Can parrots eat spinach

Can Parrots Eat Spinach?

When it comes to leafy greens, spinach is often touted as the healthiest vegetable. It is rich in nutrients and fiber and low in calories, which means it is healthy for us humans. But can parrots eat spinach and have the same nutritional benefits? 

Parrots can eat spinach but in small amounts. Spinach is a rich source of many essential nutrients and offers a good amount of dietary fiber. However, it should not be fed regularly to parrots.

Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which can impede your parrot’s body’s ability to absorb calcium. Regular consumption of spinach can lead to calcium deficiencies and increase the risk of kidney stones in parrots. In addition to that, spinach is also high in purines, which is also linked with kidney problems in birds.  

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Spinach For Parrots?

Spinach is good for parrots when fed in moderation and occasionally. It is a nutrient-rich vegetable filled with numerous vitamins and minerals. Spinach is packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps promote gut health or keeps digestive issues at bay. There are other health benefits of spinach as well. Spinach contains the following nutrients that are essential for parrots:


Spinach is made up of 93% water, which is good for keeping your parrot hydrated. The water content in addition to the fiber also ensures a healthy bowel movement for the parrot.  


Calcium is needed for healthy and strong bones in parrots. Along with that, it is necessary for various vital bodily processes.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

There are not many vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids available. Spinach can be a great way to introduce omega-3 fatty acids to your parrots.

Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing inflammation in the body and prevent the formation of plaques. Occasional consumption of spinach can provide parrots with a healthy amount of omega 3 fatty acids. 


Iron is an essential mineral for birds that is needed in balanced amounts. It produces hemoglobin, which allows blood to carry oxygen and deliver it throughout the body. 


Spinach has an abundance of antioxidants. It contains lutein, beta-carotene, coumaric acid, and ferulic acid. These antioxidants play a crucial role in warding off chronic diseases and protecting the parrot’s body from oxidative damage. 

Vitamin A

Spinach contains the highest amount of Vitamin A of any leafy green. But that is not all. It is also high in carotenoids, which can be converted into Vitamin A by the body. 

Vitamin A is a crucial nutrient for parrots that is responsible for a variety of different functions. Parrots can benefit from a diet rich in vitamin A in many ways. Some of the benefits include vision, healthy skin, feather health, Immune function, and beak health. 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K acts as a natural coagulant in a bird’s body. It is required in managing blood clotting. Apart from that Vitamin K also plays a role in various physiological functions.

Why Too Much Spinach Can Be Harmful To Parrots?

While spinach is generally a healthy food for parrots, it’s important to avoid feeding it too frequently. This is because spinach contains high levels of oxalates and purines, both of which have been associated with kidney problems.

High In Oxalates

Spinach is one of the highest-oxalate foods, which contributes to increased uric acid levels in the body.

Oxalates bind with calcium in the body and remove the calcium-oxalate compound through the kidneys. They can also accumulate and crystallize as oxalate stones in the body and cause kidney stones. 

So even though spinach has a lot of calcium in it, the high oxalate content makes it unavailable to the body. Eating spinach in large amounts can result in kidney problems in parrots. 

High In Purines

According to the Journal of Advanced Research, spinach is one of the vegetables that contains high amounts of purines.

Consuming spinach regularly can have negative effects on your bird’s health. Spinach contains a naturally occurring group of compounds called purines that the body converts into uric acid.

Normally, a healthy parrot’s kidneys filter out uric acid, eliminating it from the system. However, excessive consumption of spinach can lead to the accumulation and crystallization of uric acid, potentially forming kidney stones.

Cooked vs. Raw Spinach – Which Is Better For Parrots

Parrots can eat spinach both raw and cooked. However, due to the pesticide risk, it is better to offer cooked spinach to your parrot.

Cooking spinach increases the amount of certain nutrients including calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Cooking also breaks down the oxalic acid present in spinach, which leads to better calcium absorption by the parrot’s body. 

While cooking spinach for your parrot, avoid using any methods that involve the use of oils as that can increase the caloric intake and also destroy important nutrients. 

Steam or boil the spinach only and avoid using any seasoning, salt, or additives, as these can be harmful to parrots.

Raw spinach in a bowl

How To Remove Pesticide Residue From Spinach?

Spinach holds the second spot on the dirty dozen as the vegetable with the highest pesticide residue (Source: Environmental Working Group). If you buy spinach from the local market there is a high probability of pesticide. Before serving spinach to your parrot you should ensure it is clean and safe for consumption. 

We recommend, soaking spinach in a mixture of water and baking soda or salt for 20-30 minutes and scrubbing it thoroughly with cold water afterward. This washes out most of the pesticide residue but not completely. 

Can Parrots Eat Spinach Stems?

Spinach stems are edible and can be fed to parrots. They contain a number of nutrients including Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. Spinach stems are also a rich source of dietary fiber. 

The good thing about spinach stems is that they contain much lower amounts of oxalates than spinach leaves.

But it is also worth mentioning that most of the spinach’s nutrition is found in the leaves. Spinach stems are comparatively less nutritionally dense. 

Can Parrots Eat Malabar Spinach?

Yes, parrots can eat Malabar spinach. Malabar spinach is not related to actual spinach but shares many of the same properties. Malabar spinach has three times as much Vitamin C  as spinach.

It is also high in various essential nutrients. But like regular spinach, Malabar spinach should be fed to parrots in small quantities because it also contains high amounts of oxalic acid. 

Can Parrots Eat Frozen Spinach?

You can safely feed frozen spinach to your parrot. Storing spinach in the freezer to extend its life does not have any effect on its nutritional profile and can be safely eaten. You can freeze spinach cooked or raw, though raw spinach retains more of its nutrients. If you buy frozen spinach from the store, you will generally find that it is cooked. 

Can Parrots Eat Canned Spinach?

You should avoid feeding canned spinach to your parrots. Canned foods in general are not healthy for parrots as they contain preseervative and high amounts of salt. Also, fresh spinach has more nutrients than canned spinach.  

How Often Can Parrots Eat Spinach?

Parrots should be fed spinach occasionally. It should not be a part of the regular vegetable chop or mix. This is because regular consumption of spinach can lead to calcium deficiency in parrots. Feeding your parrot spinach infrequently minimizes the risk of calcium malabsorption and kidney problems.  

How Much Spinach Can Parrots Eat?

Spinach should be fed as an occasional snack to parrots. Although spinach boasts a dense nutrition profile, the presence of high oxalates and the risk of pesticide residue make it a less suitable option as a healthy vegetable. Feeding spinach in small portions won’t do any harm and allows your parrot to get the most benefits from the leafy vegetable. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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