Greens and vegetables are an important part of a bearded dragons diet and without them, your bearded dragons would likely suffer from illness and other serious issues.
To ensure you provide your bearded dragon with vegetables and greens on a daily basis, owners are now turning to frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones.
But can bearded dragons eat frozen vegetables? Or should you only be offering them fresh options?
In this post, we will take a look and see if frozen vegetables are safe to eat for bearded dragons? As well as comparing them to fresh vegetables to see which one is actually healthier for your bearded dragon.
So can bearded dragons eat frozen vegetables? Bearded dragons can eat vegetables that have been frozen. The vegetables must first be thawed to room temperature before they can be consumed by your bearded dragon. It’s best to also offer fresh vegetables and not just frozen ones as this will help to provide a balanced nutritional diet.
Read On to Find Out…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Vegetables? (More Info)
Because greens and veggies are a vital part of the health and well being of bearded dragons, it important to know what greens and veggies to offer as well as exactly how to prepare and serve them.
For a long time, there has been a debate concerning whether bearded dragons should eat frozen vegetables or not?
We have spent a long time researching and looking at the facts and we are now happy to bring you the verdict.
Bearded dragons can actually eat frozen vegetables as part of their plant-based diet.
The vegetables must first be thawed out to room temperature as feeding your beardie vegetables that are still frozen can cause digestion issues.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to offering your beardie frozen vegetables as opposed to fresh vegetables.
Let’s now look and see if frozen vegetables are better for your bearded dragon than fresh vegetables or not?
Fresh Vs Frozen Vegetables – Which Is Best?
Now that you know that frozen vegetables are safe to offer to your beardie, now its time to see if you are better off offering fresh or frozen veggies.
We have done a comparison below that shares important facts about both fresh and frozen veggies and also dispels common myths about each.
We have based the comparison on studies and reports offered by scientists, doctors and nutritional experts.
We have chosen to use fresh vegetables from a store and frozen vegetables in a packet for the comparison.
If you’re curious to know if bearded dragons can survive by eating only insects and no greens or veggies then we have the answer for you here…
Let’s now take a look at and see if it’s better to offer fresh or frozen vegetables to your bearded dragon…
Fresh Vs Frozen | Which Has The Most Nutritional Value When Picked?
Fresh – Fresh vegetables that are produced for large stores are generally picked before they are ripe.
This is to allow them to ripen when they are being transported and arrive at the store in their best and most ripe condition.
Ultimately, this means that they will be purchased by the customer ready to eat and will last for longer in storage then if they were picked when already ripe.
The caveat to this is that when a vegetable is picked before its ripe, it will usually not have had enough time to fully produce and store all the nutrients it can.
As a result, store-bought vegetables often lack in nutritional value when compared to the fresh vegetables you can buy from a farmers market or grow in your garden.
Frozen – The way frozen vegetables are picked for stores is the complete opposite from their fresh counterparts.
Frozen vegetables are usually picked when they are ripe and then frozen within a few hours.
At this point, it may seem that frozen vegetables will have much more nutritional value than fresh ones when they are picked but that’s not always the case.
Before frozen vegetables actually go off to be frozen, they are first blanched.
Blanching helps to maintain both colour and flavour once they are defrosted as well as destroying any bacteria that may be present.
The process of blanching entails boiling the veg for a few minutes before freezing.
Once the vegetables have been blanched, they can lose around 50% of the nutritional value through the boiling process.
In addition to this, blanching vegetables is also known to significantly decrease the levels of water-soluble vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin C once frozen.
Verdict – Overall, studies show that there is little difference between the nutritional value of fresh and frozen vegetables at the ‘just picked’ stage.
This is because fresh veggies are picked before they are ripened and even though frozen veggies are ripe when picked, the frozen veggies are then blanched before freezing which decreases nutrition.
However, the fact that most of the B vitamins and vitamin C is lost during the blanching process of frozen veg is a worry.
As a result, both fresh and frozen vegetables offer similar amounts of nutrients at this stage but fresh is probably a more well-rounded option as they contain B vitamins and vitamin C where applicable.
Fresh Vs Frozen | Which Has The Most Nutritional Value Over Time?
Fresh – The truth about fresh vegetables is that they can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to arrive in the store.
After this time, it could be anywhere from 1-3 days or longer before it’s been purchased and then it might be another 1-7 days before its actually eaten.
Right from the moment its picked, fresh veg is losing its nutritional value so by the time you feed it to your beardie it’s not really all that fresh anymore.
Frozen – With frozen vegetables, once they have been frozen they hold their nutritional content for around 3 months before it gradually starts to decline.
Even after the 3 month period, the rate at which the veggies lose nutritional value is slow when compared to fresh veggies.
Verdict – Once both fresh and frozen vegetables have been picked, the nutritional content of fresh veggies is rapidly declining as opposed to frozen veggies that hold their nutritional value for much longer due to freezing.
By the time you are ready to serve the veggies to your dragon, the frozen veggies will likely offer more nutrition or at least the same amount.
This means that overall frozen vegetables will usually offer slightly more nutrition than fresh ones across the board once you are ready to serve them to your beardie.
However, there is still the worry that frozen veggies contain decreased amounts of those B vitamins and vitamin C due to the blanching process.
Fresh Vs Frozen | What’s the Overall Verdict?
As you have probably just noticed, both fresh and frozen vegetables both offer positives and negatives and when weighing up the pros and cons of each its hard to find a stand out winner.
It really will depend on how fast you can purchase the fresh veggies after they’ve been picked as well as taking into account that certain vitamins and minerals will be lost with frozen veg.
Overall, studies show that there is little difference in the nutritional value of both fresh and frozen vegetables and you will have to simply choose which one is more convenient to you.
If you are wanting to feed your bearded dragon frozen veggies, we recommend also offering fresh veggies the next day to make up for the loss in those B vitamins and vitamin C that might not be present in frozen veg.
Check out the comparison below that shares the nutritional value of both fresh and frozen vegetable side by side…
Fresh Vs Frozen Broccoli | Which Is Best? (Case Study)
Fresh Vs Frozen Broccoli | Nutritional Information Per 100g
|Name||Fresh Broccoli||Frozen Broccoli|
|Water||89.3 g||91.46 g|
|Energy||34 kcal||26 kcal|
|Protein||2.82 g||2.81 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.37 g||0.29 g|
|Carbohydrate||6.64 g||4.78 g|
|Fiber||2.6 g||3 g|
|Sugars||1.7 g||1.35 g|
|Calcium, Ca||47 mg||56 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||50 mg|
|Vitamin C||89.2 mg||56.4 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.175 mg||0.13 mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||31 µg||52 µg|
|Carotene, beta||361 µg||610 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||623 IU||1034 IU|
|Vitamin K||101.6 µg||81.1 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.78 mg||1.22 mg|
As you can see from the study and table above, both fresh and frozen broccoli provides roughly the same amount of nutrition overall.
The levels of vitamin B6 and vitamin C are certainly lower in the frozen broccoli, however, they are still present, which is different from what many experts claim.
Again, you can probably conclude that there is little between the nutritional content of fresh and frozen veggies.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon On Only Frozen Vegetables? No Fresh?
So now that you know that frozen vegetables are safe for bearded dragons to eat (once thawed out) and there is little difference in the nutrition when compared to fresh vegetables.
The only question left to answer is…can bearded dragons eat only frozen vegetables in their diet? (with no fresh veg included at all)
We honestly wouldn’t recommend this as there is still a worry that some varieties of frozen veggies will offer considerably less of those water-soluble vitamins after the blanching process.
For this reason, if you are considering offering frozen veggies we recommend offering a combination of fresh and frozen veggies on alternate days to ensure you are providing your beardie with a balance and variety of nutrients.
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