Despite the name pine nuts aren’t actually nuts, they are an edible seed that derive from different species of pine cones. This however isn’t a problem because seeds are still important for our parrot to have in their diet, and it’s a bonus the fact they love them. Pine nuts are little tear-drop shaped nuts that are more expensive than others due to the longer time needed to harvest and produce them.
Are they safe for our parrots though? Lets find out.
Can parrots eat pine nuts? Yes parrots can eat pine nuts they are a safe food for them to have and in moderation provide our little feathered birds with many health benefits like better heart health, increased brain health along with having some vitamin E, K, fiber, calcium and manganese being packed inside them. However they aren’t perfect and should be fed in moderation due to the high fat content in them.
In this article I’m going to explain the benefits of pine nuts and some other things you need to look out for.
Pine Nut Benefits For Parrots
We know pine nuts are good for our parrots, but just how good are they? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of dried pine nuts, which is about 167 pine nuts, contains:
Better Heart Health
In pine nuts there are antioxidants, these things help to lower your parrots chances of getting cardiovascular disease in the long and short term.
The unsaturated fats that are in pine nuts can also be beneficial to your parrots heart health, who would’ve knew fats can do good? They do this by raising the levels of good cholesterol in your parrot and lowering the levels of bad cholesterol.
Pine nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids that can regulate your parrots heartbeat and ensure it maintains a healthy heartbeat, along with reducing blood clots.
Increased Brain Health
The same omega-3 fatty acids in pine nuts can also benefits your parrots brain health. Antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the brain and lower the cellular stress which can prevent harmful diseases.
Enough vitamin E in your parrots diet and they will be significantly more protected against disease and illness, this is because vitamin E boosts the immune system to be able to cope better with these attacks.
Vitamin E also acts an antioxidant to reduce the cellular stress that occurs in your parrots body caused by free radicals. These are unstable atoms in the body that cause age related illness like cancer – antioxidants work to neutralize these free radicals.
Almonds, peanuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin and mango are all great options for alternative sources of vitamin E you can feed to your parrot.
Fiber, also in pine nuts provide your parrot with an array of health benefits typically for the digestive system. This is why it’s important there is plenty of fiber in your little birds diet. Fiber is great if you’re trying to control your parrots weight in the event they may be getting a little pudgy.
It does this because foods high in fiber are more satiating – meaning they fill you parrot more and make them less likely to overeat. Other notable benefits of fiber include :
- Maintain overall bowel health
- Lowers their cholesterol levels
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Helps them live longer as fiber is great for the cardiovascular system
If you want to add more fiber to your parrots diet then pears, strawberries, bananas, carrots, beets and broccoli are all very high in fiber along with being safe and delicious for your parrot to eat.
Calcium is needed mainly to keep your parrots bone strong and healthy to protect against any breaks. It’s also important for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly.
Along with this calcium plays a role in the following :
- The formation of egg shells
- Fat metabolism
- Hormone production
- Blood clotting
Unfortunately calcium deficiency is rather common in birds so here are some high calcium, delicious foods containing calcium your parrot can enjoy : Seeds, beans, lentils, almonds and leafy greens like spinach and broccoli.
Pine nuts also have some manganese inside them an important mineral to help with blood clotting, hormones, connective tissues and improved bone health. Other health advantages of manganese includes :
- Antioxidant properties to reduce disease
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Blood sugar regulation
- Metabolism of nutrients
- Improved brain health
How You Should Feed Pine Nuts To Your Parrot
Many people like to think parrots are unable to crack pine nuts by themselves but their beaks are powerfully strong, I mean how do they survive in the wild? They are genetically built to be able to do this. The mental stimulation that they get from cracking the nuts is also very important for them and reduces boredom.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot?
Mentioned in the introduction the only risk to feeding pine nuts to your parrot is the fat content. Too many pine nuts is unhealthy for your bird and can lead to unwanted weight gain among a variety of different health conditions you don’t want for your bird.
At most I suggest to feed your parrot a few pine nuts a week. This should be done if your parrots diet is already full of quality nutrients and they can have pine nuts as a little treat.
Pine nuts in moderation however offer lots of health benefits so it’s worth it if you only give them a couple a week.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know pine nuts are 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!
Pine Nuts For Parrots – Final Thoughts
This little edible seed can provide your parrot with a range of health benefits if fed in moderation due to the high fat and calorie content. Pine nut shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy diet comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains. Like us humans, parrots can have little snacks here and there but be sensible about the frequency you feed them and always check to make sure they aren’t toxic.
I hope you’ve found this article useful and your feathered friend loves this new treat!