Broccoli has become a staple vegetable for most homes around the world, thanks to the lots of nutrients they have. Whether raw, cooked, steamed, or roasted, you can’t just have enough of this delicious vegetable in whatsoever form you choose to serve it.
But have you ever wondered whether it’s safe for your hamster to munch on it? If you have, that’s one of the most common questions hamster owners ask. Keep reading to find out and to discover more about giving hamsters broccolis.
Broccoli is just as good for hamsters as it is for humans. With the numerous nutrients it offers, there are a thousand and one reasons to feed your hamster broccoli. However, as with all other kinds of treats, this fun treat remains healthy and beneficial until given in excess.
Let’s face the fact here– with the likes of carrots, spinach, cabbage, apple, watermelon, and other fruits and vegetables all competing to serve as “hamster treats” for your pet, not many hamster owners think of broccoli when it comes to treats.
Well, one thing most pet caregivers may not know is that broccolis are actually one of the most incredible treats you can give your hamster in moderation– and in fact, it could be the treat that ends up as the most favorite for your furry friend!
What Is Broccoli?
Even before we get lost into the world of hamster treats, it’s worth looking at what broccoli is and how it came to be a favorite vegetable.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable with green florets and thick stalks. The word “crucifers” derives from Latin words for cross– because, as you may have already guessed, the cross-like shape of the broccoli’s leaves resemble those of the cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli is a popular vegetable around the world and has been so for centuries. The reason why it became such a hit with people around the world was that, first and foremost, broccoli tastes really delicious.
Many forms of cooking made this veggie even more edible and delicious to eat than before, and it soon became a favorite vegetable for people around the globe.
Specifically, broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and has lots of nutrients that may benefit your hamster’s health.
One thing about broccoli is that, despite being such a tasty veggie, this cruciferous dish still remains low in calories, which is a good thing for most individuals.
We could have learned more about broccolis, but let’s get back to the topic at hand.
Should You Give Hamsters Broccolis?
You might have heard that some vegetables aren’t good for your hamster. In fact, you might have even been recommended to never ever give your hamster some veggies.
But how about broccoli? should hamsters eat broccoli?
Well, that’s definitely a Yes! Broccoli makes for a healthy and nutritious treat for your hamster. The nutrients and minerals it offers together with the fact that it’s a low-calorie vegetable make it one of the most recommended hamster treats you could get for your furry friend.
Nutritional Stats of Broccoli
We’ve earlier termed it as a “nutritious treat”. But was it just a cliche for our case? Not at all! It makes for one of the most nutritious vegetables around the world. No wonder it has become so popular in our kitchens!
While it may not be heavily loaded with calories, broccoli’s nutritional content is still quite impressive.
A cup of this vegetable offers approximately the following;
- 55 calories
- 4g proteins
- 5g fiber
- 11 g carbohydrates
- 0.3g fats.
From these stats, it’s evident that broccoli is a really nutritious vegetable.
Nutritional Facts About Broccoli
When talking about nutrients and minerals in broccoli, they go beyond what we’ve listed above. These delicious vegetables are a rich source of calcium, potassium, and iron as well as Vitamins A, C, K, B6, niacin and riboflavin.
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants as well as dietary fiber. In addition, this scrumptious treat for hamsters also contains glucosinolates and thiocyanates which are known to boost the body’s immune system as well as provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Again, may sound surprising, but broccoli has components that can help protect us and our pets from cancer. That’s because it contains antioxidants that can help protect our cells from damage and slow down the process of aging.
And with all those nutrients, it offers a long list of health benefits that makes it even better as a treat for your hamster.
Health Benefits of Broccoli Treats for Your Hamster
1) Help with Digestion:
As stated earlier, broccoli contains dietary fiber which is also known as roughage.
To put it simply, dietary fiber remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine where it then mixes with other substances.
As a result, this “fiber” helps maintain healthy bowel movements by softening stool and making it easier to pass through the intestines until they are expelled as feces.
2) Reduce the Risk of Cancer:
Broccoli also contains components that can help protect us and our pets from cancer. That’s because it contains antioxidants that can help protect our cells from damage and slow down the process of aging.
3) Improve Bone Health:
Since broccoli contains calcium, potassium, and iron as well as Vitamins A, C, K, B6, niacin, and riboflavin; it’s a very good bone health-boosting food. This is because all these components help promote the production of collagen, which is important for the formation of bones and teeth.
Collagen also enables the body to repair bones and other tissues as well as help build strong muscles and ligaments.
This tasty treat also helps cleanse the body by ensuring that no toxic substances remain in it for a long time. This is because it helps expel these harmful substances from the body through the feces.
Since it’s high in dietary fiber, broccoli also helps you feel full for a longer time after eating it. So, including this healthy treat in your hamster’s diet will ensure that it enjoys a long, healthy life.
5) Strengthens the Immune System:
As we’ve already mentioned above, broccoli is a rich source of Vitamin C and B6, all of which are immune system-boosting in nature. This is because they help in the production of white blood cells, which are an important component of our immune systems.
6) Balanced Blood Sugar:
It’s also a good way to normalize your pet’s glucose levels and avoid dangerous fluctuations that may occur if their bodies release too much insulin when there’s too much glucose in the blood.
How Much Broccoli Is Good For Your Hamster?
While it’s absolutely fine for humans to take as much broccoli as they please, that doesn’t apply to our pets. The hamster’s delicate digestive system means you have to give broccoli in moderation. Any slight overfeeding of this nutrient-rich vegetable can lead to health issues for your pet. So, what’s the recommended broccoli intake for hamsters?
Well, the amounts are much similar to those of other vegetable items. And as usual, the Syrian hamster leads the line in terms of the quantity of broccoli hamsters need to eat. The dwarf variety comes last on the least as one with the minimum recommended intake levels.
If you have the Syrian hamster, a teaspoon of broccoli will be enough. It should come at most three times a week and never as the main hamster food.
Robo hamsters on the other side require less amount than their bigger cousins. For this variety, the broccoli intake is about a teaspoon. Did you mark the word “about” in that sentence? About frequency, it needs not to be more than twice a week!
Dwarf hamsters, as earlier stated, need the least amount of broccoli. For these little buddies, a 1/2 a teaspoon of broccoli a week will just be fine. Anything more than that serves as an invitation to trouble.
What Parts of Broccoli Are Good For Hamsters?
Now that you know that your pet should eat a bit of broccoli, the next thing is to examine the parts that are good for them. Keep in mind that the fact that a hamster can eat a particular food doesn’t mean that it should be eaten in its entirety.
So, what parts of broccoli can your hamster eat?
Here are some of the parts safe for eating by hamsters:
Broccoli Stalks: The first part that’s absolutely safe for hamsters to eat is the stalk. These vegetable parts are rich in calcium and iron, which means your hamster will benefit from it. So, go ahead and feed your pet with these healthy stalks once every week.
Broccoli Florets: The second part that’s safe for you hamster is the florets. These little morsels taste as good as they look and your pet will love them even if it’s been a while since you last fed them broccoli. Feed them with these delightful veggies once every week as well.
Broccoli Leaves: The other part that makes a great addition to the hamster’s food bowl is the leaves. Whether they’re raw or cooked, your hamster will benefit from these veggie leaves as much as you do when you cook them at home. And
Broccoli Stems: The stem of broccoli is the last part of the plant that’s safe for your pet. These are filled with many nutrients, some of which are antioxidants and dietary fibers.
Essential Tips When Feeding Your Pet Broccoli
It’s absolutely fine to feed your hamster with broccoli as they love the taste of it. However, you have to take some precautions to make sure your hamster won’t get sick from eating too much of it. Here are those precautions:
Always go for the organic variety: When you’re shopping for broccoli, always look out for the organic type. It’s good for your hamster and it’s also not harmful to the environment as a result of being humanely produced.
Remember to choose fresh broccoli: Always give your hamster fresh food. The same applies when it comes to treat selection. Fresh treats are safer for hamsters. Again, ensure that you remove any uneaten broccolis so that your pet won’t be tempted to feed on them once they’ve gone bad.
Washing with plenty of fresh water is necessary: Even if you choose an organic treat without pesticides, you still can’t afford to not wash. Wash it thoroughly before giving it to your beloved pet.
How To Feed Hamsters Brocolli
The key thing here is to consider the amount and the size of the broccoli pieces. Ensure that you only offer tiny pieces of broccoli to your hamster. They are more chewable and comfortable for your pet to handle.
As usual, if it’s the first time, begin with a very small amount. You have to first see whether the digestive system of your hamster will react with this vegetable. Keep in mind that no two hamsters are the same. What works for one doesn’t mean it will work for all others.
When you don’t notice any negative effects, increase the amount gradually. The fact that the digestive system didn’t react with the small amount you offered the first time doesn’t mean that it can handle larger amounts. You have to slowly train the digestive system until it adopts fully to their new diet!
In conclusion, it can be said that hamsters can indeed eat broccoli. In fact, they love the taste of it! But again, before you start offering broccoli as a treat to your hamster more frequently, ensure that you know which parts of broccoli are safe for them and how much they can eat.
Also, keep in mind that it’s not just about what they can do with the broccoli but also how much of it is safe for them! So, there is no reason to worry anymore if you’ve been pondering whether your hamster is allowed to eat broccoli or not.