I’m always looking for different foods to include into my parrots diet for more variety, and more importantly to find some other vitamins and nutrients that he’s not already getting in his diet. This brought me onto wondering if parrots can eat jicama.
Native to Mexico and very popular in Central American cuisine, jicama is a root vegetable, it’s similar to a potato but with a lot less carbohydrates. There are many other names for a jicama for example :
- Chinese Potato
- Mexican Potato
- Mexican Yam
- Mexican Turnup
In this article I’m going to cover the benefits of jicama, how to prepare jicama for your parrot and other important things you need to know as a parrot owner.
So the million dollar question, can parrots eat jicama? Yes parrots can eat jicama. It holds a lot of vitamins and nutrients that would be beneficial to your parrot – vitamin C especially which is a great antioxidant that has many benefits to Parrots.
Read on to find out more!
Jicama Benefits For Parrots
You now know Parrots can eat jicama but just how good for them is it? Let’s take a deeper look into the nutritional information.
one cup (130 grams) contains the following nutrients :
The first thing that stood out to me was the 38 calories in a 100g jicama, I was tempted to add it into my own diet never mind my parrots, making it a great food for weight loss or weight maintenance
Source of Fiber
Jicama is a great source of fiber with there being around 6 grams in one cup of the vegetable. Your parrot needs fiber in it’s diet to help aid with digestive system processes.
One of these things is helping with your parrots bowel movements. Fiber increases the size and softens your birds stool, this leads to an easier journey through their body. A high fiber diet can help with constipation.
Fiber is also important for :
- Weight control
- Overall gut health
- Can lower cholesterol
- Regulate blood sugar
- May help your parrot live longer
Berries, broccoli, apples, pears, bananas, carrots and beets are all other safe alternatives for a source of fiber.
Your parrot needs vitamin C, luckily jicama has high amounts of it. Parrots need vitamin C as it boosts the immune system, this is important because it gives them the ability to fight off disease and illness. Without enough vitamin C in their diet they would get sick often.
Other notable health benefits of vitamin C are :
- Protects the eyes
- Prevents cells from damage
- Improved cardiovascular health as it helps clean blood vessels
- Blood sugar regulator
- Lowering blood pressure
If you need some other foods high in vitamin C then peppers, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, kale and oranges are all options.
Iron is needed to create hemoglobin with the body, this helps transport oxygen into the blood.
The benefits of iron include :
- Improved energy and focus
- Boosted immune system
- Helps regulate body temperature
- Needed for abdominal processes
Full of Antioxidants
Your parrots cell age similar to the same way a new bike would get rusty the longer you have had it. This damage is caused by unstable atoms called free radicals. They work to damage your parrots cells and can cause age related problems like cancer or heart disease.
Luckily there are things called antioxidants, which work to neutralize these free radicals and prevent or slow down the harm done.
How You Should Feed Jicama To Your Parrot
Before doing anything it’s important to clean your jicama. You can do this by using a vegetable brushing and scrubbing it under some running water to remove any loose dirt. You wouldn’t eat your food without doing that and your parrot is no different.
There are numerous ways to serve jicama but I recommend the way that gives your parrot all the vitamins and nutrients it deserves, which is raw. When you cook many food it burns away many of the things you are eating it for in the first place.
It’s important to slice your parrots jicama into small pieces as there is a choking risk if you cut the slices too big.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot Jicama?
The only and important risk to be aware of when feeding your parrot jicama is if you feed them the leafy part of the jicama instead the sweet part inside of the jicama.
The vitamins and nutrients lie inside the plant when you cut into it, however in the leafy part of the plant there is a toxin called Rotenone which isn’t suitable for your birds consumption and can lead to vomiting, ataxia, convulsions and even death.
So yeah it’s crucial you avoid this part of the jicama. If you’re parrots this part of the plant take them to an avian vet immediately.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know jicama is safe for your parrot to eat and full of vitamins and nutrients but if you’re like me then your always looking for new foods to improve your parrots diet to create some variety and and include vital things that aren’t already in your birds diet.
So what other foods can your parrot eat?
- Fruit & Vegetables
Foods like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peppers, bananas, blueberries and pineapples are all fine and encouraged for your Parrot to eat.
Things like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts can be fed to your parrot. Just be wary of the fat content in some of them so they may need to be treated as a snack for your Parrot. We don’t want them getting fat!
Jicama For Parrots – Final Thoughts
It’s always a good thing introducing new things into your parrots diet and jicama is one of them foods. It has many vitamins and nutrients that are going to better your parrots quality of life like vitamin C, high fiber content and low fat. All these things contribute to a healthier happier parrot!
However it’s not perfect you need to be careful to feed your parrot the correct part of the jicama (this is the white part inside) and not the plant itself (the leafy part) as this contains a toxin that if ingested could make your parrot very sick or worse!
I hope your parrot enjoys this new addition to their diet (if they like it).