If you have ever visited a lake, you are more likely to come across a turtle. This is because turtles spend almost all of their life in freshwater lakes. The only time they are likely to be seen on land is when they want to lay eggs. Tortoises are a species of turtles that mainly live on land because they cannot live underwater; they have feet designed to walk on land. The earliest recorded turtle fossil dates back to 220 million years ago. This means that somehow turtles outlived dinosaurs and survived that meteorite attack, which happened 65 million years ago. Recalling that story “A Hare and a Turtle” that we all have possibly heard about in our initial years at school, I remember the turtle outrunning the hare in a race even though turtles are one of the slowest animals in the world that walk the Earth. That story gave us the lesson of remaining steadfast, firm, and resolute no matter how slow you are.
Most people see all types of turtles as very good household pets because they are mundane, friendly, shy, and they don’t bite; well, at least the smaller ones don’t do much damage. They have not seen the alligator snapping turtles, notorious for the harm it is one bite can cause someone. These turtles can bite off a human finger very quickly with a single chomp. The point I am trying to make here is turtles are generally under-estimated for their abilities.
Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family. Broccoli’s shape is similar to a tree, so if you are ever stuck drawing broccoli, draw a tree, and no one will be able to tell the difference. Broccoli is considered the most hated vegetable in America because some find its taste bitter. Even then, people prefer eating it because a 100-gram serving of it provides us with vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, along with small quantities of protein, fiber, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. The amount of vitamin C in a single 100-gram serving of Broccoli can provide you with enough vitamin C to make you last a day.
How Eating Broccoli Might Benefit Turtles?
You see, Broccoli contains many essential nutrients and minerals. It also contains less amount of carbohydrates and fat. Moreover, it is cholesterol-free.
The Potassium and Sodium in Broccoli are beneficial for normal functioning, allowing the muscles to contract and relax properly.
Vitamin A has a lot of functions. It is responsible for the normal functioning of the eye. It also maintains the epithelial cells lining the interior of ducts that are present in our organ systems. Vitamin A has another function in the body, which is to repair and ensure tissue growth. It sometimes works as an antioxidant (a molecule that protects our body from hazards caused by free radicals), decreasing cancer and stroke chances.
Vitamin B-6 assists an individual in many ways. It reduces depression and might promote brain health. It aids in hemoglobin production, improving the flow of blood in arteries by preventing clogging in them.
Vitamin C has a vital role in the immune system of an individual. It also performs a function in the growth, repair, and development of all body tissues. Vitamin C also assists an individual in the absorption of iron from its diet.
Fiber constitutes the undigested part of the food. It helps the body in proper digestion of the food while also saving it from diseases like constipation.
Magnesium has a function in metabolism. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory substance.
Iron is the central atom in the hemoglobin molecule, making it the heart of the molecule. This establishes the role of iron as an essential mineral.
Should Turtles Eat Broccoli?
If you have read the above paragraph, it might seem obvious to you that if broccolis offers a turtle with all those minerals and vitamins, they should be added to their daily diet. The reality is the opposite. Turtles are NOT supposed to eat Broccoli unless they are not happy with their life and want to die or live a miserable life. The reason is that Broccoli also contains some substances that are known as goitrogens. The very word suggests that it has something to do with goiter (a disease caused when the thyroid gland is not provided with sufficient iodine amounts, causing it to enlarge and swell).
Goitrogens interfere with the thyroid gland’s ability to take up and use iodine. This situation eventually leads to goiter. Goiter can be life-threatening in some cases. The thyroid is responsible for the growth and development of a turtle. It is also involved in regulating turtles’ metabolism, so a dysfunction in the thyroid resulting from goiter can turn out to be dangerous for these reptiles.
So maybe they should stay with their conventional diet.
Why Should You Still Add Broccoli to Your Turtle’s Diet?
However, since Broccoli also contains some essential and vital minerals and vitamins, it can be incorporated into a turtle’s diet. The only problem is concerned with the goitrogens. If the owner can construct and follow a suitable diet plan, then he may give the turtle sufficient amounts of Broccoli in his diet. If the diet plan is made in an organized manner, there will be no harm done, but instead, you will have a perfectly acceptable and healthy turtle. But if you want to be on the safe side, you may use an alternative food that provides the same benefits as Broccoli minus the goitrogens.
Generally speaking, Broccoli must not be considered to be added to a turtle’s diet. They contain substances called goitrogens that are harmful to your pet’s growth, development, and metabolism. So, it is best to avoid them. But if you think that with some careful diet planning, you can somehow incorporate Broccoli into its diet, and then there is no harm in it. It is possible that your pet may not develop a goiter and continue to live a healthy life. In the end, emphasis should be made on researching what other foods can provide your pet with the same benefits while missing out on the harmful and deleterious effects of goitrogens. In this way, you might save your pet’s life and be able to avoid many risks.