As the owner of an adorable guinea pig, you must be willing to feed them with a variety of foods. When fed on a regular basis with a single diet, your cavies can be negatively affected. Your guinea pigs may ultimately get tired of just one type of meal after some time, no matter how much they love that particular food. Besides feeding your guinea pig with hay, pellets, veggies, fruits and clean water, you can also feed them with herbal plants.
So, can guinea pigs eat cilantro? The answer is yes. Cilantro is a very nutritious herb that can be fed to your guinea pig. They will certainly enjoy munching on the leaves. Cilantro or coriander is confirmed by many vets to be one of the safest herbs that guinea pigs can consume. Aside from being safe, they also have a balanced level of nutritional value. It contains essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus, which are good for the health of your cavy. Also, feed them normal amounts of cilantro, don’t go overboard. Excess of the aforementioned nutrients in cilantro can cause side effects.
Now you are probably interested in the nutritional value of coriander, and what are the benefits and risks of feeding my guinea pig with cilantro?
Let’s find out!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Cilantro
What are the benefits that my guinea pig can gain from eating cilantro? Your guinea pigs can gain a lot of things from the nutrients contained in coriander. Most especially, they contain a large amount of powerful antioxidants that can help in promoting the general health of your guinea pig. These antioxidants can also help in keeping the heart condition of your cavy in check.
Like we already know, guinea pigs cannot manufacture one of the most essential nutrients in the body, the vitamin C. This is one of the unique qualities they share with humans. Vitamin C can strengthen your guinea pig and protect them from diseases. The downside, however, is that the Vitamin C content in coriander is low. Your cavies can still benefit a great deal from this green plant. After all, they only need it in minimal quantities.
Another very interesting benefit of cilantro is that it can help your guinea pigs body in detoxifying various harmful substances.
Studies conducted confirm that cilantro can be used to manage diabetes, and also to keep the blood sugar levels down. Cilantro could also be used to prevent food poisoning. You can add a small quantity to their food everytime to be on a safe side. Don’t forget, very small quantities!
Nutrition Facts of Cilantro
The following nutrients make up the contents of the cilantro leaves (amount per 100 grams):
- Calories 23
- Total Fat (0.5 g)
- Cholesterol (0 mg)
- Sodium (46 mg)
- Potassium (521 mg)
- Total Carbohydrate (3.7 g)
- Dietary fiber (2.8 g)
- Sugar (0.9 g)
- Protein (2.1 g)
- Vitamin A (134%)
- Vitamin C (45%)
- Calcium (6%)
- Iron (9%)
- Vitamin D (0%)
- Vitamin B-6 (5%)
- Cobalamin (0%)
- Magnesium (6%)
The macronutrients in cilantro are fat, protein and carbohydrates. These are essential nutrients that your piggy needs to grow well. It is extremely low in fat, so your piggy doesn’t run the risk of going obese. It contains a considerable level of carbohydrates and protein. This herb is very high in dietary fiber. Fibers are also important for your guinea pig as they work in regulating the cholesterol level in the body.
Vitamins K and A are the major constituents of this plant. The vitamins are important in strengthening the bones of your piggy. They sharpen their sight and are extremely important for them during pregnancy time. They also boost the immune system and protect your guinea pig’s body from extreme toxicity. It contains Vitamins C, not much, but enough to benefit your piggies.
Cilantro contains manganese that improves their metabolic system, makes their bones strong and helps them absorb calcium with ease.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Cilantro to Guinea Pigs
With the benefits mentioned above, does this mean coriander has no side effects? Absolutely no! Coriander can also have negative effects too. But only when overly fed to your guinea pig. Coriander can cause indigestion, diarrhea and dehydration.
To be on a safe side, avoid feeding coriander to your pregnant piggy. Cilantro can also slow down clotting and increase the risk of bleeding in your piggy when served heavily to them.
Too much of coriander can take a toll on your piggy and damage its liver even if it contains essential antioxidants that can help safeguard the body from toxins. Too much of it can also drastically lower the blood pressure of your piggy. Another side effect is respiratory problems in your piggy, which can eventually lead to chronic asthma. Please also keep this in mind.
Other negative skin reactions to coriander include rashes, irritation, itching, swelling, hives and so on. So when you limit the intake of coriander to your piglets, the risk of getting all the issues mentioned above is limited. Then you have a safe and healthy guinea pig, that is fun to be with.
Quick Facts on Cilantro and Guinea Pigs
These are some of the interesting facts about cilantro which you will enjoy:
- Cilantro has been confirmed by historians to be one of the most commonly consumed herbs in the entire world. It is a very versatile plant that is usually used for cooking in different parts of the world, including North Africa, China, Caribbean, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.
- Did you know that the entire plant of Coriander is edible, from the stem to the leaves to the roots and seeds, and highly nutritious also?
- Coriander is also as old as the history itself, over 2,000 years ago, since the times of the Bible. The herb was discovered to be famous among ancient Hebrews and usually used in their popular Passover meal.
- Cilantro is also popularly referred to as coriander or Chinese parsley. A herb of the Apiaceae family that is grown annually. Actually, the leaves are called cilantro, and the seeds are called coriander.
- This green herb can also be used in the production of creams and soaps. That has a very good herbaceous or lime-like aroma.
- Coriander is very delicate, so to store them, you will have to wrap it in a paper towel or a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator before use.
- Amazing fact! A bed bug exists that emits almost the same smell as the coriander.
- Cilantro is best grown in dense, damp or humid areas.
- Cilantro is widely cultivated in Asia, India, Latin America, and North America.
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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