The most underrated food on the Christmas dinner plate. Now there’s a controversial statement if I’ve ever heard one. Take a little moment to guess what it might be. Of course, today’s article is about our beloved brussels sprouts. The famous vegetable, which is notorious for its “bitter” taste and flavour, is one of the healthiest and nutritious vegetables available to you and I humans.
However, like any caring parrot owner, you would never dream to toss one of your spare brussels sprouts to your feathery friend without first checking whether or not it’s safe for them to eat. And that’s what today’s article is for.
The answer is… yes! Like you may have guessed… brussels sprouts can make for an extremely tasty and healthy snack for our pet parrots. In fact, green vegetables are essential to part of the diet of the wild parrot, who indulge them relentlessly in addition to their ideal diet of nuts and seeds. As you’re going to learn in the rest if this article, leafy greens are a fantastic way to keep your bird at peak health with an optimum diet.
So, some of the points I’m going to go over today…
- What are the benefits of brussels sprouts?
- Should I cook them or feed them raw?
- What are some of the drawbacks of Brussels Sprouts?
- What are some alternatives to brussels sprouts?
- Should I feed them chopped up or whole?
Sound good? Great! Let’s dive right into it!
What are the benefits of brussels sprouts?
Now the fact that brussels sprouts are healthy is essentially just common knowledge. We are going to dive deeper, however, and be a little bit more specific with regards to how the brussels sprouts can benefit your health.
*Lots* of Nutrients
Now, where to start. If we were to list all of the vitamins and nutrients that are present in brussels sprouts, we would truly be here all day. But we know you don’t have the time to sit around and listen to me all day. So, let’s start with how brussels sprouts can prevent blood clotting and promote bone health with its incredibly high levels of Vitamin K. Also, not to forget, brussels sprouts contain very high levels of Vitamin B6, potassium, iron and magnesium, which promote growth & repair, and support immune functioning.
Can protect from cancer
A 2008 study found that brussels sprouts could protect against carcinogens, and protect against anti-oxidative stress. This means that an increase in brussels sprouts could lead to a reduced chance of colorectal cancer. So whilst the research on the matter is not wholesome. It is possible that a healthy, balanced diet which includes sufficient levels of vitamin C could help to reduce the risk of cancer.
High in fibre
If you have read any of our other articles on this website, it is highly possible that you have heard the benefits of a diet with high levels of fibre. Fibre is important because it can increase stool consistency for our parrot, and soften the consistency for easier passing. As well as helping to maintain stable levels of blood sugar, your parrot can benefit from reduced risk of heart disease, meaning it can have more energy and enjoy a healthier life, respectively.
Are raw brussels sprouts healthier?
There is some debate circulating as to whether or not raw brussels sprouts are healthier than cooked. So that’s shy we’re going to discuss and show you some of the benefits that your parrot can get if you decide to feed him raw sprouts instead. However, one thing you can almost be certain of, is that generally, parrots prefer the taste of cooked sprouts. However this will vary from each parrot. So whilst I can’t guarantee that your parrot will like raw sprouts, it may be possible that it simply prefers them cooked.
Anyway, here are some arguments as to why you should try to feed your parrot raw sprouts.
Higher levels of Vitamin C
Raw brussels sprouts do contain higher levels of vitamin C than cooked sprouts. The reason this is beneficial to birds is because it is an important vitamin for growth and repair of many body parts, including their feathers. In fact, it’s involved in so many functions that I could not even list them all to you here. However, the most significant ones are the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, to support healthy immune functioning and bone health.
Higher in folate
I’m going to go on a limb here, and assume that you haven’t heard of folate before. That’s okay, because very few people have. Folate is a B-Vitamin that is used to make red and white blood cells. It also is used to convert carbohydrates from other components of our parrots diet, and produce DNA. This property is available in abundance in raw brussels sprouts, which is a reason why it may be best to feed your feathery friend some sprouts before you cook them.
Are there any drawbacks of brussels sprouts?
They say, “variety is the spice of life.” Nowhere is that more true than in a diet. More specifically, it is especially true when speaking of the diet if your pet parrot. Like every other food, too many brussels sprouts may reach a point of diminishing returns, which is why it should be taken in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet for your pet parrot.
For example, if your parrot is taking any form of medication, it is probably best to consult your doctors first, before feeding brussels sprouts, or any kind of food for that matter. This is because the high levels of vitamin K we spoke about earlier may interfere with medication that aids to stop blood clotting for example.
On top of that, you may be familiar with the problems of a diet that is too high in fibre. For example, some of the symptoms of such a diet may include excessive bloating from your parrot, gas, abdominal pain and constipation. If you do happen to notice any sings or any of the aforementioned symptoms. Please cut down in the amount if brussels sprouts you feed your parrot until you get the chance to visit your vet, and get his/her expert insight on the matter.
How should I serve the brussels sprouts to my parrot?
brussels sprouts are quite small. Still, however, you may find it best to cut them up into third, or even quarter pieces to feed to your feathery friend. Serving whole, large brussels sprouts may pose the risk of choking, and the parrot may struggle then to properly digest the brussels sprouts.
You can serve your brussels sprouts with a variety of sides. Pine nuts and green beans can make for a delicious snack that your feathery friend will adore. Some whole wheat pasta and pineapple may make for delicious sides as well. (For more information on parrots and pineapple, feel free to check out our previous article in the topic!)
What are some alternatives to brussels sprouts?
We totally understand that you may not like brussels sprouts. Therefore, if you don’t buy them, how can you ever feed them to your parrot? It’s important though, that your parrot does get some of the health benefits I have mentioned earlier. That’s why I have created this list of alternatives for brussels sprouts.
Broccoli is a fantastic source of Vitamin C, and K. These vitamins are essential in supporting the immune system of your parrot and prevent blood clotting whilst strengthening their bones. This means that a small serving of broccoli from time to time can give them all of the mentioned health benefits as brussels sprouts. Also, broccoli is another high source of fibre, potassium, and folate as well. All of which can ensure that your parrot receives optimum nutrition to stay in peak physical condition.
Green bell peppers
Like broccoli, Bell peppers are loaded (and yes, I truly mean… loaded), with vitamins. Vitamin K, A, E, C, B6. You name it, Bell peppers will probably have it. Not only do they have such a wide variety if vitamins, but also, the essential minerals from the large amounts of potassium can improve heart health, unlike brussels sprouts. As well as that, green Bell peppers also contain high levels of folate, which can aid growth, recovery, and boost immune functioning. There is no doubt that bell peppers are a comprehensive alternative to brussels sprouts.
In conclusion then, brussels sprouts may not be your favourite vegetable, but it’s very possible to be one if the healthier ones you can get, both for yourself and your pet parrot. With all of the vitamins, enzymes and other nutrients I have spoken about today, it is essential for part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, to keep your parrot at optimum health.
Although, like I have mentioned, it is crucial that you keep your servings limited, and allow your parrot to consume their greens in moderation, as too much brussels sprouts, and you may reach a point if dismissing returns.
Thank you guys for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article, and I will see you again soon.