Quick Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
Yes – but only in moderation! We recommend you let your bearded dragon eat broccoli only 1 time per week.
Broccoli contains a ton of important vitamins and minerals your bearded dragon will need, but because of the oxalate ratio we recommend to stay on the safe side and only feed your beardie broccoli sparingly.
Here are some key vitamins broccoli contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
IMPORTANT – make sure to only feed RAW broccoli to your bearded dragon. You’ll need to wash it and cut into tiny pieces when you do to prevent impaction.
PRO TIP – broccoli contains a chemical called oxalate which is known to bind with calcium. Too much oxalate will cause issues calcium absorption and can lead to MBD or metabolic bone disease.
If you’re curious – we’ve developed a complete food list for your bearded dragon. It’s got all the good stuff your little lizard will like!
Long Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
Across the web you’ll find conflicting information about whether or not you can feed your bearded dragon broccoli.
Many web sources say there’s no problem with feeding your beardie broccoli on a regular basis. However we disagree with this idea for a couple reasons.
Before I get into the specifics of broccoli and how it affects your bearded dragon, it’s important to know that yes – technically you can feed your bearded dragon broccoli – but please make sure you’re only feeding in moderation.
There are a couple reasons you should be cautious when feeding your bearded dragon broccoli:
Oxalate is considered an anti-nutrient by veterinarians and doctors because it binds to nutrients, like calcium, and can prevent this vitamin from being absorbed correctly in the body.
You might not have heard of this molecule because for humans the concern is minimal due to our height and weight ratio. It would take A LOT of oxalate to start having impacts on our bodies, although you should know there’s studies pointing to oxalate causing kidney stones in our bodies.
Here are some foods which contain high amounts of oxalate:
- Leafy greens (think spinach)
- Fruits (like grapes and beyond)
- Nuts & Seeds
The story is completely different for bearded dragons, and other reptiles in general.
Their system is more sensitive to this compound which is especially true if you combine the oxalate and fiber together. Doing so can cause a total lack of nutrition absorption for your bearded dragon.
It’s best to stay cautious and not deal with the consequences!
If you have thyroid issues you may have heard of this compound. Basically goitrogens interfere with normal thyroid production.
They make it difficult for hormones to be properly produced, and bearded dragons can be more prone to issues from excessive goitrogens.
Goitrogen is primarily an issue because it blocks crucial iodine absorption. Without iodine, their hormone production can be damaged.
Most vegetables contain goitrogens, but greens like broccoli, spinach, and kale have a larger quantity compared to others.
By feeding your beardie large amounts of broccoli you can run the risk of suppressing the thyroid function and possibly causing hypothyroidism.
Hopefully this gives you a full picture of why it’s best to stay cautious around broccoli and only feed sparingly.