It’s important you feed your parrot quality foods as their diet is the foundation upon how long and happy their lifespan is. The fact you are taking time to google and research what to give your parrot is a good thing, it shows you care deeply about your feathered friend. A parrots diet should be made up of pelleted foods, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables along with some nuts and seeds.
Does this mean all vegetables are safe for our parrots to eat? What about okra, the main topic of this article, lets find out.
Can parrots eat okra? Yes parrots can eat okra, it’s a safe food for them to have and it contains no toxins that are going to endanger our pets. Okra, sometimes called lady’s finger originates from South Asia and Africa comes in both red and green colors however turns green when cooked. Not only is okra safe to eat but it’s actually very nutritious with there being vitamin A, C, K, B6 and fiber among the list of nutrients packed inside.
Okra Benefits For Parrots
We know okra is good for our Parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one cup of raw okra, weighing 100 grams (g) contains :
Vitamin A is present in okra, a fat soluble that many parrots are unfortunately deficient in. It’s hard to detect as the main symptoms are related to skin issues, which are hard to notice under your parrots gorgeous feathers.
Other symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency are :
- Eye swelling or discharge
- Poor feather quality
- Increased thirst and decreased appetite
- Stool very liquid like
Parrots need vitamin A in their diet because it’s necessary for their eye health, skin, reproductive system and has antioxidants inside to protect the heart from disease.
Broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, spinach, sweet potato and mango are all great sources of vitamin A that you can give to your parrot.
Vitamin C is a vitamin vital for so many functions inside your parrots body so it’s vital they get enough in their diet. It’s most important role is keeping a healthy immune system, without enough vitamin C they would get sick often from not being able to fight off bacteria and disease.
Other health benefits of vitamin C include :
- Lowering blood pressure
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Cleaning the body of heavy metals
- Cleans plaque from blood vessels
It’s good practice not to rely on one food like okra to feed your parrot their much needed vitamin C. Other examples of foods with vitamin C include pineapple, mango, kiwi, watermelon, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Your parrot needs vitamin K to regulate the levels of calcium in their blood, bone metabolism processes and for blood clotting. In order for their body to do this they need prothrombin, which is what is produced when they get vitamin K.
An important role of vitamin B6 is to help our parrots metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats to turn them into well needed energy so they are able to play with us and be lively.
Other health benefits of vitamin B6 include :
- Boosts mood by creating neurotransmitters
- Improved Immune system
- Creating red blood cells
- Better brain development
Watermelon, spinach, raisins, squash, nuts, bananas and potatoes all contain a healthy dose of vitamin B6 if you’re looking for some other sources of the stuff to incorporate into your birds diet.
Okra is also full of fiber, a type of carbohydrate the body can’t digest and plays a big role in how well your parrots digestive system operates among some other things.
A high fiber diet makes your parrots stools larger in weight and softer – leading to a smoother journey through the digestive tract meaning there’s a smaller chance they become constipated.
Other benefits of fiber are :
- Lowers cholesterol
- Helps them live longer
- Maintains healthy bowel health
- Controls their blood sugar levels
- Helps with controlling your parrots weight
Strawberries, raspberries, bananas, carrots, broccoli and brussels sprouts can also be given to your parrot as alternative sources of fiber.
How You Should Feed Okra To Your Parrot
Parrots can have raw okra or cooked both are completely safe for them to have. Personally when I can, I always go with raw foods for my parrot, this is due to the cooking process killing off many of the vitamins and nutrients I want to give to my parrot in the first place.
If you are going to go with cooking your parrots okra then steaming or boiling it is the healthiest way to go about it as there’s no need for seasoning or harmful additives.
To boil okra it couldn’t get any easier and even the inexperienced chef can do it.
Boiling okra : bring a medium pot of water to a boil, Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the okra is soft. Water should be drained.
Steaming okra : bring water to a boil in a double boiler. In the top of the double boiler, place the entire okra. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Remove the pan from the oven and serve.
If you are going down the steaming or okra road, then make sure to let it cool before serving, you don’t want to burn your parrot!
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know okra is safe for your parrot to eat 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!
Okra For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Okra is a fantastic food if you want a new addition to your parrots diet, it’s completely safe for your parrot to eat and even comes with an array of health benefits for your little feathered friend. However as it’s a vegetables it shouldn’t be a massive part of your birds daily diet, with fruits and vegetables making up around 20% of it.
I hope you’ve found this article useful and your parrot benefits from it.