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Can Turtles Eat Green Beans? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

turtle eats long beans as food

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you have decided to adopt a turtle as a pet, you’ll want to ensure the food and treats you serve are safe and healthy. It’s important to know that most turtles are omnivores, which means they eat plant and animal-based foods.

Turtles can eat some fresh veggies, but can they eat green beans? You can give your turtle green beans on occasion as part of a balanced and varied diet. They are non-toxic but should not be a dietary staple mainly as they contain phytates which can interfere with mineral absorption. Below, we’ll discuss how to serve green beans to your turtle and how often.

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Are Green Beans Good for Turtles?

Green beans are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C, all of which your turtle needs to be healthy and happy. Omnivorous baby turtles require more protein from insects when they are young, while adult turtles eat more plant material than animal proteins, and green beans can be given as an occasional treat.

Green beans are not nutritionally balanced for turtles and contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is an ‘anti-nutrient’ which binds to calcium and other minerals so that the body cannot use them.

So green beans can be good as a snack, but should not be fed frequently as part of your pet’s regular diet.

Green beans
Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay

What’s the Best Way to Feed Your Turtle Green Beans?

First, you need to wash the green beans thoroughly, as there could be pesticides or poisons on the green beans that might hurt your pet. Then, chop them into small pieces to make them easier for your turtle to eat. Remove any eaten portion after your turtle has finished to keep the enclosure clean. You can serve your turtle around two green beans a month as a healthy treat.

Can Turtles Eat Cooked Green Beans?

Yes, turtles can eat cooked green beans. However, it’s best to avoid feeding cooked green beans to your pet since raw green beans have more nutrients; cooking removes many of the nutrients. It’s also possible that your turtle won’t like cooked green beans either.

Turtle eating Yard Long bean
Image Credit: Nonnakrit, Shutterstock

Which Foods Are Bad for Turtles?

While green beans and other veggies are good for your reptile, there are a few foods you should avoid giving to your turtle altogether.

  • Dairy
  • Sweets
  • Salty foods
  • Processed foods

If your turtle gets into any of the foods above, take them to the vet for a checkup just to be on the safe side. It’s best to write down the type of food and how much you think your pet ate to help your vet with the diagnosis.

What Percentage of Plant and Animal Foods Should I Feed My Turtle

The percentage of plant and animal foods will depend on your turtle’s species and age, but most omnivorous turtles should eat 50% plant material and 50% from animal sources. Depending on the species, the animal protein can be divided into 25% turtle pellets and 25% live food. Dark leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, Bok choy, Swiss Chard, and green cabbage, should make up the bulk of your pet’s plant-based diet.

Final Thoughts

Turtles can eat green beans, but only in moderation. It’s also best not to cook them or serve canned beans, as it takes the nutrients that raw beans would give your turtle and strips them away.

Except for carnivorous species, most turtles can eat green beans on occasion, but before adding green beans to your pet’s diet, check with your veterinarian to ensure it’s okay. Although they’re safe as treats, turtles with medical issues may be limited in their diet choices.

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Featured Image Credit: supakit kittanakongdet, Shutterstock

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