Out of most of the vegetables that can wind up in your beardie’s bowl, cabbage is one of those that is a huge powerhouse of nutrition. Unlike others, the benefits of cabbage outweigh the detriments. This means we recommend letting napa cabbage be a frequent addition to the diet of your bearded dragon without having to worry too much.
As long as you serve it to them fresh and cut out the tough bits, they will be able to ingest it without any issues. Clean and delicious cabbage makes a difference in your beardie’s vitamins and calcium levels, but how big of a difference? Let’s find out.
Benefits of Napa Cabbage
As dragons reach adulthood, their diets change from being comprised mostly of insects and some vegetables, to being mostly vegetables with some insects. They still need the protein from insects, but not nearly as much as baby beardies need. So in order to diversify their diet, it is recommended to give them some staple veggies and greens as well as insects and some occasional fruits.
Cabbage is one of those vegetables that you can give to them about once a week as long as it is cleaned up and prepared properly. Beardies of course need a lot of calcium, and cabbage is actually an unexpected source. Out of all the types of cabbage you can give your bearded dragon, napa cabbage actually has the second most calcium out of them all, right below bok choy.
You’ll want to give it to them raw instead of cooked for the optimal amount of calcium. Cabbage is a bit tough though so the stalk should be removed and the cabbage leaves should be cut up into tiny pieces for easy ingestion. They have small mouths so it is difficult for them to chew up things that are too tough, but the leaves should be tender enough that they can chew them just fine.
It is also packed with all of the typical essential vitamins and minerals that your beardie needs to thrive like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Potassium, and more. They have such a density of nutrition with that big load of calcium and all of those vitamins, plus antioxidants to really pack a lot of punch into such a simple vegetable. Napa cabbage is a great addition to most beardie bowls as it isn’t just a filler vegetable with little nutritional benefit.
Any Problems With Napa Cabbage?
There aren’t really any issues you’ll find that are glaring with Napa cabbage to make it not recommended for beardies. Certain types of cabbage can have more phosphorous than calcium and you won’t really find that much with Napa. Their levels aren’t too high so it isn’t recommended to give it to them every day, but once or twice a week can be really nice.
The only time you should really hold back when giving your beardie cabbage is if you’re trying to feed them Savoy cabbage. Savoy cabbage is fairly high in phosphorous and isn’t as good for them as other types like Napa or red cabbage.
If you’re going to serve cabbage to them you need to make sure you don’t serve it incorrectly. Make sure to wash it as thoroughly as you can and trim off all the tough parts as they can wreak havoc on digestion and also cause choking. Do not cook it, it will lose its vital nutrients and essentially become a filler vegetable that isn’t worth giving to your beardie.
You’ll want to pair the cabbage with other highly calcium-rich vegetables to fully flesh out their diet and give them as much nutrition per meal as possible. So as long as you’re prepping it correctly and pairing it with other vegetables that are heavy with calcium and other vitamins and minerals, it will make an ideal addition to many meals for your little buddy. Click here for more feeding options.
It isn’t difficult to procure and prep cabbage for your little buddy. It helps that Napa cabbage is pretty abundant and relatively cheap, so if you’re planning on adding it to their bowl weekly it won’t break your budget. Beardies tend to enjoy cabbage. Even though it is low in sugar, it has a nice sweetness and crunch that they like a lot.
Other types of cabbage that are recommended to feed your beardie are bok choy and red cabbage, as they have even higher calcium levels than Napa. Give it a try with your beardie, it may just be their new favorite thing!