For A Naturally Healthy Pet
Grapes: Should I Feed Them To My Birds?
By Alicia McWatters, Ph.D., C.N.C.
During the winter months when organically grown grapes are unavailable, I omit them from the mash recipe. I know my birds really love them, but I won’t buy the ones grown in Chile. One of the worst chemicals (they’re all bad) used on grapes is sulfur dioxide. This chemical preservative can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are sensitive to it. These reactions may include breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, hives, diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases anaphylactic shock and death. Sulfites are also used in some restaurants on salads, fruits, and vegetables to keep them looking fresh, when they're not. The FDA, however, considers it a safe chemical and leaves the responsibility to the consumer as to whether they should eat a food containing sulfites.
Well, now for the bright side… When and if we can purchase grapes organically grown, I highly recommend them for ourselves, and our birds. The red grapes are known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin. This acts as an antioxidant and works synergistically with vitamin C to enhance its effectiveness to prevent infection, cancer, and inflammation by stimulating the immune system.
If you can, buy the red grapes w/seeds for your birds as these are preferable since the seeds are known to contain substances called pycnogenols (OPC’s). These substances are bioflavonoids, which have a high degree of antioxidant activity and may be helpful for conditions, such as allergies, arthritis, cardiovascular system problems, and stress reduction.
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