I’ve written a lot about mango, but all of it is well-deserved for this all-important naturally indigenous tropical fruit!I believe mango to be one of the most important foods to feed out parrots, if not the most important fruit!
Mango is packed with beta-carotene, the precursor to the synthesis of Vitamin A and it comes with its very own Omega 3s to help with the absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin as well! In addition mango is high in the amino acid lysine, crucial for the regeneration of feathers and healthy skin by encouraging the production of collagen. Lysine also prevents the growth of the herpes virus while arginine, the most prevalent amino acid in foods encourages the growth of the herpes virus. Is it any wonder that many of the tropical fruits growing as indigenous foods where many exotic birds originate from contain high amounts of lysine?
Only one ounce (28gr) of mango contains:
•10.4mg of omega 3
•3.9mg of omega 6
•214IU of Vitamin A
•11.5mg of lysine
•5.3mg of arginine
•5.9mg of glycine
•5.0mg of proline
•2.8mg of calcium
•2.5mg of magnesium
•1.2mcg of Vitamin K
•2.1mg of choline
These amounts are very important.
•The amount of omega 3 to omega 6 is almost 3 to 1. Due to the fact that the Vitamin A is delivered in pectin fiber it is much easier to absorb and metabolize than any Vitamin A delivered in cellulose fiber where almost all would be lost.
•The amount of lysine to arginine is more than double.
•Mango contains a very good amount of both glycine and proline amino acids. These amino acids are vital in the regeneration and replenishment of the mucus lining of the digestive tract.
•The calcium and magnesium ratio are practically perfect in a 1:1 ratio. In addition, again due to the pectin fiber, and because of the perfect ratio of the calcium and magnesium both minerals can be totally absorbed and metabolized.
•Mango contains a very good amount of Vitamin K good for proper blood clotting and also used for the production of hydrochloric acid for the proper break down of nutrients.
•Finally a good amount of choline is present in mango which aids in the cleansing of the liver.
Once again, due to the kind of fiber mango contains, “pectin” fiber all of the nutrients in mango are easily absorbed and metabolized. Pectin gently flushes the delicate digestive tract of a parrot while also delivering vital nutrients without scrubbing and washing away nutrients from the digestive tract like harsh fiber known as “cellulose” found in botanically classified vegetables.
My only caution with mango is in regards to feather destroyers. If you have a feather destroying bird I would suggest you make sure to feed mango at its peak ripeness, not under-ripe (it will contain salicylates), not over-ripe (it will contain histamines). In addition, peel the skin off and do not allow your bird to chew on the pit. Both the skin and the pit contain salicylates that trigger feather destroyers. Once you have peeled the skin off be sure to rinse the meat of the fruit under filtered water to wash away any salicylate residues before feeding to your bird. –In the wild birds know exactly when to consume their foods. I call this “Parrotuition™” knowing that under-ripe food contains the salic acid Nature places in food to keep insects and other animals from eating the plants as they grow. Birds also know to eat these foods right before they become too ripe and begin to sour, containing histamines. Of course if food is scarce birds will eat whatever they can find, but if food is abundant they will be extremely picky. Don’t you find this true even in your own homes? The more food-abundant you make your bird’s food bowl, the pickier your bird becomes? This should be a clue as to how to get your bird to eat more fruit…simply reduce the amount of seed, grains and highly processed food you feed so your bird’s survival instincts kick in.
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