Cauliflower is a vegetable that’s commonly eaten in homes throughout the world and is often praised for its health benefits.

But is cauliflower a vegetable that is considered safe to feed to your bearded dragon? Or should you avoid adding cauliflower to your bearded dragon’s diet at any cost?

In this post, we will cover all you need to know about cauliflower as a bearded dragon owner, including any health benefits it possesses as well the potential concerns cauliflower may cause if not fed correctly.

We will also share a part of the cauliflower that everybody throws away that has the potential to be better for your bearded dragon than the cauliflower itself.

So can bearded dragons eat cauliflower? Cauliflower is safe to feed to bearded dragons as long as you only offer around a 6-10 g portion of cauliflower once per month on average. Cauliflower should only be fed to bearded dragons sparingly due to the fact that it contains high levels of goitrogens as well as an unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.

Cauliflower | Nutritional Information

We have added the nutritional information for cauliflower so you can see the nutrients it offers your beardie as well as the ones that cauliflower is lacking.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what information to look for, as well will break down both the positives and negatives of cauliflower shortly and you can always come back to this table to check out the nutrients that we point out.

Take a look at the table below…

Nutritional Information For Cauliflower Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
Total lipid (fat)0.28g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.97g
Calcium, Ca22mg
Phosphorus, P44mg
Sodium, Na30mg
Vitamin C48.2mg
Vitamin D (D2+3)0µg
Vitamin B60.184mg
Vitamin A RAE0µg
vitamin A IU0µg
Beta Carotene0µg
Vitamin E0mg
Vitamin K15.5µg

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower? (more info)

Sometimes knowing what foods are safe to feed to your bearded dragon and which ones aren’t can be difficult.

We often look at the foods that are considered healthy for us humans and automatically think that they will also be a good choice to offer to our beardies but this isn’t always the case.

The nutritional needs of reptiles such as bearded dragons are different from that of our own and this can mean foods that look healthy on the face of it can cause some unexpected problems for our beardies.

When it comes to cauliflower, bearded dragons can actually eat cauliflower on occasion but we wouldn’t recommend serving it to your beardie on a regular basis.

This is due to the fact that cauliflower contains either high levels or unbalanced amounts of certain nutrients that are considered harmful for bearded dragons if over consumed (more on this nutrients and what harm they can cause later in the post)

If you are looking to offer your beardie veggies and greens with lots of nutrients that are beneficial to them then you might want to consider opting for alternatives such as dandelion greens.

Remember that cauliflower is safe to feed to your bearded dragon as long as it’s only in small quantities and on the odd occasion.

Check out these bearded dragons eating peas, cauliflower and broccoli and notice that they reject the cauliflower at first…

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower?

Any owners that have a baby or juvenile bearded dragon will likely want to know if their young beardie can eat cauliflower? Or if it’s a food that they need to stay away from?

Even though you can technically feed cauliflower to a baby or juvenile bearded dragon from time to time, we would recommend keeping cauliflower off the menu all together for any younger dragon.

This is due to the fact that cauliflower is low in calcium and has an unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio (more on this later)

In the first 12 months of a bearded dragon’s life, they go through a rapid rate of growth and this is only possible through a balanced high protein and calcium-rich diet.

Baby and juvenile bearded dragons have small stomachs and because of this, every mouth full of food should contribute and support their growth in this first year.

Cauliflower doesn’t really contribute and help your young beardie grow nearly as much as some other greens and veggies.

For this reason, we would recommend concentrating on offering your young dragon foods such as dandelion greens or mustard greens etc.

You can find out just how healthy these greens are by heading over to our new guides below that share all you need to know as well as how to prepare & serve these foods

Find Out How Healthy Dandelion Greens Are Here…

Find Out How Healthy Mustard Greens Are Here…

What Are The Concerns Of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Cauliflower?

The reason why cauliflower is only recommended to be fed to bearded dragons occasionally if at all is because it offers some unbalanced or low levels of key nutrients that beardies require to be healthy.

Let’s now take a look at what these nutrients are and why they are important…

Cauliflower Is High In Goitrogens

Cauliflower is one of a number of vegetables that are considered high in a substance called goitrogens.

Goitrogens have the ability to alter thyroid function if they are consumed in excess.

If your bearded dragon consumes foods that are high in goitrogens on a consistent basis then they could eventually lead to other problematic issues including MDB.

Consuming food that is high in goitrogens every now and then isn’t going to make a real difference to your bearded dragons healthy and bell being, however, consuming 2, 3, or 4 different foods that are high in goitrogens can cause problems over the long term.

The trouble is that bearded dragon owners could already be feeding their dragon a high goitrogen diet without knowing as foods such as broccoli, some cabbage and turnip have differing levels of goitrogens.

The safest thing to do is limit the amount of high goitrogen food you offer your bearded dragon so you, in turn, limit the risk of disrupting their thyroid function.

The last thing we want is for you to be scared to offer your bearded dragon any of the foods we have mentioned above but its important to be aware of what they contain and stick to offering the recommended high calcium, low goitrogen and oxalate foods for the most part.

Cauliflower Has a Poor Calcium & Phosphorus Ratio

As well as being low in calcium, cauliflower also provides a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio.

If you’re not sure what this is or why it’s important then basically, phosphorus has the ability to bind to calcium and prevent it from being absorbed and used in your bearded dragon’s body.

Ideally, you want to provide your beardie food that offers more calcium than phosphorus and a ratio of 2:1 is recommend by many experts.

Offering the occasional food that has an unbalanced ratio won’t affect your beardie health but if their diet contains too many foods with unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio then it can lead to serious health issues.

As you can see from the table above, cauliflower contains 22mg of calcium and 44mg of phosphorus per 100g.

This ratio is totally unbalanced with twice as much phosphorus than calcium and really you want this to be the other way round.

Many veterinary experts claim that poor nutrition leads to calcium deficiency and, in turn, this can lead to metabolic bone disease  (MDB).

Later in this post, we will share 5 great foods that offer your bearded dragons high levels of calcium while only containing low levels of phosphorus, which make them perfect for a balanced bearded dragon diet.

As a side note, as well as offering foods high in calcium, it’s also important that you dust your beardie’s insects with calcium powder in order to ensure they reach their required calcium intake.

Many veterinary outlets and animal care professionals recommend using either Repcal, Nekton or Reptocal as the preferred calcium powder.

We would agree with this and we would recommend using Repcal. You can check out our new guide that shares the exact Repcal powder we recommend as well as the best palace to get it from.

Are There Any Benefits to Feeding My Bearded Dragons Cauliflower?

Even though cauliflower contains nutrients that aren’t in the best interest of your dragon, it also contains some nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are favourable too.

For a start like most vegetables, cauliflower is low in fat and sugar which is important for bearded dragons.

Too much sugar especially can cause both short and long term problems such as diarrhoea, obesity and tooth decay.

Cauliflower also provides moderate levels of fibre, which is important for many functions including digestion.

Two of the other stand out nutrients that cauliflower offers are vitamin C and potassium.

Cauliflower contains 48.2mg of vitamin C per 100g which is considered a moderate amount. Vitamin C is important for many functions in the body including the maintenance of bones and teeth as well as wound healing and the repair of tissue.

Cauliflower is also abundant in potassium and offers 299mg per 100g. Potassium is also responsible for many vital functions throughout the body.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower Greens Or Leaves?

Throughout this post, we have established that bearded dragons of all ages should only be offered cauliflower on rare occasions if at all.

Something that’s overlooked though, is if bearded dragons can actually eat cauliflower greens or leaves as they are sometimes called?

More and more owners want to know if their bearded dragons can eat cauliflower leaves and the answer will more than likely shock you.

So, can bearded dragons eat cauliflower leaves? bearded dragons can eat cauliflower leaves and they are actually much more healthy for your bearded dragons than the cauliflower itself. Cauliflower leaves are high in calcium and low in phosphorus and make a great addition to a bearded dragons diet.

As opposed to the high levels of goitrogens that are present in the cauliflower, the leaves of the cauliflower are actually much lower and therefore can be eaten more frequently.

In addition to this, cauliflower leaves actually contain extremely high amounts of calcium.

If you want more information as to why calcium is vital to the health of bearded dragons then head over to this post that shares everything you need to know..

To make the benefit of cauliflower leaves even more interesting its important to point out that they also contain low levels of phosphorus too.

If you were to feed your beardie any part of the cauliflower then we would actually recommend it to be the leaves as opposed to the head.

So you can see the nutritional benefits of cauliflower leaves, we have put together a table that contains the most important nutritional information.

Check out the table below…

Nutritional Information | Cauliflower Vs Cauliflower Leaves Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
NameCauliflower (Head)cauliflower (Leaves)
Water92.07g80 g
Energy25 Kcal66 Kcal
Protein1.92 g5.9 g
Total lipid (fat)0.28 g1.3 g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.97 g7.6 g
Fibre2 g2 g
Calcium, Ca22 mg626 mg
Iron0.42 mg40 mg
Phosphorus, P44 mg107 mg

We would like to point out that any leaves including cauliflower leaves can contain pesticides so it’s important that you make sure you are getting your greens and veggies from a pesticide-free source especially if you are wanting to feed leaves.

Another option is to feed the leaves to your beardies insects prior to feeding and gut load them with high calcium leaves such as cauliflower leaves.

How Often Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Cauliflower?

Even though we recommend to mainly avoid offering your dragon cauliflower and focus on feeding them other foods that better serve their nutritional needs, if you are determined to give them some cauliflower then its indeed important to know how often it’s safe to do this.

Any answer we give will be dependent on what your bearded dragon’s diet is like on the whole and how many other foods you are offering that are high in goitrogens and phosphorus.

With all things considered, we would recommend offering cauliflower to your bearded dragon no more than once per month as there are many other highly nutritious foods you can feed them instead.

When it comes to cauliflower leaves you can actually feed these more frequently and again, as a general guide, we would recommend you can feed cauliflower leaves to your dragon around once per week.

How Much Cauliflower Can I Offer My Bearded Dragon?

Another question that needs tackling is how much cauliflower should a bearded dragon eat in one sitting?

We would recommend no more than 6-10g or cauliflower and would urge you to stay on the low side if possible. 

6g is usually half of a floret so this should give you an idea of the portion size we are talking about.

Cauliflower leaves can be offered in the same portion sizes as other greens or mixed in a salad bowl with other nutritious greens. 

Should Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Or Cooked Cauliflower?

A lot of owners also want to know if they are better off cooked cauliflower or serving it to their bearded dragon raw.

The advice we would give for most owners regarding cauliflower is to feed the cauliflower either raw or lightly boiled if raw is too hard for them.

Raw is always better nutritionally and this stands for just about all greens and veggies.

To prove the point we have included some nutritional data of cauliflower raw and once it’s been cooked…

Nutritional Information | Raw Cauliflower Vs Cooked Cauliflower Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
NameCauliflower (Raw)Cauliflower (Cooked)
Water92.07g93 g
Energy25 Kcal23 Kcal
Protein1.92 g1.84 g
Total lipid (fat)0.28 g0.45 g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.97 g4.11 g
Fibre2 g2.3 g
Calcium, Ca22 mg16 mg
Iron0.42 mg0.32 mg
Phosphorus, P44 mg32 mg
Vitamin C48.2 mg44.3 mg
Potassium299 mg142 mg

As you can see cauliflower contains fewer nutrients once it’s been cooked (boiled)

If you check out many of the key nutrients such as…

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium

You can see that all of these nutrient profiles have been altered during the cooking process and all have decreased.

For this reason, it’s always better to serve your beardie raw greens and veggies as long as they aren’t too hard and pose a risk of choking.

What Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Instead Of Cauliflower?

As you are probably aware by now, we think there are much better food choices to offer your bearded dragon than cauliflower.

Some of which you will more than likely be familiar with while other secondary greens can make a nice chance and add a bit of variety to your beardie’s diet.

If you want to serve really highly nutritious greens then we would recommend greens such as…

  • Kale
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Mustard Greens
  • Swiss Chard

Kale is usually misunderstood as an unhealthy food source for bearded dragons but you can see what we actually found out when we researched kale in our new guide here…

We have also included some lesser-known greens and veggies that you can feed to your dragon…

  • Butternut Squash
  • Turnip
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Potato

We have put the nutritional info for each of these greens and veggies in the table below you so can see them side-by-side.

Remember, these are secondary foods and aren’t to be offered on a regular basis but they do allow you to add some variety to your bearded dragon’s diet.

Check out the table below…

Nutritional Information | Raw Cauliflower Vs Cooked Cauliflower Per 100g

Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
NameCauliflower (Raw)Cauliflower (Cooked)
Water92.07g93 g
Energy25 Kcal23 Kcal
Protein1.92 g1.84 g
Total lipid (fat)0.28 g0.45 g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.97 g4.11 g
Fibre2 g2.3 g
Calcium, Ca22 mg16 mg
Iron0.42 mg0.32 mg
Phosphorus, P44 mg32 mg
Vitamin C48.2 mg44.3 mg
Potassium299 mg142 mg

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