Edamame is the immature soybeans in the pod. The beans are versatile and can be eaten fresh or used as part of a meal, or made into dipping sauces. If you enjoy eating edamame, you may have a bag or two of frozen edamame in the freezer. Since they are safe and nutritious for humans to eat, you may wonder if guinea pigs can eat them too.
Can guinea pigs eat edamame? Yes, guinea pigs can eat edamame, but only if it’s cooked first. Fresh raw edamame will be tough and contain a toxin that is poisonous. By cooking the edamame first, it will lower the toxin to an acceptable level that is safe for guinea pigs to eat. Besides that, edamame is a great treat for them as it’s packed with nutrition, especially fiber, protein, and vitamin C that they can benefit from.
Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Edamame?
Edamame that is uncooked or undercooked contains high amounts of glycoprotein lectin. This is a toxin that is dangerous both for humans and guinea pigs alike.
The harmful toxins can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within 2 hours after the guinea pigs eat them. Therefore, avoid feeding them edamame that has not been cooked yet.
To prevent any digestive issues, prior to feeding them edamame, cooked the beans thoroughly first. Cook the beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes. It will turn bright green once it’s cooked.
Besides the toxins being removed from the beans, it will also become soft. This will make it easier for them to chew and digest it.
Before feeding them to the cavys, let it cool down to room temperature.
Health Benefits of Edamame For Guinea Pigs?
Edamame is rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially, folate and vitamin K. This nutrition makes them beneficial for the health of guinea pigs.
Below are some of the health benefits the guinea pigs will obtain from eating edamame:
High in Protein
Edamame contains around 12% protein, which is a good amount for plant food. This bean is also an excellent source of quality protein, providing all the essential amino acids.
Protein is needed for many bodily functions to operate properly. For one, muscles need protein for repair and development.
Another thing protein does is gives tissues and organs their shape and help them work as they should.
For guinea pigs, all of this is crucial for them as they require a good amount of protein each day to grow and stay healthy.
High In Fiber Content
Edamame is a good source of fiber, which helps promote a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps regulate bowel movement and prevent constipation.
Regular fiber intake will help the food guinea pigs eat move smoothly throughout their digestive tract.
High in Vitamin C
Edamame has a good amount of vitamin C in them. This is vital for the guinea pigs as they can’t make their own vitamin C in their body. They will need to obtain it from an outside source.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system of guinea pigs. This will help prevent them from becoming sick. If they do get sick, giving them plenty of food rich in vitamin C will help them recover quickly.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Edamame Shell?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat edamame shells, but it’s not recommended to feed them. The shell doesn’t contain any toxins, but it’s tough and hard for the guinea pigs to eat.
If you try feeding it to them, they’ll eat it, but it could cause them to choke on it. Even if the shells are cooked, it will still be too tough for guinea pigs to eat.
Therefore, it’s better to throw away the edamame shell and let them eat just the beans inside.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Edamame?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cooked edamame, and this is the only recommended way to feed it to them. Again, uncooked edamame contains a toxin that can cause a serious digestive issue for them. Be sure it’s cooked first before feeding edamame to your guinea pigs.
With cooked edamame, most of the time, it is cooked with salt and other ingredients to add flavor to them. Salt in a small amount is fine for guinea pigs, but too much of it can cause serious health problems.
If you bought frozen edamame, they will usually be cooked with salt added already. Avoid feeding them to the guinea pigs as they contain a lot of salt.
Therefore, edamame that you are planning on feeding your guinea pigs, make sure it’s cooked and contains no salt.
How To Feed Edamame To Guinea Pigs
To feed edamame to guinea pigs, you will simply crack open the shell and feed them the bean inside. Make sure that it’s cooked first before giving the beans to them. Otherwise, they will have a hard time biting the beans and could potentially get sick from eating them.
Another option is to mix the edamame beans with hay and pellets. This a great way to give them an extra boost of nutrition.
How Many Edamame To Feed Guinea Pigs
Edamame is relatively safe for guinea pigs when it’s cooked, but you should only feed them in moderation. At each feeding, give them whole edamame to eat. Each edamame will contain about 3-4 beans inside, depending on the size of it. This is enough for the guinea pig to enjoy as a treat.
Other Vegetables That Guinea Pigs Can Eat
Green beans make an excellent snack for guinea pigs. They are low in calories and rich in vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrition. Due to their high amount of phosphorus and calcium, only feed them in moderation. Give them one green bean at each feeding and a couple of times per week.
Brocolli is one of the vegetables that should comprise the bulk of your guinea pig’s fresh produce. They are loaded with nutrition, especially vitamin C. Since it’s low in calcium, you can feed broccoli to them on a daily basis.
Green pepper is another vegetable that is a good addition to the guinea pig’s regular diet. They are low in sugar and calories, but high in vitamin C. You can feed them the pepper along with the seeds.
Can guinea pigs eat soybean?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat soybean, but only in moderation. This is due to their high content of calcium and protein. Feeding them too much of it can cause them to have digestive issues.