Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?

Facts When Feeding Broccoli To Your Bearded Dragon

Vegetables play an essential role in your bearded dragon’s diet.  The wrong vegetables can do more harm than good.  You might wonder where exactly broccoli falls on the spectrum.  

Can bearded dragons eat broccoli? Yes, you can give broccoli to bearded dragons, but in limited amounts.

This article will explore the nutritional value, benefits, risks, and more you need to know about bearded dragons.  

Nutritional Value Of Broccoli In A Bearded Dragon Diet

Nutritional Information of Broccoli per 100 g

Nutrient NameAmounts
Water89.3 %
Energy 34 Kcal
Protein2.82 g
Total lipid (fat)0.37 g
Carbohydrate, by difference,6.64 g
Fiber1.7 g
Sugars9.96 g
Calcium47 mg
Phosphorus66 mg
Sodium1 mg
Vitamin C89.2 mg
Iron0.73 mg
Vitamin D (D2+3)0 ug
Vitamin B60.175 mg
Vitamin A31 ug
Vitamin E0.78 mg
Vitamin K101.6 ug

The upside is that broccoli is a super-food and is jam-packed with nutrients.  The downside is that broccoli contains a deadly acid and mineral that can harm your beardie in large doses. Read if you are curious about the ups and downs of broccoli.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli – The Benefits

Broccoli offers numerous health benefits when fed appropriately. Here are some of those benefits.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C in broccoli helps build a robust immune system that fends off potential disease and keeps bearded dragons happy.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes better eyesight and eye health, healthy skin, and a strong immune system.  It also helps to break down unwanted materials in the body.  

Vitamin K1

This vitamin regulates blood clotting and overall bone health.


Regulates blood pressure, aids muscle function, prevents kidney problems, and lowers water retention.


Enough fiber bulks up the stool for optimal digestion. It also prevents constipation.


Help with maintaining healthy cells and tissue


This is one of those supplements you must give very sporadically but is still a vital benefit in your beardies health.  Iron helps keep your pet dragon’s blood oxygenated, but be aware that too much iron intake can cause long-term health issues, so take caution when giving your beardie iron-rich foods.


This mineral aids metabolism and prevents inflammation.

High Water Content

Raw broccoli is 89.3% water which makes it a great vegetable to hydrate your bearded dragon.

Risks When Your Bearded Dragon Overeats Broccoli

Unfortunately, it is not all moonlight and roses when it comes to feeding your beardie broccoli.  Here are some of the risks to consider.

Too Much Phosphorus, Too Little Calcium

As with many vegetables and fruit, broccoli contains more phosphorus than calcium.  It means the phosphorus calcium ratio does not fall in the healthy range for regular consumption.

Food with a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio in favor of calcium is generally safe for your bearded dragon.

When the phosphorus amount is higher than the calcium amount, the phosphorus binds with calcium and prevents it from being absorbed in your bearded dragon’s bloodstream.  It can cause a severe, painful, and paralyzing condition called Metabolic Bone Disease.

Alert your vet immediately if you notice any signs of metabolic bone disease in your beardie’s body. These include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Stress
  • Constipation
  • Receded lower jaw
  • Swollen limbs and jaw
  • Bumps along the spine or bones
  • Soft jaw, and facial bones
  • Bowed limbs and arched spine
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Greenstick fractures (folded or bent bones)
  • Trembling and twitching limbs
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Paralysis or difficulty moving

We recommend that you add a calcium supplement to your bearded dragon’s food to give it a calcium boost.

Oxalic Acid

Broccoli contains oxalic acid, which can be deadly for bearded dragons since it essentially has the same effect as too much phosphorus.  It binds with calcium and prevents vital calcium intake into the bloodstream.

Oxalic acid can also cause metabolic bone disease and cause your bearded dragon to suffer from kidney stones.

Food containing phosphorus and oxalic acid must be closely monitored and not regularly fed as a staple food.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?

With so many beneficial nutrients, you might think it is safe to feed your baby bearded dragon broccoli, right?

Well, you are wrong.  Your baby bearded dragon does not need all the nutrients yet.  As a rule of thumb, baby beardie diets must consist of 80% insects and 20% plants.

Considering the risks, it is not worth feeding broccoli to your baby beardie when there are much healthier options to fill up the 20% plant-based part of their diet.  Baby safe veggies include kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, and more.

How Often Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat Broccoli?

Knowing the risks might outweigh the benefits here, it is best to keep broccoli to a minimum in your bearded dragon’s diet.  

It is always better to consult a vet, but we suggest limiting feedings of broccoli to your beardie to once per month, twice at the most.  This veggie is undoubtedly a nutritious food and won’t harm your bearded dragon outright, and when given

Cooked Or Frozen Broccoli: Which is Best?

Cooked vegetables contain low nutrients compared to raw veggies.  Bearded dragons are accustomed to and enjoy eating raw foods. 

Cooked broccoli can cause unpleasant reactions in the digestive system of your bearded dragon. 

We would not recommend we feed your bearded dragon frozen broccoli.  During the freezing process, the food loses some essential nutrients.  The critical point for feeding your bearded dragon is raw, fresh food. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli Stalks  And Sprouts?

Broccoli Stalks/Stems

Broccoli stems are nutritious, just like the broccoli leaves, and your pet lizard can eat them.  You will need to chop the stems into smaller portions after cleaning.  

Shredding is necessary after you chopped the stalk to make them finer and encourage your bearded dragon to swallow them easily.

Broccoli stem and leaves provide your bearded dragon with a lot more protein than you think.

You can also feed the stalks in moderation since they are rich in water and can cause diarrhea in excess amounts.

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are bad for bearded dragons.  They are rich in goitrogens and oxalates, which are dangerous to dragons and contribute to calcium deficiency.

Preparing Broccoli For Your Bearded Dragon

After you decide to feed your bearded dragon broccoli, you must keep in mind not to give it regularly and prepare it properly.  Here are some key steps to consider.

  • It is best to feed your bearded dragon fresh, organic broccoli. It must be as fresh as possible to avoid your beardie eating any spoiled or rotten food. (Organic are the more acceptable vegetables because they are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.)
  • Wash the vegetables thoroughly.  Ensure to get rid of unnecessary compounds such as insecticides, and preservatives, brought on by package handling.  
  • Soak the broccoli in a bowl filled with cold water before feeding.  It will help separate the insects and dirt not removed by standard washing.  The soaking will help soften the broccoli slightly.
  • Cut the broccoli florets and leaves into smaller, more manageable pieces.  Avoid feeding your pet dragon the stem.  It will prevent your bearded dragon from accidentally choking.  

Final Thought

Broccoli has some valuable nutrients. They can be a  good addition to your beardie’s diet if given in moderation, once a month.  We feel that this is okay if you do not offer it as a staple.

Ultimately as a bearded dragon owner, it is up to you to include broccoli as a food source. Read about the new food you wish to include in your bearded dragons’ diet, and if unsure, contact your vet for advice.  Even the healthiest food can have risks that impact your bearded dragon’s health.

Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:

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I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.