Also known as Wolf Berries, goji berries are produced by plants belonging in the family Solanaceae, found mainly in the Himalayans region. Goji berries are typically reddish-orange that can be consumed raw or pressed to produce juice. For many years, goji berries have been used in medicine because of their loads of health benefits. There have been plenty of health claims for goji berries, but unfortunately, there is insufficient information to back these claims up. Many claims say that these berries have a wide range of health benefits including vision, liver and kidney function increase immunity and control both blood pressure and sugar.
But can parrots eat goji berries? Yes, they can. These berries have been found to have plenty of benefits to parrots, particularly owing to their high contents of vitamin A and powerful anti-oxidants. The berries themselves have 15% protein, 21 essential minerals, and 18 amino acids. They are also packed with essential acids as well as vitamin B2, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
What are the benefits of goji berries to parrots?
Goji berries have wide-ranging benefits to parrots including:
Antioxidants for skin and eyes
Perhaps the main reason you should start giving your parrot goji berries is the high content of antioxidants that is beneficial to the skin and eyes. According to recent research the high level of antioxidants in goji berries, particularly zeaxanthin protects the cells against damages when exposed to harmful elements such as radiation and smoke. Also, meals with healthy good levels of antioxidants are usually high in fiber but low in unhealthy fats.
Moreover, goji berries also prevent yellow deposits in the eyes, ensuring better vision.
The antioxidants in the berries also prevent damage from UV light, oxidative stress, and free radicals.
Boost immune system
The several vitamins found in goji berries may help increase the functioning of the immune system in parrots and also protect them against flu.
The berries also contain healthy levels of antioxidants, which are known for their immune-boosting qualities as well as their ability to fight off inflammation and free radicals.
Goji berries also contain high levels of vitamins C and A, just like other types of berries like raspberries and blueberries. Vitamins C and A are known for their abilities to build up the immune system and preventing diseases such as cancer and the common cold.
Beta-carotene for healthy skin
Goji berries are also packed with beta-carotene – an essential plant phytochemical that is known to boost the health of the skin.
Beta-carotene helps reduce skin irritation, the impact of aging, and the effects of aging.
Controls blood sugar
Goji berries are also known for controlling the release of sugar into the bloodstream. The fruits can balance glucose and insulin levels in the blood.
The berries can also help improve sugar tolerance and enhance and recover cells that release insulin.
Prevents liver damage
For many years, goji berries have been used to treat liver damage, and studies show that parrots can also benefit from them.
Besides preventing liver disease, goji berries can also inhibit the growth of tumors in birds.
Goji berries have been found to increase the quantity and quality of sperm as well as its movement, improve sexual ability and also the recovery of testosterone levels.
Boost energy levels
Eating goji berries or its juice has been found to improve energy levels and performance. It is believed that goji berries could boost the creation of muscle as well as liver glycogen, a storage version of glucose that is essential in maintaining physical activities.
It can also help speed up the elimination of urea nitrogen, a waster compound that the body produces after physical activities.
Goji berries can also help improve anxiety, depression, and sleep in your parrot.
How do I prepare goji berries before feeding my parrot?
Goji berries usually come ready to be consumed either juiced or in dried form. However, you can give it to your parrot in most ways possible. For instance, you can offer the berries to your bird in a trail mix, in soup or stew, or even alone.
You may not find goji berries while still fresh, unless you live close to where they are grown on a large scale, for example, places like China. Nevertheless, consider buying organic goji berries for your parrot, and only from retailers you trust.
Alternatively, you can grow your own berries in the backyard.
You should know that goji berries, unlike other types of berries, are extremely hard to find.
Do goji berries have side effects?
Despite their plenty of benefits, avoid going too overboard with the berries as they also have high levels of iron. And too much iron I bad for parrots or any bird for that matter. But you can feed your bird quite a bit before beginning to worry.
Below are the side effects of goji berries you should worry about:
They may lower the blood sugar of your parrot way too low
As we have seen, goji berries can help reduce blood sugar levels, however, feeding your parrot too much of these berries may lower the blood sugar of your bird way too much.
Though there is no evidence that suggests goji berries can result in hypoglycemia, it is better to exercise caution when dealing with these fruits.
May cause allergies
Goji berries have also been found to cause anaphylaxis – a condition that results in the body becoming hypersensitive. It is believed that the lipid transmission of proteins in the berries may be responsible for this.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis you may see on your bird include hives, shock, gastrointestinal problems, and airway obstruction
May also lead to anal leakage
Though it is rare, goji berries can also case non-bloody diarrhea. This is believed to be caused by the berries’ ability to modulate certain genes in the body. Another potential reason for diarrhea may be due to contamination of the berries.
Are goji berries superfood?
Due to their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, goji berries are usually considered a type of superfood. The berries are also jam-packed with fiber but low in calories, so by adding a few of them to your parrot’s birdseed mix, it will help your avian friend stave off the desire to snack later.
Are their alternatives to goji berries for parrots?
A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables contain lutein, including cooked spinach and other green leafy veggies, raw pistachio nuts, and raw parsley. Eggs and corns also contain lutein and are packed with zeaxanthin as well. Kiwi fruit, oranges, grapes, zucchini, and other kinds of squashes can also take the place of goji berries in your parrot’s diet due to their high levels of zeaxanthin.