Beardies First

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Jicama?

Jicama is starting to gain significant popularity in the United States as a nutritious food option for both humans and some pets. For this reason, some bearded dragon owners are also wondering if this is something their pet can have. Can bearded dragons eat jicama and enjoy its health benefits?

can bearded dragons eat jicama

Yes, bearded dragons can absolutely eat jicama. You can give this healthy treat to your bearded dragon as a snack that is sweet and rich in nutrients and vitamins at the same time.

You can feed some grated pieces of jicama to your beardie now and then as a tasty treat in moderation. But it is also important to remember that certain parts of the jicama plant might be toxic when ingested so it wouldn’t hurt to be extra careful.

What is Jicama?

With the scientific name Pachyrhizus erosus, jicama is a type of plant with its origins traced back to Mexico. The root of the jicama plant is also known as the Mexican turnip, Mexican potato, and Mexican yam bean. Although the plant is still quite rare in the US, it is already starting to gain ground among pet owners and in many households.

The jicama has fleshy white roots with a starchy flavor similar to a potato and is perfectly edible. This is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins while retaining a low fat and sugar content. But as mentioned earlier, several parts of this plant, specifically the skin and seeds, are toxic to animals.

Jicama Mexican turnip

How Does Eating Jicama Benefit Your Bearded Dragon?

Jicama is a great treat for your bearded dragon because it offers several exciting benefits, which include the following:

Rich in Nutrients

The nutrient profile of jicama is quite extensive. Most of the calorie content of the plant comes from carbohydrates while the rest comes from trace amounts of fat and protein. Aside from this, the plant is also rich in essential minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial nutrients, such as:

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Jicama also has high fiber and water content with very low amounts of calories, making it great to help your bearded dragon retain a healthier weight.

Better Digestion

Fiber is an important part of the diet of your bearded dragon because it helps boost its stool bulk, enhance digestion, and ward off constipation issues. A single cup of jicama contains up to 6.5 grams of fiber, which is more than enough amount to meet the dietary needs of your bearded dragon.

Research also shows that the plant can also enhance the frequency of bowel movement by over 30% which helps prevent constipation.

Weight Loss

Due to the low-calorie content of jicama, this can help ensure that your bearded dragon doesn’t gain unwanted weight. Its high water and fiber content will also guarantee that your beardie will feel full after you consume a small amount. This helps ensure that it doesn’t overheat.

In addition, the root of the plant also contains a certain prebiotic fiber known as insulin. This has been shown to have a positive effect on the hormones that are responsible for sending signals of fullness and hunger to the brain.

How to Prepare Jicama for Your Bearded Dragon

Jicama is a very versatile plant that can be consumed either raw or cooked. Once you decide to give cooked jicama to your bearded dragon, the preparation required is quite simple. You just need to boil the peeled root in water for several minutes. You can also bake it in the oven for an hour or two. Baked jicama root has this crispy consistency that your pet beardie might like.

However, since the skin of the jicama plant is toxic, it is important to never forget to peel the root before you bake, boil, or feed it raw to your pet beardie. The seeds and skin of the plant have this particular poison called Rotenone that is often used or added to insecticides.

You also need to know that it is toxic even to human beings and can also be especially harmful to your bearded dragon friend. This is the case especially if your pet is quite young.

After you cook it, make sure that you feed only the jicama root to your pet as a snack in small amounts. You can cut this into several small pieces and then mix it in a food bowl together with other vegetables to let your pet enjoy a more nutritious meal.

Once again, take note that you only give this snack to your beardie in moderation because too much of it can upset the stomach of your pet. You also need to ensure that you introduce it to your pet little by little, particularly if this is the first time that you will be giving it to your bearded dragon.

But if you are not sure and you are having some doubts about handling the jicama, you will be better off avoiding giving it to your pet in the first place.

The Bottom Line

Yes, bearded dragons can eat jicama. In fact, they should eat it now and then. Jicama is now becoming a favorite healthy food among humans and pets alike in the United States because of its low levels of sugar and fat content and high amounts of nutrients.

Since jicama is filling and sweet at the same time, this will surely go down well even with picky eaters out there. They can also help your bearded dragon achieve and maintain a healthy weight, particularly if you consider that these pets don’t get the chance to exercise that much.

Should you decide to give jicama to your bearded dragon, you have to be extra careful when you handle skin and seeds because these parts of the plant are toxic. It is best to offer your pet some grated pieces of this root as a treat or snack.

But just like anything else, always be careful and make sure you don’t go overboard. Feed jicama to your bearded dragon in moderation, particularly at first.