Ever felt that you are heavily stuffed with your meals, yet you suffer from hunger pangs? You feel like you have something but want it to be rich in the essential vitamins and minerals as well. Then what comes to your rescue? A good bowl of cherries! Healthy, tasty, delicious and guilt-free.
But while munching on these snacks, have you ever wondered – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries? So don’t you worry, your Bearded Dragons can eat Cherries happily. Your Dragons love its sweet texture and soft taste. But to retain their happiness, you need to feed them the lovely Cherries occasionally. After all, moderation is the key.
So be seated, and within a minute let us find out, what are cherries? What is the nutritional value in their stores to offer you – their various types, benefits and risks associated for you and your little Bearded Dragons too.
Cherries are a delicious small, red and fleshy power-packed superfood of the fruit family Genus Prunus. They are highly rich in antioxidants.
There are more than 1000 varieties of cherries. Some common ones are – Dark Red Cherries, Red Cherries, Sour Cherries, Sweet Cherries, Yellow Cherries, Black Cherries.
Nutritional Facts of Cherries
According to the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ), 100 gm of Cherries contain the following nutritional values:
|Energy (Calories)||63 Kcal|
|Total Fat||0.2 gm|
|Saturated Fat||0.038 gm|
|Polyunsaturated Fats||0.052 gm|
|Monounsaturated Fats||0.047 gm|
|Trans Fats||0 mg|
|Dietary Fiber||2.1 gm|
As per the USDA, the number of minerals in 100 gm of cherries are:
|Potassium (K)||222 mg|
|Phosphorus (P)||21 mg|
|Calcium (Ca)||13 mg|
|Magnesium (Mg)||11 mg|
|Iron (Fe)||0.36 mg|
|Zinc (Zn||0.07 mg|
|Manganese (Mn)||0.07 mg|
|Copper (Cu)||0.06 mg|
|Sodium (Na)||0 mg|
|Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio||1:1.6|
The number of essential Vitamins in 100 gm of cherries are:
|Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)||7 mg|
|Choline (Vitamin B4)||6.1 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)||0.199 mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||0.154 mg|
|Alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E)||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.049 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.033 mg|
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.027 mg|
|Folate (Vitamin B9)||4 mcg|
|Vitamin A RAE||3 mcg|
|Vitamin A IU||64 mcg|
|Vitamin D (D2 + 3)||0 mcg|
|Beta Carotene||38 mcg|
|Vitamin K||2.1 mcg|
Benefits of Cherries
Cherries are highly packed in healthy nutritions and they are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Cherries are fully loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. They have a plethora of benefits.
Cherries protect your hearts and prevent any cardiovascular diseases. It can also boost your exercise recovery. Cherries help improve sleep quality and helps lower your stress, anxiety and hypertension. It also improves any symptoms of arthritis and helps in lowering any risk of a gout attack.
Cherries help prevent cancer and also help curb cholesterol. Cherries are also proven beneficial for the health of your brain. It prevents Alzheimer’s disease and helps improve your migraine. It gives a boost to your brain.
Cherries help protect against diabetes and lowers blood pressure levels as well. It also helps in controlling the lipid levels in diabetics and obese people. It also aids in reducing the risk of strokes.
Cherries have anti–ageing properties. They not only maintain your skin’s pH balance but also promote your hair to become healthy. Cherries provide energy and can help boost your sex life as well. And what makes it guilt-free, is its ability to facilitate weight loss.
Side Effects or Disadvantages of Cherries
With the wholesomeness of goodness, there can be certain risk factors aligned as well.
Since Cherries lack some vital vitamins and minerals so they can be allergic to sensitive people and some and may even show symptoms of tingling/itching sensation in the mouth, swelling of lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing, breathing difficulty and nasal congestion, skin rashes such as hives, or eczema, abdominal cramps, vomit, nausea and diarrhoea, dizziness or fainting.
Cherries contain dietary fibre. So excess Cherries can cause some uncomfortable gastrointestinal problems – such as abdominal bloating, stomach pain, cramps and gas.
Cherry pits after being crushed might be toxic and hence one must not consume them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?
Yes. Your bearded Dragons can eat Cherries but only as a treat i.e Occasionally. Since Cherries are high in sugars and contain fruit acids, they can disturb your little Beardie’s digestive functions.
Cherries are loaded with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, they should form a part of your Beardie’s diet. But to maintain the goodness of this power food the key is to feed them in moderation.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons have Cherries?
Cherries contain several essential nutrients, and thus, they are beneficial to your little Beardies as well. Though your Beardies might love Cherries since they are high in sugars and low in calcium they can only have them every few weeks or once a month to be in a safer zone.
It also depends upon what other things are included in their daily dietary intake. If fruits that are high in sugars and low in calcium are there in your Beardie’s diet then kindly avoid serving cherries on that particular day. There has to be balance in the vegetables, leafy greens and fruits that are served to your Beardies.
- Read More: Do your Bardie like Watermelon?
Serving Size Of Cherries to Bearded Dragons
Cherries should always be served as a salad topper over the greens – in small quantities. Normally 3 pitted Cherries are enough and not more than that.
Fruits altogether must not go over 5 % of your Beardie’s daily dietary intake.
How To Serve Cherries to your Bearded Dragons?
Prefer organic and fresh Cherries. If you are serving inorganic ones then be careful of the dirt and pesticides present on the skin of your Cherries. Always wash the Cherries thoroughly. Discard any cherry leaves. Remove their pits to prevent gut impaction. Chop the Cherries in half or quarter to avoid choking, as your little Beardie does not chew but swallow his food.
Serve the cherries only in a moderate amount as a salad topper to encourage your Beardie to eat his greens.
Benefits of Cherries for Bearded Dragons
Cherries do contain some essential Vitamins and Minerals for your little Dragons such as:
- #Potassium helps strengthen your Beardie’s kidneys and helps him prevent kidney problems. It helps in lowering water retention and aids in muscle function. Cherries also help in boosting the nervous system of your little Dragon.
- #Copper present in cherries help the Beardies maintain healthy blood cells.
- #Manganese aids the metabolism of your Beardie.
- #Vitamin C and Antioxidants prevent inflammation and strengthen your Beardie’s immune system.
- #Fiber improves your Beardie’s digestive system if Cherries are fed in moderation.
- #Vitamin A present in Cherries helps to improve your Dragon’s vision.
Risks associated with Cherries to Bearded Dragons
If overfed, Cherries can have negative effects too.
- Excess Sugars might result in obesity, diabetes and other problems like fatty liver, kidney problems, heart failure and tooth decay.
- Unbalanced Calcium– Phosphorus Ratio might result in bone issues such as MBD that can even paralyze or kill your little Beardie if it is left untreated. Your little Beardie needs a good amount of calcium to keep healthy and keep going. But Phosphorus present in Cherries combines with calcium and thus prevents it from being absorbed in your little Dragon’s bloodstream. If phosphorus is consumed in a large quantity, your Bearded Dragon can develop a life-risking symptom- i.e. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
- Cherries do contain calcium as well but their Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is 1:1.6. To prevent MBD, your little Beardie’s diet must contain calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 to be on a safer side.
- Oxalic Acid is similar to Phosphorus. Since they too absorb calcium. Hence, they too might result in your Beardie getting affected by life-threatening MBD. It can also be responsible for reproductive issues in female Dragons.
Are Cherries Bad For Bearded Dragons?
Cherries can be bad if they are fed over moderation to your Dragons. Since they are high in sugars and fruit acid they can cause trouble for your Beardie’s digestive system. Your Beardie can show symptoms of diarrhoea, dehydration and other health issues.
With a disproportionate Calcium to phosphorus ratio, your Beardies can have MBD and weak bones – that can further result in difficulty in walking and hunting.
Precautions to take while Serving Cherries to Bearded Dragons
Always wash the outer skin of Cherries thoroughly as it has dirt and pesticides. Before serving the Cherries make sure you remove their pits and chop them as fine as possible. Be careful of the cherry leaves as they are not to be fed ever.
Since Cherries are low in Calcium, a high-quality calcium supplement is needed in your Beardie’s diet.
Before trying or adding any new food to your Beardie’s diet, always consult his Vet for the guidelines and guidance, if any. If you get a green signal, introduce the food as a treat. Check onto your Beardie while he is having his food. If he is reluctant to have it, do not force him to consume it. Monitor his activities for 24 hours after the introduction of any new food. In case of any adverse reaction or symptom, consult your Dragon’s Vet asap.
And always serve fresh food to your little Beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons have Dried Cherries?
No. In comparison to fresh Cherries dried cherries lose their natural goodness of vitamins and minerals. Especially Vitamin B and C. Some store-bought dried Cherries might have added sugars and preservatives. Even if they are naturally dried, they become difficult to chew for your Bearded Dragons. Hence, it is better to avoid giving your Beardies any dried form of Cherries.
Can Bearded Dragons have Canned Cherries?
No. Since Canned Cherries contain chemicals – preservatives and additives, they can make your Beardie’s health deter. It might lead to some grave consequences. Thus, it is recommended to keep canned Cherries away from your Dragon’s reach.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Cherries?
Yes. Frozen Cherries can be safe for your Bearded Dragons if they don’t contain any additives. But make sure to defrost them and let them come at room temperature before serving them to your Dragons. Otherwise, it can cause some digestive issues to your Beardie like diarrhoea, dehydration and some other health problems.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherry pits and leaves?
No. Though the Cherry leaves are edible. But they can be toxic to your Bearded Dragons. Cherry pits and leaves contain Cyanide. Cyanide can be poisonous and deadly to your little Beardies and can result in various symptoms such as – headache, nausea, breathing issues and weakness. Also, Cherry pits can choke your Beardies. Therefore, it is better to not serve Cherry pits and leaves to your Beardies ever.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherry Blossoms?
No. Do not feed any blossoms to your Beardies ever. Blossoms also contain cyanide in little amounts. Hence, it can risk your Beardie’s life.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Cherry Juice?
No. Store-bought Cherry juices might contain additional sugars, chemicals and preservatives and stabilizers. Hence, it may cause trouble to your Dragon’s health.
Though homemade, natural, fresh fruit juice can be added atop the leafy greens and vegetables in their shallow platter to entice your Dragons into eating their nutritional diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Glace Cherries?
No. Glace cherries contain a high amount of sugars and they may pose a threat to your little Dragons. Hence, keep your Dragon’s away from the Glace Cherries.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sweet Cherries?
Yes. You can happily feed sweet cherries to your little dragons. But always serve them in moderation as they are high in fruit acids. Eating sweet cherries in high quantities and too often can disturb your Beardie’s health system and may cause him digestive distress, causing him diarrhoea and dehydration and other troubles.
After taking almost all the necessary information on Cherries we may say that Cherries are absolutely fine for your Bearded Dragons if fed in moderation and occasionally as a treat.
Do not overfeed any sort of fruit ever, as fruits are usually high in sugars but low in calcium. Refrain from giving foods in any processed form whatsoever. Always treat your Beardies with fresh and natural fruits.
And in case of confusion, always consult your Beardie’s Vet. After all, not every human food can be enjoyed by your little Dragon, but talking of the Cherries – they can be fed as a tasty treat.