Bean sprouts are a popular ingredient in cuisine across different parts of the world. Owners that enjoy these sprouts may be interested in sharing the goodies with their beloved bearded dragons particularly since vegetables form a major part of the reptile’s diet.
This article provides answers to the question “Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bean Sprouts?” by revealing the component nutrients offered when consumed. We analyze the positives of eating the sprouts against inherent negatives to determine whether they’re a good food option.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bean Sprouts?
Bearded dragons should avoid eating bean sprouts because it contains acidity levels that can be harmful to their health. Bean sprouts also offer large phosphorus to calcium ratio discrepancy that could lead to calcium deficiency in bearded dragons.
Bean sprouts provide limited quantities of nutrients that do not move the needle much in terms of shoring up the nutritional base of bearded dragons. Regular consumption leads to minimal benefits for the adorable lizard.
Besides, bean sprouts are a member of the legume family comprising beans, lentils, and peas which are noted for their high acidity levels. The presence of huge phosphorus quantities in relation to calcium makes beardies susceptible to weak bones, muscles, and teeth.
What Are Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts are tender edible shoots that spring up from germinating bean seeds. Different varieties of beans are sprouted but mung beans and lentils are the most popular on the market. Bean sprouts are boiled or stir-fried in a variety of Asian and Mediterranean dishes across the world.
Many supermarkets stock bean sprouts since they are touted as a healthy superfood for folks who are nutrition-conscious. Sprouts are also popular in the animal feed industry.
What Do Bean Sprouts Taste Like?
Bean sprouts are popular on many Chinese and Asian restaurant menus due to their mild, tender taste. The sprouts develop stronger flavors as they grow and may taste crunchy or nut-like depending on the bean variety and harvesting age.
Popular legume species sprouted include alfalfa, mung beans, and soybeans. They are typically sprouted in water until development to the desired harvesting size.
Do Bearded Dragons Like The Taste of Bean Sprouts?
Saying that bearded dragons like the taste of bean sprouts can be a safe assumption. Bearded dragons do not all have the same palettes and while the majority seem to enjoy the taste of bean sprouts, others may not.
Industry folks believe that beardies that hate the taste of these sprouts are in the minority. If your current bearded dragon shows no signs of interest in the popular vegetable, be ready to move on without making a fuss. The only way to find out is to offer a few sprouts in their food bowls while watching the outcome.
Many folks serve beans sprouts as a supplement to staple foods like vegetables and fruits. They could also be added to animal proteins such as mealworms and superworm beetles to provide some dietary variety. Either way, make sure bean sprouts contain no parasites before serving to bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bean Sprouts Occasionally?
Bearded dragons may eat bean sprouts once a month without problems. The acid content in the bean sprouts should be ideally reduced before offering to captive bearded dragons. Although the high phosphorus content could cause calcium leeching, an occasional serving can do minimal harm.
However, avoid making bean sprouts a staple in your beardie’s diet because the negatives may outweigh any positives.
Could Beardies Consume Bean Sprouts With Minimal Acidity Levels?
Bean sprouts might not be the most nutritious veggies out there but beardies can still eat them once the acidity levels are reduced. This could eliminate the risk of tummy upsets and other potential blowbacks from excessive acid levels.
We still recommend serving the sprouts occasionally even when the acidity levels are minimal because the vegetable does not offer much for the bearded dragon’s health and overall well-being.
How Can The Acidity Levels In Bean Sprouts Be Minimized?
The acidity levels in bean sprouts could be reduced by boiling in hot water for about 10 minutes. A pinch of baking powder should be added to the mixture before being put on fire. Tests after boiling often show significantly low levels of acids compared to fresh sprouts. (Source)
Lowering the acid levels can make them less hazardous when consumed by domesticated bearded dragons. It is often the last resort for owners hellbent on feeding the vegetables to pet beardies.
How To Serve Bean Sprouts To Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons may eat beans sprouts as an independent meal or in a vegetable salad comprising other options like tomatoes, kale, and romaine lettuce. Bean sprouts should be derived from sources with minimal risk of exposure to bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.
Bearded dragons may also serve as a topper for animal-based meals like crickets, Dubya roaches, and mealworms. This can enhance the taste of the primary food while ensuring that the amount of bean sprouts ingested is minimal.
Also, cooking bean sprouts before serving to beardies kills off existing bacteria and enhances the taste. The majority of bean sprouts on supermarket shelves are marketed as “ready to eat” meaning additional cooking is not required before serving.
However, we still recommend boiling for a couple of minutes to kill off bacteria traces just to be on the safer side.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat lentil Sprouts?
Bearded dragons can eat lentil sprouts occasionally due to the high acidity content that may lead to digestion problems. Avoid feeding lentils regularly because the side effects could outweigh the benefits.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts are highly acidic vegetables with extreme phosphorus to calcium ratio that could cause problems as staple bearded dragon food. Feeding it once a month or so may be suitable for bearded dragons but we still recommend minimal amounts.
The acidity content should be reduced before feeding bean sprouts to bearded dragons. We also recommend cooking it first to eliminate the threat of existing disease-causing organisms that can pose life-threatening problems for the beardie.