Mushroom During Pregnancy – Is It Safe To Eat?

6 min read

Many people like to add mushrooms to their cooking, especially in soups, pizzas, salads, or side dishes with rice and chapatis. But the question is, is it safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes. So if you are pregnant and love mushrooms, there is no reason why you should not be consuming mushrooms during pregnancy.

However, care must be taken to choose the right variety and avoid eating it raw. Remember, your little one depends completely on your food intake, and therefore, you must be very careful as to what goes into your plate.

mushrooms during pregnancy

In This Article

Is it Safe to Eat Mushrooms During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to eat mushrooms during pregnancy. The only concern with mushrooms is their place of origin. It is well known that mushroom is a spore-bearing fruit of a fungus found mostly in the soil or its food source.

Therefore, it is not safe to eat raw mushrooms. Moreover, they are believed to be carcinogenic. Cooking or drying are known to neutralize the carcinogenic effects and therefore, are considered safe.

Surprising Benefits of Eating Mushrooms During Pregnancy

pregnant woman cutting mushroom

Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D and B, Iron, and antioxidants. Following are some amazing benefits of eating mushrooms during pregnancy

1. Rich in Vitamin B

Mushrooms have great amounts of Vitamin B in them that promote healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. Moreover, they help release energy from the foods we consume.

  • The Vitamin B components in mushrooms include Riboflavin which makes your baby’s bones strong and strengthens muscles.
  • It reduces fatigue that is a common problem during pregnancy.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are rich in pantothenic acid that prevents digestive disorders.
  • Thiamine and Niacin in mushroom strengthen the central nervous system.

2. Vitamin D

Mushrooms are highly rich in Vitamin D making it all the more important to consume during pregnancy.

  • Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and promotes strong bones and teeth in your growing fetus. So, make sure to include mushrooms in your diet as frequently as you can.
  • 1 cup of Shiitake mushroom contains 12.6 units of Vitamin D, which is not commonly found in other foods.

3. Iron

Iron is a major component of hemoglobin and mushrooms are rich in iron.

  • During pregnancy, women need to consume foods rich in iron to promote the hemoglobin level, which carries oxygen in the blood.
  • 1 cup of morel mushroom has 8 milligrams of iron, so you can keep aside your worries about being anemic during pregnancy.

4. Protein and Fiber

Protein is an essential nutrient that is required for the overall growth of your fetus and mushrooms are a rich source of protein. Mushrooms are also equipped with a good amount of protein and fiber.

  • For the additional protein requirement, especially for vegetarians, you can rely on mushrooms.
  • It is highly fibrous and therefore keeps away constipation, gas and other stomach-related minor ailments which are common during pregnancy.

5. Antioxidants

Antioxidants come in good quantities in mushrooms.

  • The antioxidants in mushrooms (selenium and ergothioneine) protect your body from free radicals, thus boosting your immune system.
  • Mushrooms help keep away common illnesses during those 9 months.
  • Mushrooms are also a rich source of potassium, zinc, and selenium, which also aid your baby’s growth and development.

Safe Mushrooms During Pregnancy

woman with mushroom smiling

You have been eating mushrooms before pregnancy, and it is safe to continue eating the same mushroom during pregnancy time also. Select the mushrooms, which look fresh and clean, with no bruising on them.

Raw mushrooms aren’t eaten during pregnancy. Wash them well before cooking them. This will help remove fungi and germs which can lead to indigestion.

Commonly available mushrooms like Button, Cremini, and Oyster with no signs of any damage are safe to eat after cooking well. Shiitake mushrooms are used in some medicinal supplements also. Frozen and processed mushrooms are all safe to eat which are well within their expiry date.

If you feel that eating mushrooms during pregnancy is causing problems for you, either stop eating them or cook them in small amounts. If after consumption any problems appear, then, avoid eating them in the future.

Medicinal Mushrooms

The safest mushrooms have proven immunological and anti-cancer properties. Some medicinal mushrooms have some more important health benefits as well.

It has anti-hypertensive properties, strong antioxidants, liver-protecting, and cholesterol-lowering abilities as well. A lot of pharmaceutical companies take the medicinal mushroom as a main source in the biomedical properties.

Unsafe Mushrooms During Pregnancy

Many mushrooms are safe for consumption during pregnancy time, and some mushrooms may need to be avoided. Here are some mushrooms during pregnancy that are unsafe at that time.

Raw Mushrooms

Raw mushrooms are mostly indigestible due to their tough cell walls. To ensure that the nutrient value is retained, most mushrooms, which have tough cell walls must be cooked well before eating it. Some carcinogenic toxins can be removed by cooking. Thus, it is important to cook mushrooms well before eating.

Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are wild mushrooms that can potentially face problems. These mushrooms have a substance called Psilocybin which causes nausea, muscle weakness, hallucinations, drowsiness, and vomiting.

Wild mushrooms can be toxic and thus, can lead to slight gastrointestinal discomfort or even death. Therefore, they must be avoided during pregnancy.

Precautions While Eating Mushrooms During Pregnancy

cooking mushroom

Mushrooms are not among the foods you need to avoid during pregnancy, but there are some things you need to keep in mind when you decide to include them in your diet.

Avoid Dangerous Mushrooms

All types of mushrooms are not safe. Some are toxic and could harm your pregnancy—be cautious about which variety you choose to consume. Avoid wild or magic mushrooms as they can be toxic. Magic mushrooms contain Psilocybin which is a chemical that changes brain activity and affects the growth of the baby.

The doctors recommend that pregnant, as well as breastfeeding moms, stay away from these chemicals-containing mushrooms. A pregnant woman should also be careful while selecting wild mushrooms.  Some wild mushrooms are very confusing and can prompt you in picking up the poisonous type.

Always Opt for Fresh Mushrooms

Choose only fresh mushrooms. These are easily available in departmental stores and supermarkets. They must be washed well, cleaned, and cooked. Cooked mushrooms boost immunity and provide vitamins and minerals that are vital during pregnancy.

Check Expiry Date

Check for expiry dates and freshness when you choose to buy the frozen ones.

Eat Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms like Shiitake and Maitake have high amounts of beta-glucan and boost our immune system. Hence, they are considered beneficial and are highly recommended. They also keep cancer, tumor, fungi, and other dreaded diseases at bay.

Mushrooms are power-packed and great food for the baby growing inside you. Make sure you include them in your diet often to derive the maximum benefit out of them. They are tasty and easy to cook.

Enjoy the flavor, while your baby benefits from its nutritional value. Remember, as always, to consult your doctor if you have any questions. After all, pregnancy is a phase to enjoy and gorge on your favorite foods (with necessary precautions).

FAQ’s

1. What Mushrooms Can I Eat When Pregnant?

There are a variety of mushrooms to choose from. You can eat shiitake mushrooms, white buttons, porcini, or even chestnut mushrooms. Cook them well to avoid any food poisoning.

2. How Can Eating Mushrooms While Pregnant Benefit the Baby?

Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, iron, and other nutrients. Consuming mushrooms when pregnant can help pass these nutrients to the baby. However, consume only safe mushrooms.

3. Can I Eat Canned Mushrooms While Pregnant?

When pregnant always opt for fresh foods over canned foods. When it comes to mushrooms, it is not safe for a pregnant woman to eat canned mushrooms. They carry a risk of botulism infection.

4. Can Mushroom Help With Constipation When Pregnant?

Mushrooms are rich in fiber. A fiber-rich diet is recommended for pregnant women to reduce constipation. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in fiber when compared to other varieties.

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