming dietary sources of Vitamin C can surely assist in maintaining a strong immune system along with enhancing iron absorption. FYI, a single cup of chopped kale can get your reptile more than 130% of its daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
3. Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps a beardie a lot with keeping blood from clotting too quickly, Not only that, but it also promotes strong bones. Kale is so filled with this nutrient that a single cup of chopped kale is enough to get your lizard 700%+ of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K.
Whether you’re asking for your beardie’s healthy muscles, healthy nervous system, or healthy urinary tract, you simply can’t cut off the Potassium from the diet. And guess where you’re going to get a ton of it? Exactly, in kale. If you want to provide your lizard with more than 8 percent of the daily value for potassium, a cup of chopped kale will be enough.
For bearded dragons, manganese is a ‘must have’ nutrient since it’s a trace mineral that doesn’t only improve metabolism but also reduces inflammation. Don’t worry, you’re going to get a lot of it in kale.
No matter which type of bearded dragon you own, you can’t skip this mineral. After all, that’s what going to help your beardie with ensuring proper brain and muscle health. Rather than looking for a new source, you can simply try kale, and we bet it’s going to meet that need to the fullest.
Do you know what keeps your bones healthy? Yes, calcium. Like humans, bearded dragons too need calcium for healthy bones and long life. Being a good source of calcium, kale can easily contribute a lot to that.
7. Low Sugar
Feeding your beardie kale means it won’t be consuming as much sugar as it would if you were making them eat other things. In case you’re wondering what sugar can do to your lizard, it’s simply going to get nothing but obesity and other health issues out of it.
You’ve already seen what kind of health benefits kale can bring for bearded dragons. But does it mean that it’s totally safe and you should leave the consumption control free? Well, in that case, let us tell you that not every element in kale plays in favor of bearded dragons.
A bearded dragon owner can be a fan of anything but oxalates. There’s no harm in limited consumption, but when it enters a beardie’s body too much, it can trigger major health issues like Metabolic Bone Disease or MDB.
The thing is, oxalates link with calcium and prevent it from being absorbed. And we guess you already know how essential calcium is for bearded dragons. But the good news is kale does not contain too much oxalates. Your reptile can get only 20 gms of oxalates out of 100 gms of kale. But still, feeding them excessively to your lizard might trigger the imbalance.
The one thing that might manage to make dragon owners feel worried about feeding kale to their lizards is goitrogens. FYI, this element can trigger a toxic effect on a dragon’s thyroid.
It can become so harmful for your reptile that not only it can lead to thyroid enlargement but also hormone production dysfunction. Thankfully, kale doesn’t contain too much of it. So, you can call it risk-free to a certain extent. But to be on the safe side, don’t rely on this food alone or feed it daily to your dragon.
3. Vitamin A Toxicity
One of Kale’s potential downsides is the high levels of vitamin A it contains. When your reptile is on vitamin A supplements, feeding them kale might overload them with this Vitamin. And the result? There can be Vitamin A toxicity, and we bet you won’t like that. Not only will this lead your dragon to puffiness and fatigue, but it will also trigger issues like weight loss and dehydration.
Whether you’re giving your dragon cooked kale or uncooked, they can eat both of them. But to be honest, we don’t suggest the cooked one as that might lose lots of the nutrients we’ve just told you about in our earlier section.
Cooked kale still can provide some of the nutrients, but we don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference in your dragon’s health. So, the best thing you can do is stick to raw kale. But don’t forget to clean it up and chop it properly before letting your lizard have it.
Human Foods For Bearded Dragons: Infographic
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The one thing your reptile’s health depends on the most is the right diet. But who said feeding them vegetables only is going to be enough? You need to put some fruits on that list as well. Now the question is – which one? Well, get that answer at our blog – What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?