What Types of Fruits & Vegetables Do Iguanas Eat?

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Green iguana on wooden stump
Green iguana on wooden stump (Image: pigphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Iguana diets should consist primarily of vegetables high in calcium, such as leafy greens. About 25 percent of their diet can include different types of vegetables and less than 10 percent of their food should consist of fruits. Within these broad guidelines, some vegetables and fruits will provide a better source of nutrients for iguanas than others.

Staple Vegetables and Fruits

Staple vegetables and fruits are good sources of regular nutrients for an iguana. However, iguanas need variation in their diets so alternate what you feed. Staple vegetables, such as alfalfa, green beans, kabocha squash, okra, parsnips, snap peas and yucca root provide a good mix of necessary nutrients for healthy iguanas. Other staples are high in fiber, including acorn squash and butternut squash. Staple greens such as collard greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens and watercress contain more calcium. Although fruits should be a smaller portion of an iguana's diet, staple fruits include cactus leaves, mangoes and papayas. Like staple vegetables, these fruits offer a good balance of the nutrients iguanas need.

Other Vegetables and Fruits

Many nonstaple vegetables and fruits can be given to iguanas a few times each month to add variety to their diets and to provide nutrients. These vegetables and fruits should not be regular parts of their diet. Vegetables that can be used to occasionally supplement an iguana's diet include asparagus, beets, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, coriander, cucumber, kale, parsley, pumpkin, rutabaga, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potato, Swiss chard, yellow squash and zucchini. Iguanas also can have many types of fruits occasionally as well. These fruits include apples, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.

Vegetables and Fruits to Avoid

Lettuce, including iceberg and romaine, lacks substantial nutritional value for iguanas and should never be used as a staple in their diets. Rhubarb is poisonous to iguanas and should be avoided. Similarly, wild plants, flowers or fruits that could have been contaminated by pesticides or herbicides should never be given to iguanas. Foods high in acid, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, also should be avoided because the iguana digestive system cannot properly break them down.

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