Bell peppers for bearded dragons
iStock.com/zhengzaishuru

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers are normally mild and not too sweet, so are they a good food to feed to bearded dragons?

The short answer is, yes bell peppers can be fed to bearded dragons, but only in very small portions and no more than once or twice per month. Bell peppers (also referred to as sweet peppers) contain a high level of oxalates. Green and yellow bell peppers are healthier than red bell peppers, however all types are relatively safe for healthy bearded dragons. There are a few areas of concern which are outlined below.

Bell Pepper Nutrition

Below is the nutrition profile for green bell peppers. Most bell peppers have the same nutritional information, except red peppers have significantly more vitamin A, but we'll discuss this in more detail.

Reptile Nutrition

Green Bell Peppers (raw)Per 100g Serving
Core
Calories20Cal
Water Content93.89g
Carbohydrates4.64g
Total Carbohydrate4.64g
Fiber, total dietary1.7g
Sugars2.4g
Fructose1.12g
Glucose1.16g
Sucrose0.11g
Fat0.17g
Total Fat0.17g
Total saturated0.058g
16:00.05g
18:00.008g
Total monounsaturated0.008g
18:10.008g
Total polyunsaturated0.062g
18:20.054g
18:30.008g
Proteins0.86g
Protein0.86g
Alanine0.036g
Arginine0.027g
Aspartic acid0.208g
Betaine0.1mg
Cystine0.012g
Glutamic acid0.194g
Glycine0.03g
Histidine0.01g
Isoleucine0.024g
Leucine0.036g
Lysine0.039g
Methionine0.007g
Phenylalanine0.092g
Proline0.024g
Serine0.054g
Threonine0.036g
Tryptophan0.012g
Tyrosine0.012g
Valine0.036g
Minerals
Calcium, Ca10mg
Copper0.066mg
Fluoride2μg
Iron0.34mg
Magnesium10mg
Manganese0.122mg
Phosphorus, P20mg
Potassium, K175mg
Sodium3mg
Zinc0.13mg
Vitamins
Vitamin A, IU370IU
Vitamin A, RAE18μg
Alpha-carotene21μg
Beta Cryptoxanthin7μg
Beta-carotene208μg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin341μg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.057mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.028mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.48mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.099mg
Vitamin B60.224mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)10μg
Folate (from food)10μg
Folate (dietary equivalent)10μg
Vitamin C80.4mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.37mg
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone)7.4μg
Choline5.5mg
Sterols
Phytosterols9mg
Other
Oxalates117mg
pH5
Nutrition Scores
Ca:P Ratio0.5:1
Ca:P RatingPoor
Safe to FeedOnce per month
HealthinessUnhealthy

Notes/Instructions: Remove top and all seeds. Slice into thin strips. Serve at room temperature.
Show Less
Expand

Areas of Interest

Below are the main areas of interest with bell peppers.

Vitamin A

Green and yellow bell peppers both have a safe amount of vitamin A (200-370 IU). Red peppers, on the other hand, have a huge amount of vitamin A - 3,131 IU. This should not be a concern unless you're giving your beardie vitamin A supplements containing retinoids.

PepperVitamin AYellow bell peppers200 IUGreen bell peppers370 IURed bell peppers3,131 IU

Most reptile supplements use beta-carotene, which is the natural form of vitamin A found in foods like bell peppers. So if you're using a reptile supplement, the chances are you're fine as any unneeded beta-carotene will be passed in urine unabsorbed.

Supplements for people, on the other hand, commonly use retinoids which is a synthetic vitamin A. Retinoids must be absorbed by the body and cannot be passed in urine. This can lead to vitamin A toxicity if foods high in vitamin A are consumed as it forced the body to absorb a toxic level of vitamin A. If you're using non-reptile supplements containing retinoids (powders, liquids, or sprays) you will want to avoid red bell peppers as they contain too much natural vitamin A.

High Oxalates

Oxalates are chemicals in plants that remove calcium and prevent it from being absorbed. Frequently serving bearded dragons food high in oxalates can remove a significant amount of calcium from their diet. 100g of bell peppers contain over 100mg of oxalates which is considered very high. To reduce the negative effect of oxalates in bell peppers you should limit the portion of pepper you feed to your beardie to 10g of pepper.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

Green and yellow bell peppers contain twice as much phosphorus as calcium, whereas red bell peppers contain 3x more phosphorus than calcium. This is not ideal as phosphorus blocks calcium absorption. A simple trick is to assume each mg of phosphorus will block one mg of calcium from being absorbed. This means you will need to feed your beardie foods rich in calcium alongside bell peppers to make sure they receive enough calcium.

PepperCa:P RatioCa, P mgGreen bell peppers0.5:110mg, 20mgYellow bell peppers0.5:111mg, 24mgRed Bell peppers0.3:17mg, 26mg

How to Feed Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are easy to prepare and feed to bearded dragons. Due to their high phosphorus and oxalate content bell peppers should be fed to beardies no more than once or twice per month. You should also feed bell peppers with other foods which are high in calcium to prevent any mineral imbalances.

Bell Pepper Preparation

Remove the top and all seeds from the pepper. Cut the pepper into rings. On a medium-sized pepper each ring is roughly 10g of bell pepper. Due to the high level of oxalates in bell peppers you should only feed your beardie 10g, or one ring.

Cut the ring into smaller strips and make sure each strip is no longer than the distance between your bearded dragon's eyes. Mix the peppers with other foods (ideally high in calcium) and serve them to your beardie at room temperature.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?

Bananas are easy to cut and consume, but can they be fed to bearded dragons without health risks?

Go to the Previous Page
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries?

Are blueberries safe for bearded dragons and how much is healthy? Discover everything about feeding blueberries to bearded dragons.

Go to the Next Page

About this Article

Authored by:The Bearded Dragon
Updated:January 4, 2023
This article has been edited 4 times since first published. Please let us know of any suggestions or improvements.
Site Menu