Can Turtles Eat Broccoli? The Full Guide

If you are starting with pets, turtles are your ideal pets. These sluggish creatures do not need so much to be happy. They even do with very little attention.

When it comes to their diet, they’re pretty easy to please as well; they can eat most of the fruits and veggies safely in moderation. But what about broccoli?

Feeding a turtle is quite easy, they are not picky eaters. Turtles can feed on most vegetables and fruits, so long as it is served in moderation. But people often wonder, what about broccoli?

Can turtles eat broccoli?  The answer is yes, turtles can eat broccoli in moderation. They would rather eat the leaves of broccoli than the vegetable and that’s perfectly safe for them, but do not feed them broccoli stems. The stems contain a harmful toxin known as goitrogens that can be detrimental to their kidneys.

In moderation, broccoli can make a good addition to your turtle’s diet, but keep in mind the toxic parts to avoid, such as the stems, they will eat most parts of the plant but the stem.

Which species does your pet turtle belong to? Are you wondering whether their particular species can eat broccoli or not? Worry not, for in this article, you will find the answers to all your questions about feeding broccoli to turtles.

Are you curious if your turtle’s species is the type that can eat broccoli or not? Well, we did the homework for you. This article is a passionate attempt to answer that question in great depth.

Do turtles like eating broccoli?

Most turtles are not picky eaters, considering most pet species are omnivores, they’ll eat just about anything you throw at them.

To put things in perspective, a couple of pet turtle owners are reporting that their turtles relish broccoli. So don’t be worried, turtles enjoy broccoli just as they do other fruits and vegetables.

Is broccoli healthy for turtles?

A more potent question would be ” is broccoli a healthy addition to my pet’s diet?” Obviously, Yes. The chart below breaks provides a clear and concise nutritional guide for veggies:

Nutrients Quantity
Vitamin A 131 mcg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.071 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.117 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.639 mg
Vitamin B4 (Choline) 18.7 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.537 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.175 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 63 mcg
Vitamin C 89.2 mg
Vitamin E 0.78 mg
Vitamin K 101.6 mg
Calcium 47 mg
Iron 0.73 mg
Phosphorus 66 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Potassium 316 mg
Manganese 0.21 mg
Copper 0.049 mg
Sodium 33 mg
Zinc 0.41 mg
Carbohydrates 6.64 g
Fat 0.37 g
Protein 2.82 g
Calories 34 kcal

Serving size: 100 grams

From the chart, we can infer that broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable. Humans have long benefited from the nutritional benefits of this amazing vegetable. But turtles are different from humans, by implication they do not share nutritional requirements with us.

So, does broccoli fulfil its nutritional requirements? We’ll see shortly:

Turtles require only Vitamins A and D for healthy growth. Luckily, broccoli contains one of them in moderation.

Vitamin A plays a crucial role in boosting the immune system of turtles as well as improving their eyesight and reproductive health. A deficiency of Vitamin A, in a turtle’s diet, can lead to vision-related problems, aural abscesses, and Hypervitaminosis A.

If the concern is minerals, they require Calcium and Phosphorus, both of which can be found in broccoli.

Therefore, we can conclude that broccoli is a safe and healthy addition to a turtle’s diet.

There must be downsides, right? is it bad to feed broccoli to turtles

From the facts in the previous sections, the health benefits of broccoli are glaring, but are there any caveats? Most things have pros and cons so let’s investigate the cons of broccoli for turtles:

  • Broccoli contains goitrogens that can inhibit a turtle’s iodine intake and lead to kidney diseases. 
  • Some of the nutrients are considered anti-nutrients, meaning they may be detrimental to the turtle’s health in the long run.
  • Brocolli contains Oxalic acid which can impede the absorption of calcium in the turtle’s body.
  • Purines are present in broccoli and they are known to increase the production of turic acid production in their body, which can stress their kidneys.

The cons listed can be avoided so long as you feed broccoli to your pet turtle in moderation.

What turtle species can eat broccoli?

The Tuttle family is broad, consisting of over 3000 species with varying dietary requirements. Some of them are carnivores, surviving on a meat-based diet. This begs the question, can broccoli be fed to all turtles? Not exactly. Let’s take a look at some of the most common turtle species and see if they can eat broccoli.

Can Red-eared Sliders eat broccoli?

It is a bad idea to feed Red-eared Sliders broccoli, they are omnivores, semi-aquatic turtles, so naturally, all they eat comes from aquatic vegetation to fish- comes from the water and broccoli doesn’t fall into that category.

Can Box Turtles eat broccoli?

The typical diet of a Box Turtle is fruits and insects such as earthworms and crickets. Among their favorites are fruits and vegetables, they also relish cabbages and butternut squash.

While broccoli is not considered a staple for the Box Turtle, you can feed them occasionally. To prepare it for them, you can steam-cook some broccoli for them.

Can Green Sea Turtles eat broccoli?

Green Sea Turtles are strictly herbivores living exclusively in oceans. Broccoli is not part of the aquatic vegetation so it does not make sense to introduce it to them. 

Can Yellow-bellied Turtles eat broccoli?

Yellow-bellied Turtles require a lot of green leaves in their diet. The subject of broccoli as a part of their diet is a controversial topic. The key point to remember is moderation, so long as you keep that in mind there will be no problems.

Can Desert Turtles eat broccoli?

The Desert Turtles only require 15% of vegetables in their diet while the rest is majorly grass. A wrong diet may cut short their lifespan. So keep the broccoli away, it is a bad idea.

 Can turtles eat broccoli leaves?

So far, we’ve only discussed turtles eating broccolis. Is there any other part of these plants that these reptiles can eat? For instance, their leaves?

We have so far, discussed broccoli, but are there any part of these amazing plants that turtles cannot eat? Perhaps the leaves. 

The leaves are safer for your turtles and they prefer it. Broccoli leaves are high in fiber and full of Vitamin A. Think of the ideal leafy green and there you go! In conclusion, the leaves are a healthy addition to your turtle’s diet, but remember to do it in moderation.

Is it safe to feed turtles broccoli stems?

The stems of broccoli as well as the flower contain goitrogens. A substance that can interrupt your pet’s thyroid activity and cause liver problems. The stems contain a higher concentration of goitrogens when compared to the flower. So it is not a very good idea to feed them broccoli stems.

Can baby turtles eat broccoli?

No, they cannot, it is a terrible idea. The health of a turtle is extremely fragile at infancy and requires the right nutrients for healthy growth and strong immune function. Even in moderation, they are too young to be fed just about anything. So it is unacceptable to feed baby turtles broccoli.

Instead, continue with their feed until they are fully developed adults. But if you’re curious, you can settle for lettuce or dandelion leaves, not broccoli.

Final Thoughts: Can turtles eat broccoli?

Broccoli is not the healthiest treat out there but turtles relish them. So long as you feed broccoli to turtles in moderation, there would be no problems.