Leafy greens are parts of the bearded dragons’ diet in their natural habitat. In consequence, they must get a similar diet while living in your terrariums. In order to meet the beardies’ need for those leafy greens, many people feed various vegetables and even basil to them. The latter may be a bit surprising and cause you to think, “Can bearded dragons eat basil?”
Basil in Bearded Dragons Diet
Ocimum basilicum, or what we know as basil, is originally from Asia and Africa. It is from the same family of mint. This tropical plant produces small leaves with strong fragrant and anise-like taste. Because of these smell and taste, people all around the world use it as one of the ingredients of their cooking. Some of them add fresh basil in their salads. Meanwhile, others add the herb in drinks.
When you are shopping for basil, you will find several different types of this herb. It is understandable because there are various varieties of basil. The most common one is sweet basil. Moreover, other varieties are lemon basil, Thai basil, and holy basil. Each of the varieties has slightly different taste and smell than the others.
Basil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it is good for humans. People who suffer from inflammatory disease or bacterial infection will get benefits from eating basil. In addition, this herb also offers various nutrients for those who eat it. If you eat 100 g of basil, you will get:
- Protein 3.15 g
- Carbohydrate: 2.65 g
- Fat: 0.64 g
- Vitamin K: 414 μg (4 times your daily need)
- Vitamin A: 264 μg
- Vitamin C: 18 mg
- Vitamin B9: 68 μg
- Manganese: 1.15 mg
- Calcium 177 mg
- Phosphorus: 56 mg
- Iron 3.17 mg
Feeding Basil to Bearded Dragons?
If this herb is good for humans, can bearded dragons eat basil? Based on the nutrients found in basil, this herb does not have a dangerous substance that can cause a toxic reaction to your beardies. Therefore, it is okay for you to add fresh basil to the reptiles’ diet.
There are some reasons why you may feed basil to your bearded dragons.
- It has nutrients needed by bearded dragons
Feeding basil to your beardies will help them get enough nutrients. Vitamin K, A, C, and calcium in this herb can help the reptiles to stay healthy. In addition, basil is rich in water. Therefore, your bearded dragons will be well hydrated if they eat this herb.
- It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in basil can help your beardies fight bacterial infection or inflammation. Therefore, you can maintain your bearded dragons’ health by feeding them basil.
- It has a good calcium-phosphorus ratio
The amount of calcium in basil is higher than the amount of phosphorus. The calcium-phosphorus ratio is 3:1. It is widely known that phosphorus prevents calcium absorption. Therefore, it is important to have a higher amount of calcium than phosphorus. As a result, your beardies can get more calcium from basil.
Basil is indeed safe for Bearded Dragons. However, most experts said that it is not the staple food of the Bearded Dragons. Therefore, you must only give basil to your beardies occasionally. Chop a small amount of basil and add it to the other vegetables you prepared for the reptiles. For the best result, you can sprinkle this food with vitamin or calcium powder.