Wheatgrass is really healthy and nutritious, but what exactly is this food? We use this super-food in many healthy recipes, and we can take it as a supplement too. You have surely seen or heard about the wheatgrass juice for example – it looks (and smells) like someone blended some lawn trimmings! Simply put, the wheatgrass represents the fresh, first sprouted leaves of the wheat plant. It is healthy, it makes our immunity stronger, and is perfect for a detox. This got me thinking about whether my guinea pig can have the same amazing benefits from wheatgrass like me. Guinea pigs are vegetarians and herbivores animals, so this could be amazing food for them. Well, let’s find out if our guinea pigs can eat this superfood!
Can guinea pigs eat wheatgrass? Yes, guinea pigs can eat wheatgrass. This food is very healthy for the guinea pigs, and they really love the taste of wheatgrass. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Wheatgrass contains some of the most important nutrients for the health of the guinea pigs, such as vitamin C (this vitamin is crucial for them).
Feel free to add wheatgrass to the list of foods guinea pigs can eat safely. I found out that wheatgrass can be easily grown at home, or it can be store-bought, and this simplifies everything. This means the guinea pigs can now enjoy fresh wheatgrass anytime, and I get to have fun with planting this amazing food. In case this is a new food for the cavy, or you want to know how it is prepared and served, there is a lot more to discover about wheatgrass – all mentioned in the sections below.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Wheatgrass
- Good digestion – wheatgrass has a very good amount of fiber, which is amazing for the stomach of the guinea pigs. With enough fibers daily, there won’t be indigestion or stomach pains. And, if the guinea pig suffers from constipation, the wheatgrass will surely work up the bowels better.
- Scurvy prevention – guinea pigs don’t produce or store vitamin C, so any food rich in vitamin C is great for the cavies. Why? Because it keeps them safe against the disease called scurvy (symptoms: diarrhea, loss of appetite, rough coat, discharge, bleedings, fatigue).
Nutrition Facts of Wheatgrass
For 100 g (3 oz) of wheatgrass, these are the nutrients:
- High in calories – 429 calories. Whit this amount of calories wheatgrass will provide, and also it provides the body with enough energy.
- High in carbs and protein – there are a lot of carbs and proteins in wheatgrass, 57.1 g of carbs and 28.6 g of proteins. Such amounts of the two main energy sources will keep the guinea pig active and warm all day long.
- A good amount of fiber – with 28.6 g of fibers in the wheatgrass, the digestion will be faster and better, and the bowel movements regular and not painful.
- Vitamin A – 857%. Vitamin A boosts the overall immunity and health. With enough of it, the skin, heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, and vision will be healthier.
- Vitamin C – 333%. There is one thing that guinea pigs can’t live without, and that is the vitamin C. This vitamin prevents them from the scurvy disease, and wheatgrass has huge amounts of vitamin C!
- Vitamin E – 9143 mg. This vitamin improves eye health, reduces the risk of some cancers, prevents heart diseases, and reduces inflammation.
- Vitamin K – 1250%. With vitamin K, the blood will be healthier and also vitamin K produces enough of the blood protein called prothrombin.
- Thiamin – 314 mg. This is the B1 vitamin, and it prevents problems with muscles, brain, stomach, intestines, and heart. It can also improve the flow of electrolytes into nerves and muscles.
- Riboflavin – 7429 mg. Also known as vitamin B2, it allows the body to use the oxygen well, but it also converts foods into energy.
- Niacin – 7200 mg. Niacin is the B3 vitamin; it lowers cholesterol, prevents heart diseases, diabetes, and it improves the skin quality.
- Vitamin B6 – 1114 mg. The B6 will make the guinea pig sleep better, they will be lees stressed, and even happier because this vitamin helps with serotonin production (happiness hormone)
- Pantothenic acid – 1029 mg. This is the B5 vitamin and it is important for creating new blood cells. It also converts foods into energy.
- Calcium – 429 mg. The calcium forms strong bone tissues, but in excess, it is harmful to the guinea pigs and their urinary tract.
- Iron – 229 mg. Iron is found in the red blood cells and its role is to remove fatigue and weakness, boost the immunity, and prevent against anemia. The guinea pig will be very energetic and healthy.
- Magnesium – 111 mg. Magnesium keeps the bones healthy, prevents against diabetes, heart problems, and it reduces stress too.
- Potassium – 2943 mg. Potassium improves bone density and muscle mass as well. Also, it reduces the risk of kidney stones formations and high blood pressure.
- Zinc – 1771 mg. Zinc reduces the risk of chronic illnesses, it boosts the immunity and helps with treating diarrhea.
- Copper – 48.6 mg. The copper creates red blood cells. With copper, the immunity is much better, bones and blood vessels are healthier, and there is less risk of heart diseases.
- Manganese – 4000 mg. This nutrient improves bone health, reduces risk of diseases, reduces inflammation too, and it regulates the blood sugar.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Wheatgrass to Guinea Pigs
- Stomach pains – if this is a new food for your guinea pig, it is a good idea to start off with a small handful of wheatgrass a few times per week. This way you can avoid the tummy cramps of this fibrous grass. Since wheatgrass has a lot of fiber that works up the stomach, it is best to let the guinea pig adjust slowly if this is a new food. Over time, you can start serving wheatgrass more often.
- Urinary problems – wheatgrass has a lot of calcium, and sadly, this mineral is harmful to the urinary system of the guinea pigs. When it’s found in excess in the organism, it creates kidney and bladder stones, blood in the urine, frequent urinary infections and even painful urination.
Wheatgrass: Serving size, Frequency, and Preparation
Guinea pigs can eat wheatgrass daily without any problems. But, if they haven’t been consuming wheatgrass regularly, introduce this food slowly, every other day for example, and a small handful at first would be enough. To serve it, you just rinse the grass and give it to the guinea pig as clippings, or even directly from the container.
Can I grow wheatgrass at home, so I can have it fresh for my guinea pigs all the time?
Yes, you can grow wheatgrass at home! You can find the seeds in every local garden store and in health food stores. Then, you will also need growing trays, seed sprouting jar, and organic potting mix.
If you buy the wheatgrass instead of growing your own, always make sure there isn’t mold on it, and that the color is bright green. Be careful as far as the mold goes, it is usually noticed in the store-bought, packed wheatgrass. In this case, look for the better brands of wheatgrass in the healthy food aisles.
Quick Facts on Wheatgrass
- Wheatgrass is also known as ‘liquid gold’ because one glass of wheatgrass juice equals 1 ½ pound of dark leafy greens.
- Wheatgrass is gluten-free, so don’t be confused by the ‘wheat’ in the name.
- It takes only one minute for wheatgrass to be digested.
- 1 oz of wheatgrass has the same nutrients as 2 pounds of some veggies!
- Wheatgrass became popular in the USA in the 1930s
- Ancient Egyptians used wheatgrass for the health benefits, 5000 years ago
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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