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Ten Super Vegetables For Your Parrots
These ten vegetables are wonderful for your parrot! And with so many choices, you have the opportunity to give them the variety they deserve and the nutrition they need. Variety is the spice of life and adding these vegetables to your nutritional arsenal will only benefit both you and your flock. All of the properties of these vegetables apply to humans as well so be sure to include these vegetables in your diet for the same nutritional benefits.
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02 of 11
Collard Greens: A Gift From The South
Obviously a staple in the Southern region of the US, they have many health benefits including the ability to lower your cholesterol, even more so when you steam it. However the traditional method of serving, that being stewing it within an inch of its life and serving it with ham hocks isn’t going to have that effect. But raw or simply steamed makes it good for both you and your birds. The health benefits are many. Research has indicated a connection between collard greens and cancer prevention... due to the support it gives to three body systems: the detox system, the antioxidant system and the anti-inflammatory system. The boost it simultaneously gives these three is what makes those anti-cancer properties work.
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03 of 11
Romaine Lettuce: Who Knew?
Now here is a leafy green you wouldn’t think would be worth much in the nutrition department. I myself don’t normally offer it to my birds because I don’t eat it myself all that much. However it does have a rather solid amount of folic acid which is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B. it does have a rather mild taste and your flock might be attracted to its crunchiness. The bright green color indicates great nutrition. Believe it or not, romaine lettuce is 17% protein and it contains all 9... essential amino acids. It also has more Vitamin A than carrots. It has 182% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A whereas carrots only contain 40%.
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04 of 11
Parsley: Curly or Italian, It's Your Choice
People used to believe parsley was toxic to birds. When I got my first Grey, I was told not to feed it and I could never get any solid information as to why I shouldn’t. Well, turns out it’s all hogwash because it’s loaded with Vitamin K and has a respectable amount of Vitamin A. It is a wonderful source of anti-oxidants which fight against free radicals in the body. And there is nothing toxic about it for your birds. It has a bright taste and the curly variety adds texture as well as taste.... Chop it up fine for Chop and it will stick to everything. There is only so much picking a parrot can do. When it's finely chopped they really can't avoid it so it'll be sure to end up in your bird's stomach.
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05 of 11
Leaf Lettuce: Reinforcing Those Bones
Really? Yes! Leaf lettuce goes along way in reinforcing bone strength and density due to the Vitamin K in it. They did some studies in nursing homes and found that serving a couple cups of it a day reduced hip fracture risk. And we all want our little guys to have strong healthy bones, so a salad with leaf lettuce or used as a lettuce wrap containing other healthy vegetables is a good idea. Until I did the research I had absolutely no idea that this stuff was such a good idea for my Greys. Lettu...ce wraps all around!
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06 of 11
Chicory: From The Coffee Cup To The Bowl
Okay, I have to admit I am not at all acquainted with this particular green. I remember that the roots of this last was used as a coffee substitute as it is caffeine-free. However I am familiar with fellow family member radicchio. I use radicchio in Chop for my African Greys because of the red color and snappy bitter taste. This little miniature head of lettuce with the purple-red and white veined coloring has been found to be loaded with polyphenols— a very robust micronutrient that go a long... way in preventing disease. Now that is something that your flock will benefit from!
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Spinach: Popeye Got It Right
Spinach is tricky. Too much of it can cause the leaching of calcium in both you and your bird’s system. And of course due to the iron, you shouldn’t feed it to any species prone to iron storage disease. But every now and then for your parrots is just fine. Serve it as is in leaf form or you can chop it up and serve it sprinkled over other foods.My African Greys enjoy the soft texture and the taste. Maybe Popeye was right all along!
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08 of 11
Beet Greens: Save Those Tops
When I began making Chop I would buy red beets and simply use the tops in Chop because the red coloring in the beets turns your Chop a ghastly pink and it looks rather unattractive. Now that more and more grocery stores and markets are competing with the farmer’s markets and co-ops, golden beets are becoming more readily available. Golden beets don’t bleed and they are a gorgeous shade of bright yellow that almost looks like it glows. Any time you have a strong color in a vegetable it is an... indication of a lot of nutrition. So use the golden beet roots as well as the tops in your Chop. The tops are so nutritious for both you and your flock! And professional chefs are catching on to the “beet greens” trend. Those beet tops that they used to throw away? They are now charging a premium price for this previous “waste” and putting it in salads in some of the best restaurants in the country. So next time you buy beets, remember your parrots and look for the beet bunch with a lot of green still attached.
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09 of 11
Swiss Chard: A Nutritional Rainbow
I love using Swiss chard in my Chop. It’s incredibly colorful stuff if you buy the rainbow chard and my birds seem to be attracted to the bright colors. And it’s a powerful vegetable in the nutrition department. It defends against diabetes and contains 13 different polyphenols, naturally occurring chemicals that have an antioxidant getting rid of free radicals. This particular green kicks some nutritional rear end. It's a tasty and crunchy addition to anything you choose to make with... it.Surprisingly, swiss chard contains 300% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K. And it’s so pretty!
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10 of 11
Chinese Cabbage: More Than For Stir Fry
I swear I had no idea this was so good for you. I thought it was just another cabbage-like green that was used extensively in stir fries and other Asian dishes. But as it turns out, the Asian culture was on to something when they included this vegetable in their diet. You see it called Napa or celery cabbage and it has sources of highly available calcium and iron as well as preventing inflammation. It’s a pretty mild, crunchy cruciferous vegetable and adapts well to many different combinations... of flavors. But the thought that it can prevent and reduce the chances of inflammation is something to take note of.
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11 of 11
Watercress: The New Queen Of Nutrition
Yes, the #1 most respected vegetable these days is watercress. It unseated kale in the last couple of years and now watercress wins “Best In Show” of the Superfood Championships. It is now ramping up in the supermarkets as the popular new green to consume. Research has found that eating two cups of this a day could reduce any damage to your DNA that is linked to cancer by about 17%. It is also loaded to the gills with Vitamin A and Vitamin K. No need to cook this delicate green for your birds.... Just offer it as is or snip with scissors to put in Chop. It’s a little bitter, much like arugula but one you develop a taste for it there’s no going back. My Greys love the stuff! And I’m happy to see more and more grocery stores are carrying this powerful green and making it available to more families with birds.