During the spring and summer times, there is nothing tastier and more refreshing than a bowl of fruit salad! In this article, we will talk about the nectarines – the delicious refreshing summer fruit. They are similar to peaches, with a slight difference between the two. The nectarines have a smooth outer layer, whereas the peaches have that familiar fuzzy layer. But, anyway, nectarines are delicious and refreshing, so let’s see if our guinea pigs can enjoy them safely.
Can guinea pigs eat nectarines? Yes, guinea pigs can eat nectarines. However, this fruit contains a pit and it must be removed prior to the feeding. Also, nectarines are delicious, but because they are so sweet and sugary – they are not very good for the guinea pig. The stomachs of guinea pigs don’t digest sugars well, and this fruit has quite a lot of sugar. So, consider the nectarine as a diet treat, rather than regular food for the cavy.
In all the sections below, we will discuss how to safely give this tasty fruit to the guinea pig as a treat, to avoid any health risks mainly due to the sugar. Of course, there are also benefits for the cavy from consuming this fruit, and certain advice and facts as well. So, keep on reading to make sure your guinea pig’s diet is balanced and healthy with the information we have provided!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Nectarines
- Healthy weight – Because nectarines are not highly caloric, they will not present a risk of obesity for the guinea pig. And also, they must be given in moderation, so this will contribute to a healthy weight too.
- Energy (carbs, proteins, and riboflavin) – The guinea pig will have good energy from nectarines, because of the carbs and proteins present in them. Also, the riboflavin will help with converting carbs and proteins to the energy that lasts all day long.
- Healthy cardiovascular system (cholesterol, fats, niacin, iron, potassium copper) – With nectarines, the cardiovascular system will work perfectly and there will be less risk of heart-related problems like hypertension, stroke or similar issues. There is zero cholesterol and low amount of fats, so this will keep blood vessels unclogged. Also, the iron will prevent anemia, the potassium will regulate the blood pressure, and the copper will help in creating more red blood cells.
- Antioxidants – Vitamin A will keep your guinea pig’s immunity in great shape. It will block the damage from the free radicals that cause diseases and early aging. All organs will be healthy with enough vitamin A.
- Prevention from scurvy – Finally, the vitamin C will keep your guinea pig alive and very healthy! They will not be at risk from scurvy which is fatal for rodents that lack this vitamin.
Nutrition Facts of Nectarines
Here are the nutrition facts per 100g (3 oz) of nectarines:
- Moderately low in calories – 44 calories. This amount is not too much, or too little. Considering this is a very sweet fruit, it is not highly caloric after all. So no need to fear weight changes.
- A good amount of carbs and a small amount of proteins – 10.6 g of carbs and 1.1 g of protein.
- High in sugars – 7.9 g. The nectarines are known to be very sugary and this is harmful to your guinea pig, but only if you feed him often and in large amounts. So nectarines must be limited to avoid the excess sugar which will worsen the digestion of your cavy.
- Low in fat and no cholesterol – 0.3 g of fat and zero cholesterol. This couldn’t sound better as far as cardiovascular health goes, as well as weight. Without cholesterol, blood vessels are unclogged, and with just a bit of fats, there is also less risk of heart-related issues and weight changes too.
- Vitamin A – 7%. Vitamin A is among the best antioxidants for an organism. It protects the body from free radical damage that brings on many diseases. It keeps the internal organs like lungs, heart, kidneys, brain healthy as well as the skin and eyesight too. To sum it up – the whole immunity is improved.
- Vitamin C – 9 %. Without this vitamin, the guinea pigs are prone to diseases like scurvy which can be fatal for them and they manifest themselves with rough fur, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, internal bleedings and more. So, with vitamin C they are super healthy!
- Riboflavin – 2 %. This vitamin is also known as B2. It is needed for converting carbs, fats, and proteins to energy used by the body to survive. Also, it transfers oxygen throughout the whole body.
- Niacin – 6 %. The niacin aka B3 lowers cholesterol and ensures healthy brain cognitive functions as well.
- Calcium – 1 %. Calcium is a mineral essential for strong bones.
- Iron – 2 %. With enough iron, the blood is stronger and less prone to anemia.
- Potassium – 6 %. This nutrient balances the blood pressure and contributes to a healthier cardiovascular system.
- Copper – 4 %. The copper works together with iron to make blood stronger and healthier and to form more red blood cells – these are needed to avoid the anemia.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Nectarines to Guinea Pigs
- Stomach aches – Due to the sugar content, the guinea pig may have belly aches or loose stool. So, serve nectarines rarely as a treat.
- Urinary problems – This fruit also has calcium. This mineral could create urinary stones and even lead to fatal renal failure.
Quick Facts on Nectarines
- Nectarines are also called ‘shaved peach’
- This fruit has no fuzz like the peach because sometimes the peach tree where they are grown can mutate and produce ‘no fuzz’ layer of the fruits
- The color of nectarine can be orange, pale whitish color, and yellow-pink too
- The originated in China, 2,000 years ago, but were mostly cultivated in Persia, Italy, and Greece
- The Spanish travelers brought them to America in the 17th century
- The name ‘nectarine’ means ‘sweet like nectar’
- Nectarines belong to the rose family, or ‘Rosaceae’
- Best seasons for the nectarines are spring and early autumn.
How often can I feed my guinea pig nectarines, or how much to serve?
Probably you give your guinea pig other fruits too, not just nectarines, right? So, this means it ingests sugars from other foods as well. To avoid too much sugars in the cavy’s diet, you should feed it nectarines just 1-2 times per week maximum. And a normal serving would be a few slices or a few small chunks.
After all, this is like a treat, not an everyday food.
Can the guinea pig consume the skin of the nectarine too?
Yes, the guinea pig can consume the nectarine skin too, and this part is edible for them and quite tasty. Just ensure the nectarine is washed well if you don’t peel it for your guinea pig.
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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