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  • Writer's pictureIan Bromham

Kale - Superfood or Silent Killer

Updated: Mar 31, 2023


Kale can for a part of a balanced diet for bearded dragons.
Kale - Super food for Bearded dragons

Over recent years, Kale has been often been referred to as a "Superfood" in the world of nutrition.


But is kale a superfood for bearded dragons? or should it be completely off the menu?

In this post, we will look at data relating to Kale and its appropriateness for bearded dragons.


So can bearded dragons eat kale?

Bearded dragons can eat kale as part of a balanced and varied diet. Kale contains high amounts of calcium which is vital to their health. Importantly Kale is also low in phosphorus, high amounts of phosphorus can have a negative effect to a bearded dragon’s health


Nutritional Information of Kale Per 100g

Kale Nutritional Information
Kale Nutritional Information

High in calcium

We all know that calcium is important to bearded dragons and without a calcium-rich diet, your beardie will likely suffer from serious health issues such as (MBD) metabolic bone disease. With 150mg per 100g and is a great source of calcium for your bearded dragon.

Low in sugar

One aspect of a bearded dragon’s diet that is often overlooked and not considered is their sugar intake. Bearded dragons can suffer from health problems if they consume too much sugar. Health concerns include obesity, digestion issues and dental decay. Therefore, it is important to keep feeding sugar rich food items such as fruit to a minimum.


Often it is easy to make the mistake that what is good for us will be good for our animals. Bearded dragons have different nutritional requirements to us humans and some foods that are good for us aren’t the same for your dragon.

What about the myths behind Kale?

Ok, let’s tackle this one head on. There are myths suggesting that kale is high in harmful oxalates and for that reason, it should only be fed on occasion or never at all.


First, what are oxalates?

Oxalates are a compound that is found in many plants. Oxalates bind to calcium and other trace minerals and prevent them from being absorbed by the body. This can have a major health concerns for bearded dragons because calcium is so important to their health. Calcium is required for healthy bone development and maintenance.

The fact is that nearly all plants and salads will contain some level of oxalates, the importance here is that not all levels are considered to have a negative effect on your beardie.


But does kale have high amounts of oxalates?

We have taken research provided by oxalates.org and listed the oxalate level for 10 popular bearded dragon foods. As you can see from the list below kale has one of the lowest amounts of oxalates per 100g out on this list and Spinach being the highest.


Oxalates Per 100g

Vegetables with Oxalates from High to Low
Vegetables with Oxalates from High to Low

What are the other benefits of Kale?

Kale is a great all-round food to feed to your bearded dragon. It is high in trace minerals and is low in phosphorus. Other things to note are, that kale has a good amount of both protein and fibre which promote growth and digestive health.


Are there any health concerns with Kale?

Care should be taken when feeding your bearded dragon salads such as Kale, cabbage, and mustard greens as these vegetables contain “goitrogens”.


Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones are important as they influence the metabolic rate, protein synthesis, growth and development in bearded dragons. Low thyroid function is called “hypothyroidism”.


Bearded Dragon With Gout or Hypothroidism
Bearded Dragon With Gout

What are the other benefits of Kale?

Kale is a great all-round food to feed to your bearded dragon. It is high in trace minerals and is low in phosphorus. Other things to note are, that kale has a good amount of both protein and fibre which promote growth and digestive health.


Are there any health concerns with Kale?

Care should be taken when feeding your bearded dragon salads such as Kale, cabbage, and mustard greens as these vegetables contain “goitrogens”.


Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones are important as they influence the metabolic rate, protein synthesis, growth and development in bearded dragons. Low thyroid function is called “hypothyroidism”.


Bearded Dragon X-Ray Hypothyroidism
Bearded Dragon X-Ray Hypothyroidism

Can Bearded Dragons eat kale every day?

Kale is great for bearded dragons if used in a balanced and varied diet. It is important to mix up their food intake and provide different nutrients from different foods to give them a wide nutrient profile.


Moderation is the key to anything they eat.


Please feel free to send us some feedback below.


03/01/2020


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