Can Turtles Eat Broccoli? 3 Risks | Full Guide

can turtles eat broccoli

Broccoli is of the best sources of Calcium, Vitamin K, and much more; this healthy green vegetable is essential for maintaining healthy and strong bones. Being considered a powerhouse of nutrition, broccoli is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, and more. This healthy, green veggie is none other than a very close relative of cabbage and broccoli. Even when broccoli is consumed raw, it provides a lot of healthy elements. But the question is, are these benefits of broccoli only limited to people? 

The question roaming in the curious minds of pet owners is: can turtles eat broccoli? Are they nutritious for them too? Can broccoli cause any negative impacts on the health of turtles? 

Can Turtles Eat Broccoli?

Yes! turtles can consume broccoli. But pet owners should always avoid serving broccoli to turtles, however occasional feeding can go! 

Broccoli consists of:

  • High water content 
  • Sugar, Dietary fibers
  • Carbohydrates, Potassium, Sodium 
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C
  • Calcium, Magnesium
  • Goitrogen
  • Oxalic Acid

Apart from broccoli, there are a lot of green veggies known as very nutritious for turtles, and some of them are green cabbage, red cabbage, kale, parsley, bok choy, alfalfa, and a lot more. 

How Often Can Turtles Eat broccoli?

Broccoli is known to be very healthy for pet owners, but they are not so good for turtles. So, it should be given occasionally, and it’s even better to avoid feeding broccoli to turtles. Even when broccoli has many nutritious elements, turtles can’t consume it regularly! And pet owners should ensure that they only serve these greens to their turtles, occasionally and only for the change of taste. 

Since this healthy green veggie is known to have traces of goitrogens, regular consumption by turtles can cause thyroid disruption in them. Pet owners can serve broccoli to their turtles only once a month and should ensure they are not overfeeding them.

2 Risks of Feeding Broccoli to Turtles 

Goitrogens Can Damage the Liver and Kidney 

One of the most dangerous elements for turtles in broccoli is goitrogens. If broccoli is consumed regularly, it will start accumulating inside the turtles’ bodies and affect the function of the kidneys and liver. 

The presence of goitrogens in broccoli makes it very harmful to thyroid function. Also, it can lead to the death of turtles in the worst cases, and therefore it is not considered so safe and healthy for turtles to consume broccoli regularly. 

Oxalic Acid Interfere Calcium Absorption 

Apart from goitrogens, broccoli also consists of oxalic acid, which can lead to difficulties in the proper and healthy absorption of calcium in turtles that can adversely affect their bodies.

Calcium absorption is one of the essential processes in turtles, and if their body is not doing this correctly, it will affect their bones and shells. And oxalic acid is known as one of the enemies of calcium absorption, and broccoli consists of oxalic acid, which can affect this essential process in turtles.

How to Feed Broccoli to Turtles?

Light Cooking is a Boon 

As mentioned above, broccoli consists of goitrogen; it can be finished if cooked properly. And also, cooking makes the broccoli easy to swallow and digest. And so, light cooking is advised for pet owners.

Add as a Topping to the Salad 

Salads can be one of the best ways to feed broccoli to turtles, along with many other healthy fruits and vegetables such as apples, watermelon, beans, and much more. 


So many healthy elements are present in broccoli, and are highly nutritious for individuals to consume. But, one should understand that it is not necessary that if some veggie or fruit is healthy for people, it can be beneficial as well for pets! 

The same happens with broccoli, so the answer to whether can turtles eat broccoli is that though turtles can eat broccoli, the owner should avoid feeding the same to their pet turtles.. No doubt, turtles can consume broccoli and even love the taste, but that does not mean it is equally nutritious for them. Broccoli has water content, making it perfect for turtles that are not getting enough water in their body. It also has very low-calorie content, so pet owners do not have to worry about obesity issues in their turtles. 

Foods Not Good for Reptiles


Can baby turtles eat broccoli?

No! Baby turtles should always be kept away from broccoli as they are not healthy to consume, but on the other hand, it will only harm them.

Is broccoli safe for turtles?

Yes! Broccoli is considered safe and nutritious for turtles to consume, and pet owners can serve it.

Can aquatic turtles eat broccoli?

No! Broccoli can be nutritious for pet owners but not for their aquatic turtles, so they should never serve them broccoli.

Can musk turtles eat broccoli?

No! Musk turtles should be kept away from broccoli as they are not considered safe and healthy food.

Can paint turtles eat broccoli?

No! Pet owners should ensure they are not feeding broccoli to their painted turtles. They can feed them other healthy options among so many fruits and veggies.

Can box turtles eat broccoli?

Box turtles can consume many fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to broccoli, pet owners should only serve them occasionally and not regularly.

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