Can You Eat Mushrooms While Pregnant? – 2021 Guide

Pregnancy is stressful, and you must eliminate certain foods for the safety of the baby. After talking to a pregnancy nutrition specialist, you may still have questions. Mushrooms are one of those foods, and there are many myths about mushrooms around.

The Answer: Yes, When Cooked

Culinary mushrooms are safe to eat while you are pregnant, with a few caveats. The biggest one is that mushrooms are only completely safe when washed and cooked thoroughly. This process kills any potentially dangerous bacteria and cooks out carcinogenic compounds.

It’s also important to only eat culinary mushrooms from a reliable commercial source. Foraged mushrooms are dangerous, as distinguishing the edible from the non-edible varieties. The risk of problems from accidental ingestion of non-edible mushrooms is higher for pregnant women.

You can still enjoy most of your favorite mushroom dishes throughout your pregnancy since most require cooked mushrooms. You should only avoid raw mushrooms or unidentifiable such as those found in tartar or some salads.

The Magic Mushroom Caveat

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At no point in a pregnancy is consuming so-called “magic mushrooms” safe. Magic mushrooms contain a compound called psilocybin, which alters brain function. It’s dangerous for both the woman and the baby.

Women who are trying to get pregnant should also avoid magic mushrooms. Please check the laws in your area before other instances of ingestion.

The Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms offer many benefits for every human body, but particularly for pregnant women. They’re nutritionally dense, low calorie, and low fat. Many women even report that fresh culinary mushrooms sit well in their stomachs.

Protein

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Protein is necessary for every cell in your body, and you need to increase your consumption while pregnant to help your baby develop. A single 100 gram (about ¾ cup) serving has roughly 3.6 grams of protein.

While the protein levels of mushrooms are small compared to meat, every amount helps unless you have been directed otherwise by your doctor.

Vitamins and Minerals

Mushrooms are nutritionally dense with several important components. Among the most important are multiple forms of vitamin B for brain development. Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption for strong bones. Mushrooms provide nutrients for both you and your baby.

Take a look at the nutrient value of white mushrooms in the following tables:

Vitaminsper 100gm serving
Vitamin C2.1mg
Folic acid17mcg
Pyridoxine0.104mg
Niacin3.607mg
Riboflavin0.402mg
Thiamin0.081mg
Mineralsper 100gm serving
Potassium318mg
Calcium3mg
Iron0.5mg
Magnesium9mg
Zinc0.52mg
Phosphorus86mg

Fiber

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Fiber is critical for ensuring healthy digestion throughout your pregnancy. Digestive differences are a common complaint you may experience. Fiber helps keep everything moving and improves your overall gut health.

Antioxidants

Your body has its own system for fighting unstable molecules, but ingesting food with antioxidants boosts its efficiency. This system helps bind unstable molecules in your blood. Several recent studies have indicated that antioxidants can also mitigate certain congenital disability risks.

FAQ

What type of mushrooms can you eat during pregnancy?

There are various types of mushrooms that you can eat during pregnancy. Here is the list of the safe and delicious mushrooms that you can consume:

  • White Button Mushrooms
  • Maitake
  • Shiitake
  • Porcini
  • Chestnut Mushrooms

Regardless of how clean they look when you buy them, mushrooms need to be properly cleaned and the soil must be removed from all the cracks, because it can contain Toxoplasma gondii. Also, be sure to cook them before eating!

Take a look at the following infographic for illustration of types of mushrooms you can eat while being pregnant:

Mushrooms you can eat during pregnancy infographic

Which type of mushrooms to avoid during pregnancy?

Raw mushrooms – Eating uncooked mushrooms can harm your fetus. Since edible fungi have cancerogenic toxins in them, consumption of raw mushrooms can eventually lead to cancer of the mother and possibly the baby. They release valuable nutrients after being thoroughly cooked and only then mushrooms are safe for consumption.

Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin Mushrooms) – Even though there’s a lack of scientific research on Psilocybin’s effect on pregnancy or possible birth defects, these mushrooms have psychological effects like hallucinations, and also can cause weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Magic mushrooms can affect judgment and mental state and they should be avoided during pregnancy.

Can I eat mushrooms while breastfeeding?

When you breastfeed your baby, you will need to pay attention to what you are eating since this inevitably ends up in the milk that you give to your baby. Mushrooms are the source of beta-glucan, which can stimulate prolactin levels in the blood and increase milk production. Shiitake, reishi, maitake, oyster, and shimeji are the mushrooms with the highest beta-glucan content.

However, be cautious of the expiration date and be sure to thoroughly cook them, since toxic particles can end up in the milk.

Can I eat mushrooms during early pregnancy?

Yes, you can. Mushrooms contain antioxidants that can help boost the immune system. They also contain selenium, potassium and zinc that are beneficial in baby’s development. Also, mushrooms can help in treating constipation, indigestion and fatigue in early pregnancy since they contain fiber.

Should I avoid other mushroom products during pregnancy?

For all other products that may contain mushrooms such as pates, ready-made sauces, sauces, or soups, the same rule always applies: determine their origin and if they are safe.

If the product is bought in the supermarket, you should not worry, but it is recommended to read the list of ingredients to understand what percentage of mushrooms is present in that specific product. Often some brands also indicate the type of mushroom that is used.

How many mushrooms can pregnant women eat?

Nutritionists recommend not to eat more than 200-250g. It is advised not to consume mushrooms more than twice a week in the morning. The best option is to make a mushroom soup, and be sure that the cream or milk in the soup are pasteurized.

Conclusion

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Cooked culinary mushrooms are safe to consume while you are pregnant, provided they are washed and cooked. Mushrooms provide many essential nutrients and beneficial compounds for your body and the healthy growth of your child.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please speak with a medical professional before changing your diet.