The fact that bearded dragons need to eat a healthy and balanced diet containing calcium-rich greens has prompted owners to add both new and interesting foods to their beardies diet. 

Many owners are now asking if bearded dragons can eat bok choy as part of their plant-based diet? Or if this food is one that should be strictly off the menu?

In this post, we will put bok choy in the spotlight and use the facts and opinions of veterinary experts to see if bok choy can indeed be eaten by bearded dragons? And if so how often?

So can bearded dragons eat bok choy? Bearded dragons can eat bok choy as part of their diet. Bok choy is high in key nutrients such as calcium but it’s also high in an unwanted substance called goitrogen which can cause thyroid problems if over consumed. For this reason, bok choy should only be offered in moderation.

Read On to Find Out…

Bok Choy | Nutritional Information

When considering new food options to feed to your bearded dragon, it’s always a good idea to try and gather as much information as you can about the health benefits as well as any potential concerns if overfed.

The easiest way to do this is to check the nutritional data for the given food.

We have put together and added a table that shares the most relevant nutritional data for bok choy so you can take a look at the nutritional value provided by key nutrients such as calcium.

Don’t worry at all if you aren’t sure what to look for in the table as we will detail the key nutrients shortly and if bok choy is abundant in them or not.

You can always head back to the table at any point to check out the nutrients we are talking about.

Take a look at the nutritional data for bok choy below…

Nutritional Information For Bok Choy Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
Total lipid (fat)0.2g
Carbohydrate, by difference2.18g
Calcium, Ca105mg
Phosphorus, P37mg
Sodium, Na65mg
Vitamin C45mg
Vitamin D (D2+3)0µg
Vitamin B60.194mg
Vitamin A RAE223µg
vitamin A IU4468µg
Beta Carotene2681µg
Vitamin E0.09mg
Vitamin K45.5µg

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bok Choy? (A Closer Look)

As greens are highly important to the long term health of bearded dragons, it’s natural to offer them a consistent and varied diet containing both greens and vegetables.

As bok choy is easily accessible in most countries and food stores around the world, it makes perfect sense to want to add this variety of lettuce to their diet.

The good news is that bok choy is considered safe for bearded dragons to eat.

Bok choy actually contains high levels of key nutrients such as calcium, which is uncommon for a lettuce variety.

The caveat to this is that it also contains high levels of goitrogens that have been known to cause thyroid issues is overconsumed.

For this reason, bok choy is both safe and a great green to add to your bearded dragon’s diet as long as it’s in moderation.

Let’s now take a closer look at both the benefits and potential downsides of offering your bearded dragon bok choy…

Are There Benefits to Feeding My Bearded Dragon Bok Choy?

As mentioned previously, bok choy provides lots of key nutrients that bearded dragons require to be healthy.

The main nutrients that bok choy offers are…

  • High in calcium
  • Balanced calcium & phosphorus ratio
  • High potassium
  • Moderate amounts of vitamin C
  • High amounts of vitamin A

Bok choy is also:

  • Low in fat
  • Low in sugar

Let’s now take a deeper look at these nutrients, why they are important and how much of these nutrients bok choy has to offer…

Bok Choy Is High In Calcium

As a bearded dragons owner, you probably understand how vital calcium is to the long term health of your beardie.

Without sufficient calcium in their diet, bearded dragons would suffer from serious health issues such as MBD.

In fact, a lack of dietary calcium is sighted as being one of the main causes of MBD along with a lack of quality UVB exposure.

MBD or metabolic bone disease is a serious illness that affects reptiles such as bearded dragons and can cause issues these issues:

  • Pain when walking
  • Bowed legs
  • Difficulty lifting the body off of the ground
  • Decreased appetite

Bok choy gets a big thumbs up when it comes to calcium as it offers a really generous 105mg of calcium per 100g.

Remember that even though bok choy is high in calcium, it should be offered sparingly and also alongside other high calcium and staple greens such as turnip greens.

You can find out why we highly recommend turnip greens and how often your beardie can eat them in our new guide here…

Bok Choy Has a Balanced Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

As well as offering a high dosage of calcium, bok choy also boasts a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.

This is important because phosphorus has the ability to stop calcium from being used in a bearded dragon’s body.

This means that overall, bearded dragons need more calcium in their diet then phosphorus.

To be exact, experts recommend at least a ratio of 1:1 or ideally 2:1 in favour of calcium.

You shouldn’t worry if you feed the odd food that has more phosphorus than calcium but you should ensure that the bulk of their diet has this balanced ratio.

Again bok choy offers 105mg of calcium per 100g and only 37mg of phosphorus per 100g, which falls into the ratio that experts recommend.

So this means that bok choy gets another thumbs up and is another reason why you should consider adding it to your dragon’s diet.

Something that’s worth noting is that as well as dietary calcium, bearded dragons in captivity also require additional calcium supplementation to reach the amount of calcium they need to stay healthy.

There are lots of calcium supplements to choose from and sometimes it can be hard to know which ones are worth using and which ones simply aren’t.

We would always recommend using Rep-Cal and you can see why we suggest you use Rep-Cal in our food and supplements guide here…

Additionally, we have shared the exact Rep-Cal supplement we recommend below…

Rep-Cal SRP00200 Phosphorous-Free Calcium Ultrafine Powder Reptile/Amphibian Supplement with Vitamin D3
  • Rep-Cal Ultrafine Powder Is An Excellent Source Of Calcium For All Reptiles And Amphibians
  • Scientifically Formulated From 100-Percent Natural Oyster Shell Phosphorous-Free Calcium Carbonate With Vitamin D3 To Aid In Absorption Of Calcium

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Vitamins & Minerals

Bok choy also contains good levels of other nutrients such as:

The levels of vitamin C in bok choy are moderate but still worth mentioning at 45mg per 100g.

Vitamin C is used in many ways throughout the body, namely for repairing bodily tissues, healthy function of the immune system, healing wounds and the maintenance of teeth & bones.

Vitamin A is also one of the nutrients that bok choy is abundant in and contains:

  • Vitamin A RAE – 223µg
  • Beta carotene – 2681µg

Vitamin A is well known for bone health and supporting the immune system. The caveat to this is that too much vitamin A in your bearded dragon’s diet can cause toxicity.

This generally isn’t a problem as long as you are offering a balanced diet and not just foods that are all high in vitamin A constantly.

Are There Any Downsides to Feeding My Bearded Dragon Bok Choy?

Now we’ve looked at the benefits of offering your bearded dragon bok choy, it’s now time to see if there are any downsides or health concerns to adding bok choy in your beardies diet.

Bok choy is mainly good with very little concerns to report, however, it bok choy does contain a substance called goitrogen.

Simply put, goitrogens are compounds found in many different plant matters that can affect the function of the thyroid gland if overfed.

Bok choy is actually pretty high in goitrogens and this can be a problem if you are considering offering bok choy to your beardie as a staple green.

If you add bok choy to your bearded dragon’s menu in moderation then the goitrogens aren’t really something you should worry about as many greens contain them and it’s virtually impossible to offer a totally goitrogen free diet.

An example of this is that staple greens such as watercress and collard greens also contain goitrogens and these foods are heavily recommended for bearded dragons by vets and reptile nutritionists.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be scared of adding bok choy to your beardies diet just because of the goitrogens but just be aware of them and offer bok choy in balanced portions.

Have you ever wondered if bearded dragons could actually eat insects with no greens in their diet?

Well, we have researched and created a guide that answers if bearded dragons can actually eat just insects and nothing else…

Can  Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Bok Choy?

Baby bearded dragons grow at such a fast pace and this rapid growth continues for at least the first 12 months of their life.

To support and fuel their growth, baby and juvenile bearded dragons need a diet containing mainly insect proteins but it’s also vital that this is supplemented by good quality and high calcium greens.

Bok choy is certainly safe for baby bearded dragons to eat as it offers good amounts of calcium and other nutrients as we talked about earlier.

Always feed bok choy is moderation and alongside staple greens to keep the diet balanced.

If you want to know just how fast bearded dragons grow then check out this post that shares exactly how fast bearded dragons grow with tables and charts…

Do Bearded Dragons Like Bok Choy?

All bearded dragons are different and while some will love a certain food, others just won’t entertain it.

From our experience, bok choy is a food that beardies generally love and you shouldn’t have any problems getting your dragon to munch on a nice portion of bok choy from time to time.

Check out this Youtube video that shows ‘Echo’ the beardie loving a portion bok choy in his salad bowl…

How Often Should My Bearded Dragon Eat Bok Choy?

As we have talked about several times already in this post, even though bok choy is abundant in key nutrients, the fact it does have high levels of goitrogens means it’s probably best to limit the number of times you offer it per week.

We would recommend offering bok choy to your bearded dragon no more than 1 time per week as a general rule of thumb.

This number can go up or down slightly depending on the other foods you offer as part of their diet and what nutrients and the levels of goitrogens they also contain.

All things considered, adding bok choy to your beardies diet 1 time per week is a good place to start.

What’s The Best Way to Prepare Bok Choy For My Bearded Dragon?

Adding greens and veggies to your bearded dragon’s diet is generally easy as you don’t need to do all that much preparation.

With this being said, there are still some basic but important things you need to do in order for the greens you are providing to be considered healthy.

We have put a short step by step guide together below to allow you to quickly add foods such as bok choy to the salad bowl with ease, check it out here… 

Grab Organic – We totally understand that organic foods can be quite expensive at times but if you have the chance to offer your beardie organic food then we always recommend this option.

Pesticides are now well documented to potentially harm your beardie so with this in mind, grab organic foods if you can.

A Good Wash – This more or less goes without saying but always wash greens you feeding to your bearded dragon prior to feeding.

You really never know where they have been or what’s lurking out of sight.

No Cooking – A simple rule to follow is – don’t cook anything for your bearded dragon if it’s not necessary.

Cooking only destroys the nutritional value of the food and adds another step that’s simply not required.

Of course, some greens or veggies will require cooking to make them edible but bok choy isn’t one of them.

Chop It Up – Bok choy comes in rather large leaves so consider chopping it up into smaller ‘bite-sized’ pieces.

This will increase the likelihood that your dragon will eat bok choy as well as make adding it to the salad bowl easier too.

Serve – That’s really all there is to preparing bok choy for beardies and now all that’s left to do it serve!

5 Greens To Offer Your Bearded Dragon Instead Of Bok Choy:

Even though bok choy is a good option to add to your bearded dragon’s diet, it’s also good to have some other foods to choose from too.

For this reason, we have put together a list of some of our favourite greens that are recommended by veterinary experts.

The greens we have chosen are:

  • Grape Leaves
  • Collards
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress
  • Dandelion Greens

These greens are widely considered and accepted as staple foods in the bearded dragon veterinary industry.

We have also put these 5 foods side-by-side in a table so you can see the nutrients they provide.

You can check out the table here…

Nutritional Information For Bok Choy Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
Total lipid (fat)0.2g
Carbohydrate, by difference2.18g
Calcium, Ca105mg
Phosphorus, P37mg
Sodium, Na65mg
Vitamin C45mg
Vitamin D (D2+3)0µg
Vitamin B60.194mg
Vitamin A RAE223µg
vitamin A IU4468µg
Beta Carotene2681µg
Vitamin E0.09mg
Vitamin K45.5µg

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