Mushrooms, the fruiting bodies of fungi, have been used by humans for centuries for culinary and healing purposes (1). Nevertheless, some individuals are worried that a pregnant woman may be poisoned or suffer neurological alterations from consuming mushrooms, particularly hallucinogenic ones, aka magic mushrooms.
Although some mushrooms should be avoided during pregnancy like magic mushrooms and wild foraged mushrooms, there are edible varieties that are not only safe to eat, but also advantageous for your well-being.
Continue reading as we analyze the health benefits of mushrooms, identify which varieties are safe to eat during pregnancy, pinpoint those to stay away from while expecting, and show you the correct way to prepare them.
Benefits Of Eating Mushrooms When Pregnant
Mushrooms are a nourishing and adaptable food that can be consumed in numerous ways. Not only are they scrumptious, but they also provide numerous health advantages. Mushrooms have a broad array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may help boost your immunity and overall well-being, which is very important during pregnancy (2). They also possess anti-inflammatory qualities which could potentially reduce the danger of certain illnesses such as cancer (3).
Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein, with some varieties containing up to 20 percent of our daily recommended intake. This is important as protein is essential for a variety of functions in the body, including muscle growth and repair, energy production, and hormone regulation.
Mushrooms are an outstanding source of Vitamin B, with various B-complex vitamins including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are essential for energy production, regular growth and development, as well as the accurate running of the nervous system.
Vitamin B is especially advantageous for those who suffer from anemia or lack other essential nutrients as it encourages energy production and stimulates the creation of healthy red blood cells, which is particularly crucial during pregnancy (4).
Mushrooms are high in fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion and regularity. Fiber can also help to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, as well as reduce inflammation in the body thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that facilitates the absorption of calcium in our bodies, thereby fortifying bones and teeth, as well as keeping blood pressure in check (5). Mushrooms are among the rare foods that possess Vitamin D and the amount of this vitamin differs from one type to another.
Iron helps deliver oxygen to cells, supports immune system function and energy levels, and helps with cognitive development and red blood cell production (6). Knowing this, it’s important to have this essential mineral available to you if needed as it plays a vital role in many bodily functions.
Mushrooms are one of the few sources of iron found in the plant kingdom, making them an excellent choice for those looking to increase their iron intake. And during pregnancy, the need for iron increases to 27 mg to support the fetus and what it needs (7).
As we mentioned above, mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants that helps fight free radicals and protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress (8). Luckily, antioxidants can be found in many foods, but mushrooms are especially rich in them. They contain powerful compounds, such as polyphenols, carotenoids, and selenium (9). These compounds help to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
All these factors make mushrooms a great addition to any balanced diet, helping you to stay healthy and energized throughout the day.
Nutritional Value Of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are essentially fat-free, low in sodium, and contain only a few calories. Furthermore, they have no cholesterol. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The exact nutrition will depend on the variety of mushrooms, but in general, they offer several essential nutrients.
Research suggests an 84-gram serving of oyster mushrooms contains (10):
- Energy (kcal): 27.7
- Protein (g): 2.78
- Cholesterol (mg): 0
- Calcium (mg): 2.52
- Carbs (g): 5.12
- Iron (mg): 1.12
What Mushrooms Can You Eat When Pregnant
Many types of mushrooms are suitable for pregnant women to enjoy, including button mushrooms, portobello, lion’s mane, shiitake, oyster, and morel varieties.
- Button mushrooms are flavorful and make a great addition to sauces.
- Portobello mushrooms are typically large and have a meaty texture, which is ideal for roasting or grilling.
- Shiitake mushrooms are great for soups and stir-fries because of their earthy taste.
- Oyster mushrooms have a delicate flavor that pairs well with other vegetables in stir-fries or salads.
- Morel mushrooms are considered the most flavorful and make an excellent addition to any dish.
All of these delicious types of mushrooms can be enjoyed while you’re pregnant to get additional nutrition during this important time in your life.
What Mushrooms To Avoid While Pregnant
Please be aware that wild foraged mushrooms may contain toxins that can be hazardous to expectant mothers and their unborn infants. Popular types of wild mushrooms that should not be consumed while pregnant are Death Caps, yellow-staining mushrooms (agaricus xanthodermus), and Destroying Angel (12, 13, 14).
Additionally, certain cultivated varieties may contain higher concentrations of toxins than their wild counterparts. So, it is important to check the label carefully before purchasing any mushroom products and always make sure to cook thoroughly. Also, be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your nutritional plan.
Mushroom Supplements To Take
The taste or texture of mushrooms isn’t for everyone. Mushroom supplements provide the same nutritional benefits of their respective mushroom varieties but with fewer calories. Because functional mushrooms are most effective when taken regularly, mushroom supplements are an easy and attainable way to get your daily intake.
So, if you’re someone that prefers to take a mushroom supplement to reap the benefit of mushrooms during pregnancy, make sure to do your research to find a reputable mushroom manufacturer.
Take a look at Real Mushrooms, for instance. They offer organic mushroom extract capsules and bulk organic mushroom extract powders. With over 40 years of mushroom-growing experience, they’re a trusted mushroom brand by hundreds of health practitioners.
How To Cook Mushrooms Safely
Preparing mushrooms appropriately can have a major impact on how they can be safely ingested while pregnant, as well as adding taste to your meal.
In order to prepare mushrooms for cooking, it is important to clean them thoroughly of any dirt and cut them into pieces if necessary. For edible mushroom cooking tips, check out the preparation steps below to make sure they’re safe to eat and taste delicious:
- Start by brushing off any dirt or debris with a damp cloth, then pat dry and trim the ends off of the stems.
- Season mushrooms with salt and pepper before sautéing, roasting, or grilling.
- When sautéing, try using some oil or butter in the pan to keep them from sticking.
- For roasting, toss them in some olive oil and herbs for added flavor.
- For grilling, use a bit of oil on both sides of the mushroom so it doesn’t stick to the grill.
Check out our delicious recipe for Pan-Fried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.
Keep in mind that eating raw mushrooms may result in skin irritation or other illnesses. Follow food safety guidelines strictly, and ensure that dishes containing cooked mushrooms are kept at a temperature of at least 140°F (60°C). Store them correctly to avoid bacterial growth.
It is now understood that certain mushrooms are acceptable to have while pregnant as long as they are diligently washed and cooked correctly. Uncooked mushrooms are not suggested to be eaten during pregnancy; however, some mushroom species can offer essential B vitamins, vitamin D, and other minerals that can benefit one’s health. Therefore, do not discount mushrooms completely!
This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. HealthVIPClub.com assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.