When it comes to exotic fruits… it does not get much more extreme than Dragon fruit, Pitaya, or the less creative name: Strawberry pear. The bright red skin with dazzling green scales allow it to resemble the mythical dragon creature. Native to Mexico and South America, it is now grown all over the world. With its sweet, savoury taste and nutritious benefits, the fruit has been likened to both kiwis and pears. Such comparisons may lead us to the most important question to ask about any fruit: Can I feed it to my pet Parrot?
The answer? You bet you can. Dragon fruit has numerous health benefits, both for us humans and our feathery little parrot friends. It contains small amounts of an extremely diverse range of nutrients and is a sufficient source of iron, magnesium and fibre. All of these healthy benefits, mixed with its delightful, sweet taste, makes dragon fruit an appropriate and delicious treat for your pet parrot.
Now today, I’m going to uncover some of the benefits of dragon fruits, explaining the pros and cons of the tropical fruit. I’m going to cover the following points comprehensively:
- Benefits of dragon fruit
- Drawbacks of dragon fruit
- How much dragon fruit
- What are some alternatives.
Sound good? Great! Let’s get straight into it.
What are the benefits of dragon fruit?
If you’ve read any of our previous articles, I’m sure that you’ve heard of what anti-oxidants are. And I’m sure that you’re already convinced of the benefits if them. However, for those of you who are new to here, let me explain. Anti-oxidants are essentially compounds that protect your parrot’s cells from unstable molecules.
One type of anti-oxidant is betalains. They are found in the pulp of dragon fruits and protect the cholesterol of birds. This leads to healthy immune functioning and reduces the risk of various chronic diseases. Flavonoids, too, are a common antioxidants found in dragon fruits. They are important because a diet with high (but balanced) levels of this compound can lead to better brain health and reduce the risk of any form of chronic heart diseases.
Very high in fibre
The benefits of fibre are well known to humans. What most pet owners however, may overlook, is that a diet which constitutes of sufficient amounts of fibre is also crucially important for many bodily functions. For example, not only can it aid the digestive health of our feathery friend, but it also helps create more consistent stool, which not only is healthy, but is more comfortable for our parrot. Also the high fibre content found in dragon fruits can protect against various diseases, including diabetes.
High iron levels
This is a huge problem amongst all kind of bird owners nowadays. With all of the processing and nutrient stripping which occurs in the process of creating many bird foods nowadays, it seems that valuable and necessary nutrients for a stable diet are disappearing. Bird foods nowadays are especially low in iron. And this is where dragon fruit can come to the rescue.
Iron is very important to transport oxygen around the body of your parrot. On top of that, it’s benefits with regard to using the foods it eats for energy should not be understated. Dragon fruit also contains high levels of Vitamin C, which, as you may know, are useful to the birds, to help them absorb the iron.
Boosts immune functioning
Another considerable advantage of dragon fruit is that it plays an extremely important role in protecting the immune functioning of your pet parrot. The large amounts of Vitamin C which I have previously spoken of can be useful in protecting the white blood cells of your parrot. These white blood cells are needed in order to destroy harmful substances, however, they are extremely sensitive to damage from free radicals.
What are some of the drawbacks of eating too much dragon fruit?
So whilst I have just described some of the incredible health benefits that come along with dragon fruits, it’s now time to consider some of the drawbacks. It is important to note that these drawbacks should not be understated.
Essentially, however, as long as you can keep your servings in moderation and pay close attention to the cues that your parrot gives, or quickly notice any unusual symptoms, then it should be OK. Nevertheless, here are som of the adverse effects that dragon fruit can have on your parrot.
In some rare cases, dragon fruit can be a trigger to allergic effects. As far as human consumption goes, there have been only two recorded cases of people with no previous food allergies, had developed an allergic reaction to a fruit mixture which contained dragon fruit. Tests eventually confirmed that anti-bodies WERE present in their system.
So whilst these cases are evidently very rare… it is something that you should perhaps take on board before you start feeding some of the Latin American fruit to your feathery friend.
However, like I’ve already said, the crucial, step here for you, as a caring parrot owner… is to pay attention. You should pay attention to all of your bird’s cues, symptoms and be suspicious of any unusual activity from them.
In the scenario where you discover some perhaps unusual behaviour. The best thing to do is take them to the vet, in order to immediately receive expert advice and take it from there.
However, don’t let this deter you from feeding them some parrot fruit, because as the aforementioned health benefits would suggest… it plays a key role in a healthy and balanced diet. In order to make sure your parrot is at peak physical health.
What are some alternatives?
Now, it’s highly possible that you’re like my cousin. Yes, you, like my cousin. The reason why, is because my cousin hates to buy unusual fruit. And I can understand that. The idea of buying dragon fruit, and then serving it to your beloved pet parrot may be an intimidating experience. That’s why I’ve complied this list below of some of the healthiest and most recommended alternatives to the sweet, unique fruit from Latin America. Enjoy.
If I were to ask you, what part of a bird makes it unique. The answer would be obvious. You would tell me that it’s the wings that make them so special, isn’t that right? If you agree with me, you should feed your parrot some blueberries. The rich blend of antioxidants can help keep your parrots feathers and wings looking beautiful and colourful. However, like the pineapples that I referenced in a previous article, be aware of the high sugar content, and the adverse effects this can have on the parrot. Therefore, you may wish to keep your servings in moderation.
The classic. If I were to write out all of the benefits of carrots in this little paragraph, it would keep you here all day and night. However, if you do want a comprehensive list of the benefits, feel free to check out our other article in the health benefits of carrots. To summarise, the vitamin-packed treats can support bone and feather growth, promote eye health and support immune functioning. The beauty of carrots, is that they are easy to make and don’t involve any real adverse side effects. Making it a perfect alternative to dragon fruits.
In conclusion then, there are many positive effects to feeding your parrot dragon fruit. The benefits to the immune system, digestive functioning and growth of feathers and other repair functions should not be understated. However, like all other foods, it should play a part in a health, and balanced diet. Servings should be kept to moderation and you should, of course, pay attention to any adverse symptoms you may come across.
Thank you guys for reading, and I will see you again soon!