What can be better in these warm months than a nice refreshing fruit packed with vitamins? Nothing better than orange wedges or orange juice, right? Everyone loves this fruit, but we consume it without the peel, and we use the peel for aromatic recipes or desserts and for decorations. Our guinea pigs can eat oranges and they will get the most vitamin C from them. But, let’s see if they can eat the orange peel.
Can guinea pigs eat orange peels? Yes, guinea pigs can eat the orange peels. In fact, unlike other fruits, the orange peels are edible for the guinea pigs because these peels also contain lots of vitamin C, just as the orange flesh itself. However, certain precautions must be taken before the guinea pig consumes them – due to risks of pesticides and chemicals or dirt. So the washed peels can be given in moderation, and they are perfectly fine and safe for the guinea pig.
It is very good to know that our lovely guinea pigs can consume not just the orange flesh, but also the peel as well! And also, just know that guinea pigs are going crazy for the orange peel taste. Many owners claim that the cavies literally grab the peel and devour it in seconds. It seems this fruit for guinea pigs has no waste material to be thrown away completely. It is not the best idea to give the guinea pig the whole peel of an orange, but we will cover this and every risk, as well as benefits, so continue reading!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Orange Peels
- Prevention of cancers – The guinea pigs will be safe from most cancers due to the limonene, phytochemicals and the flavonoids in the peel.
- Prevention from scurvy – Since the orange peel has lots of vitamin C, just as the orange flesh, this will keep your guinea pig safe from scurvy which causes internal bleedings, loss of appetite, rough fur, and diarrhea.
- Very nutritious (calories, carbs, proteins) – The peel has calories, proteins, and carbs too. Who could have thought orange peel is highly nutritious as well?
- Good digestion – there are fibers in the peel as well, because of this serve in moderation to avoid diarrhea in the guinea pig.
- Healthy cardiovascular system – With zero cholesterol, the cardiovascular system will be in good health.
- Antioxidants – The immunity will get a boost with this antioxidant and all organs will be healthy too.
- No stress and better sleep – The B6 vitamin will make your guinea pig more relaxed, happy, and it will improve its sleep too!
Nutrition Facts of Orange Peels
These are the nutrients contained in the orange peels:
- Flavonoids – the orange peel contains many flavonoids which bring a lot of benefits. Some of them are called hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones. The hesperidin is seen in many fruits of this kind – citrus fruits. It is medicinal and prevents veins problems, bad circulation, and even hemorrhoids. The polymethoxyflavones reduce inflammation, allergies, act as antioxidants and prevents certain cancers.
- Phytochemicals – these compounds are the pigments, aroma and the taste itself of plants, and when consumed, they prevent cancer, heart problems, eyesight issues and they boost the immunity.
- Limonene – This compound is in fact 90% of the oil in the orange peel. This compound prevents cancer, especially skin cancer.
- Vitamin C – Believe it or not, but just one teaspoon of this peel has an astonishing 8.2 mg of vitamin C! This is a lot for the peel only, and this vitamin is the best to keep the guinea pig alive and healthy.
- A good amount of calories – In 100 g (3 oz) of orange peel, there are 97 calories. This is great because it is not too high or low in calories – considering you won’t feed the guinea pig such an amount of peel.
- Carbs and proteins – In the peel, there are 25 g carbs and 1.5 g of proteins. For just the peel, this is very nutritious.
- Fibers – 10.6 g. They are essential for healthy digestion and bowel movements.
- No cholesterol – This only means – a healthy cardiovascular system and unclogged blood vessels.
- Riboflavin – this nutrient breaks down the fats, proteins, and carbs into energy, and promotes better oxygen flow in the organism.
- Thiamin – this is the B1 vitamin and it prevents problems with the nerves, heart, muscles, stomach, intestines, and brain too. It also brings electrolytes in all muscles and nerves.
- Niacin – The B3 or niacin, lowers cholesterol and eases the pains in the body.
- Vitamin A – This is a strong antioxidant which prevents almost all diseases. Keeps the health of the eyes, skin, muscles, heart, vision, kidneys, lungs and boosts the immunity.
- Vitamin B6 – This vitamin reduces stress and anxiety, boosts the happiness hormone ‘serotonin’, and helps with better sleep.
- Calcium – the whole peel of one orange has 10 mg of calcium. This mineral is vital for strong bones, but it harms the guinea pigs when they are fully grown. Of course, even just a bit of the orange peel would still contain calcium, so this is another reason to serve it in moderation to avoid urinary complications for the guinea pig.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Orange Peels to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary system complications – The orange peel contains calcium. Even in a small amount. Calcium creates urinary stones in the guinea pig’s bladder and kidneys and if not treated right away, it can be fatal!
- Problems with digestion – Because the peel has fibers too, limit it to a moderate amount to avoid diarrhea and indigestion.
- Toxicity from chemicals or pesticides/herbicides – Another risk is that the peel might contain some remains of pesticides and chemicals. This can cause respiratory problems in guinea pigs, nausea, and stomach aches that will cause an urgent visit to the vet! Make sure that you buy oranges that are organic if you can.
Quick Facts on the Orange Tree
- The orange is actually a type of hybrid between mandarin and pomelo
- The oranges were even mentioned in the literature of China, back in 314 BC
- The orange trees are the most cultivated tree type worldwide
- The fruit was named ‘orange’ many centuries before this became the word for the color itself. The original name of the orange color was ‘geoluhread’ or ‘yellow-red’.
- If the navel spot on the orange is big, the orange tastes sweeter (a helpful tip!)
- There are over 600 orange tree types all over the world
- The peel of an orange is used a lot in aromatherapy with peel-based oils – same goes for the perfume industry
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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