Healthy Habits We Can Learn From Our Birds

Macaw & Cockatoo foodLooking for some healthy habits to try in the year ahead? Good news! Chances are you have your very own health coach living with you right now — look no further than your feathered friend! Here are a few of your bird’s healthy habits that you should follow, too.

Eat the rainbow. This trending phrase is a simple way to remind us to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to help get the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. The same goes for our pet birds. Parrots cannot live on seed alone — they thrive when fed a healthy diet that is supplemented by a variety of fruits and veggies. Likewise, their human stewards cannot and should not consume a diet devoid of healthy selections. In the wild, parrots are natural-born foragers — they eat what’s in season, which adds variety; we can reap health benefits by doing the same. Try some of these winter fruits and veggies.

Eat slow, and enjoy your food. Ever noticed that your bird takes his/her time to thoroughly enjoy a favorite food? Birds eat different than our canine companions. A dog is more inclined to gulp down a prized treat, while a parrot might very well take a a good five minutes to eat a single blueberry. We humans can take a cue from our birds and take the time to enjoy our food. Research shows that chewing until “no lumps remain” increases the number of calories the human body burns during digestion: about 10 extra calories for a 300-calorie meal. Extra chewing also slows the pace of eating, which may be another reason why it’s a healthier way to eat. Slow eating may also help people eat more mindfully and tune in to their feelings of fullness.

Eat breakfast. Imagine your bird starting the day without breakfast. In the wild, the flock’s foraging begins soon after the sun rises. Chances are your bird wakes in morning waiting patiently (or impatiently) for his or her food. Birds are breakfast eaters for sure … if you asked your bird, he or she probably couldn’t fathom why their favorite humans would forgo breakfast. Birds don’t need a doctor to tell them that breakfast does a body good, but us silly humans sometimes need a little reminding, so here are some good reasons to eat breakfast, according to WebMD. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping to burn calories throughout the day, and it helps you focus at work or at school. Many studies link eating breakfast to better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight — no wonder breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day.

 

Laura Doering

About Laura Doering

Laura Doering is the former editor of Bird Talk magazine and its sister publication, Birds USA magazine. She has covered just about every topic related to pet birds during her 13-year tenure at Bird Talk.