Do you own a guinea pig? If so, have you ever thought of feeding the little guy green beans? Green beans, also known as snap beans, are nutritious vegetables that can boost your health.
The fact that they are harvested when they are still fresh makes them even more nutritious and beneficial to humans.
But since we are talking about cavies, you might have asked yourself if these vegetables are good for your pet.
As you might have already noticed, guinea pigs can eat any food that you present to them, so fresh looking vegetables like green beans would definitely entice your furry friend.
This is because guinea pigs are attracted to different types of foods, but always keep in mind that not all foods are ideal for cavies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Beans?
Guinea pigs can safely eat green beans because they contain an abundance of vitamin C and other important nutrients that cavies need to stay healthy. Green beans should, however, be served in moderation to minimize the intake of phosphorus and calcium in guinea pigs.
The two minerals that we have just mentioned are also beneficial to guinea pigs, but they can also harm your pet if they are consumed in excessive amounts.
Let us start by looking at some of the health problems that are associated with green beans, after which we will look at the health benefits of this vegetable.
Health Consequences of Feeding Guinea Pigs Green Beans in Large Amounts
Green beans contain a lot of calcium and trace amounts of oxalates. These compounds can combine to form kidney stones and this may cause a great deal of pain to your pet.
As a result, the guinea pig may experience discomfort when passing urine. Aside from calcium, green beans are also packed with phosphorus, a mineral compound that can easily cause other health complications when it accumulates in the body.
Guinea pigs can also get gas from eating too many green beans because the vegetable is rich in raffinose, a type of sugar that cannot be easily processed by the digestive system.
When this compound reaches the large intestine it is broken down by bacteria, thereby forming carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen gas, all of which cause bloating in guinea pigs.
Indigestion and Constipation
In addition to this, green beans have high quantities of lectin, which is also another compound that can slow down the digestion process.
Lectins can easily bind with carbohydrate molecules, thus causing constipation and other gastrointestinal complications in guinea pigs.
Now that you have seen the side effects that green beans can have on your cavy, let us look at the health benefits that your you guinea pig will get.
Health Benefits of Feeding Green Beans to Guinea Pigs
Green beans can provide your furry buddy with a tone of benefits if you serve the vegetable in minimal amounts.
Moreover, green beans are loaded with essential vitamins that will not only boost your pet’s immune system but will also prolong your guinea pig’s overall lifespan.
High Vitamin Content
If you have done some research on guinea pigs, then you must be aware that they are incapable of synthesizing vitamin C.
However, your pet can get enough vitamin C from green beans since it contains a large amount of this nutrient.
If your guinea pig has enough vitamin C in its body, he/she will be less likely to suffer from scurvy.
According to nutritional experts, each 100 g of green beans contains up to 12.2mg of vitamin C. Like most vegetables, green beans are also rich in vitamin K, which is also just as important compared to vitamin C.
Even though it performs a different function, vitamin K will prevent your guinea pig from bleeding out when she is giving birth.
It is a key ingredient in blood coagulation, so ensure that your pet’s diet contains foods that are rich in vitamin K.
Additionally, vitamin K controls how calcium binds to various tissues and the bones in the body.
More on vitamins, green beans are a rich source of vitamin A, which is known for its ability to boost the immune system.
This vitamin also improves vision, so it can be an excellent addition to a guinea pig’s diet.
As if that is not enough, vitamin A keeps various organs in the body healthy, thus making it even more important for your cavy.
Low in Calories
The other thing that you will like about green beans is the fact that they are low in calories, so you can feed them to your guinea pig without worrying about him/her becoming obese.
High in Fiber
Green beans are harvested with the pods still attached, and this gives them their high fiber content.
Fiber aids in digestion, so food will be able to move in the digestive tract smoothly, meaning that your guinea pig won’t suffer from constipation.
Besides, studies have shown that fiber promotes gut health by ensuring the microbes that aid in digestion are kept healthy.
Should I serve my Guinea Pigs Raw or Cooked Green Beans?
Guinea pigs thrive on a diet that contains raw foods. Your pet may have a hard time digesting cooked food because its stomach is not adapted to such. As such, all foods should be served raw, including green beans.
How Often Should I Feed my Guinea Pigs Green Beans?
As you already know, green beans contain a lot of phosphorus and calcium, both of which can cause serious health consequences to your guinea pig.
To avoid these problems, don’t feed your guinea pigs green beans more than three times a week.
Always ensure that you serve your guinea pig fresh green beans. This means that at no time should you give the pet canned or frozen green beans.
In addition to the pods, guinea pigs can also have the leaves of green beans. Also, you should not serve your cavies green beans on days when calcium-rich foods are being served.
Before serving your cavy green beans, ensure that you wash them since there is a high likelihood that they contain dirt and pesticides.
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