Guinea pigs love fruits and edible vegetables. Selecting the right kinds of vegetables to feed them can be quite difficult. Do not worry, we are here to help you with this. The topic of discussion is cabbage.
Can guinea pigs eat cabbage? The answer is yes. Cabbage is a very nutritious vegetable that contains phytochemicals. It also has other necessary vitamins and minerals that will keep your guinea pig healthy. Cabbage is like cauliflower, they are extremely rich in Vitamin C (44%) and Vitamin K (72%). These vitamins protect your piggy against many diseases. They also improve the effectiveness of their body systems.
How cabbage can be beneficial to your guinea pigs? What nutritional value does it add? What risks are likely to occur when you feed them? Don’t worry, this post will answer all these questions. Now let’s talk about the benefits of feeding cabbage to your guinea pig.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Cabbage
Just like cauliflower, cabbage is extremely low in fat and contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals. You must know how important Vitamin C is in the body of a guinea pig. Guinea pigs find it difficult to produce this vitamin themselves. Yet, they especially need it to grow well and to function properly. Cabbage is also rich in antioxidants which can be beneficial to guinea pigs during pregnancy.
The combination of Vitamins C, A and D can help your cavy have a longer life span. These vitamins have anti-aging effects and keep their cells from damage. In addition to this, they also have the power to heal. If provided in reasonable quantity, it can effectively heal things like rashes, insect bites, and wounds. The sulfur, calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin contents can also help stimulate the growth of soft and healthy hair. In short words, they prevent hair loss.
Cabbage also contains a high volume of vitamin C that boosts the immune system of your cavy. Cabbage has an excellent level of amino acids, that prevents inflammation. The beta-carotene contents help to keep their eye sharp all the time. The intake of cabbage can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in guinea pigs, due to the presence of glutamine and vitamin K in it.
Cabbage can also help your guinea pig to aid digestion and provide relief from constipation. If properly administered to them, it provides the necessary relief from sore muscles. With the presence of calcium and vitamin K in cabbage, it can help with keeping their bones and teeth strong. Guinea pigs continue to grow teeth, and the cabbage can be useful in maintaining the sizes of their teeth.
Nutrition Facts of Cabbage
Cabbage is very rich in carbohydrates, that make your piggy agile and mentally active. The calcium and Vitamin k contents also help your piggy to build strong bones and teeth.
Cabbage is extremely low in cholesterol and saturated fat. It is also a good source of sinigrin, which has gained special attention in the research against cancer. It has a special antioxidant called cyanidins. This helps guinea pigs by providing for them a kind of “premium” protection against cardiovascular diseases.
It contains 20 flavonoids and 15 phenols (namely; caffeic acid, benzoic acid, hydroxycinnamic acid, coumaric acid dimethylbenzoic acid, cinnamic acid, vanillic acid, gallic acid, hydroxybenzoic acid, phenylacetic acid, rosmarinic acid, syringic acid, and trimethylbenzoic acid). They all function as antioxidants, which aids in fighting against several diseases. This also helps the metabolic system.
This is the nutritional value of raw cabbage, per 100g as extracted from Wikipedia:
- Energy 103 kJ (25 kcal)
- Carbohydrates (5.8 g)
- Sugars (3.2 g)
- Dietary fiber (2.5 g)
- Fat (0.1 g)
- Protein (1.28 g)
- Thiamine (B1) 5% (0.061 mg)
- Riboflavin (B2) 3% (0.040 mg)
- Niacin (B3) 2% (0.234 mg)
- Pantothenic acid (B5) 4% (0.212 mg)
- Vitamin B6 10% (0.124 mg)
- Folate (B9) 11% (43 μg)
- Vitamin C 44% (36.6 mg)
- Vitamin K 72% (76 μg)
- Calcium 4% (40 mg)
- Iron 4% (0.47 mg)
- Magnesium 3% (12 mg)
- Manganese 8% (0.16 mg)
- Phosphorus 4% (26 mg)
- Potassium 4% (170 mg)
- Sodium 1% (18 mg)
- Zinc 2% (0.18 mg)
Risks to Consider When Feeding Cabbage to Guinea Pigs
Knowing what to feed your piggy is important. And that’s why you must know the benefits and risks of feeding cabbage to your cavy. Some foods can have dangerous side effects when consumed in excess.
Yes! It is true that cabbage contains a very high amount of nutrients. However, too much of cabbage can also have side effects on your guinea pig too. A heavy intake of cabbage can cause flatulence. This may be because of too much riffinose in the intestine. Too much of cabbage, when fed constantly to your cavy, can block the intestine and lead to diarrhea.
Cabbage has a high level of Vitamin K, that helps blood to clot. When fed with a heavy ration, your cavy’s blood can begin to congeal. This can eventually kill them too. So serve them an appropriate ration.
Also, the sulfur content can cause them digestive problems. Guinea pigs cannot pass gas. So, feeding them too much of cabbage can lead to bloating. It is best that you feed them cabbage twice weekly. There are no risks of the side effects then and they will still be able to gain enough nutrients from the cabbage.
Nine Amazing Facts About Cabbage:
1. Cabbage is also referred to as headed-cabbage. It is categorized under the same family as cauliflower and broccoli. Cabbage is a biannually grown vegetable. It is believed to have originated from Europe in the 14th century. Cabbage is usually described as one of the oldest vegetables.
2. Cabbage is extremely high in Vitamins C and K, and fiber. It is also extremely low in fat and cholesterol.
3. There are different types of cabbage, but only four types are very common. First, the purple cabbage. It contains more vitamin C than the others. Second, the savoy cabbage, which also contains more iron, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A. And lastly the green cabbage. This is the commonest one. It contains the same nutrients but in lesser and reasonable quantities.
4. According to the United Nations, China tops the list of the highest producers of cabbage, with an annual production rate of 33.4 millions of tonnes, followed by India, European Union, Russia, South Korea, and Japan.
5. Cabbage can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, braised, fermented and microwaved.
6. Research shows that cabbage contains nutrients (for example, sulforaphane) that can help fight and prevent cancer in the body.
7. It is also used in the production of drugs. Cabbage forms the main ingredient that is used as an antidote for mushroom poisoning. It is also used for eye salves, and liniments used in treating arthritis and bruise healing.
8. In ancient China, cabbage was believed to be magic that can be used to cure complete hair loss in men.
9. Cabbage is best grown in climates that are mild and cool.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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