Fungi produce mushrooms as their fruiting bodies, and for centuries, humans have been consuming them for culinary and medicinal reasons (2). Unfortunately, some are apprehensive about the potential for a pregnant woman to be poisoned or experience brain changes due to mushrooms. Magic mushrooms, in particular, are frequently viewed unfavorably because of their psychedelic effects.
Although certain mushrooms should be avoided during pregnancy, there are edible mushrooms that are safe for consumption and that are, in fact, beneficial to your overall health.
Read on as we break down the health benefits of mushrooms, types of mushrooms that are safe to eat during pregnancy, mushrooms to avoid while pregnant, and how to cook them properly.
Health Benefits Of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are an incredibly nutritious and versatile food that can be enjoyed in many forms. Not only are they tasty, but they offer a range of health benefits. Mushrooms contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which helps to support your immune system and overall health (3). They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as cancer (4).
Mushrooms are one of the best sources of Vitamin B. They contain a variety of B-complex vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are important for energy production, normal growth and development, and proper functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B is particularly beneficial for those who have anemia or other nutrient deficiencies as it helps to boost energy levels and promote healthy red blood cell production, which is important during pregnancy (5).
Additionally, Vitamin B may help to reduce stress levels and improve mental focus––common symptoms experienced during pregnancy (6). Mushrooms also contain other essential minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium which can further benefit overall health.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our bodies to absorb calcium, which helps strengthen bones and teeth, as well as regulate blood pressure (8). And mushrooms are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. Please note, different types of mushrooms vary in their levels of Vitamin D.
Research has shown that consuming 3.5 ounces of white button mushrooms per day can provide up to 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D depending on its exposure to sunlight, which is nearly half the recommended daily intake (10). However, since sunlight is necessary for Vitamin D production, regular exposure to sunlight and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help ensure optimal health benefits.
Nutritional Value Of Mushrooms
Mushrooms contain little to no fat and sodium, have few calories, and they’re cholesterol-free. Moreover, they are filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The specific nutrition content varies by variety of mushrooms, but overall they provide several necessary nutrients.
Research suggests an 84-gram serving of oyster mushrooms contains (12):
- 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
There are many mushrooms that are safe for consumption during pregnancy, such as button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and morels.
Button mushrooms are great for adding flavor to dishes and making sauces. Portobello mushrooms are large and have a meaty texture, which makes them ideal for grilling or roasting. Shiitake mushrooms have an earthy taste that is perfect for soups and stir-fries. Oyster mushrooms have a delicate flavor that pairs well with other vegetables in stir-fries or salads. Finally, morels are considered the most flavorful mushroom 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
Certain types of mushrooms, such as wild foraged mushrooms, can contain toxins that can cause serious health issues for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Some common types of wild mushrooms that should not be eaten during pregnancy, or ever for that matter, are death caps, Destroying Angel, Jack-o’lanterns, and hedgehogs.
Additionally, certain cultivated varieties may contain higher concentrations of toxins than their wild counterparts. Therefore, it is important to check the label carefully before purchasing any mushroom products and always make sure to cook thoroughly. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your nutritional plan.
Magic Mushrooms During Pregnancy
Magic mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms, have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, as well as used in a way to induce spiritual and psychedelic experiences. During pregnancy, however, the jury is still out on whether consuming them is safe for both mother and baby (14). Most experts agree that there is not enough research to recommend taking magic mushrooms during pregnancy.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid consuming psilocybin mushrooms during pregnancy unless advised by a medical professional. Additionally, it’s important to remember that any drug taken by one person can pass through the placenta to their unborn baby—so it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before consuming anything while pregnant.
Cooking Tips For Edible Mushrooms
Cooking mushrooms correctly really makes a difference in how you consume them safely during pregnancy and also how to add flavor of your dish.
The key to cooking mushrooms is to make sure they are washed well to remove any dirt, prepped, then seasoned before adding them to a recipe. 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. Lastly, for grilling, use a bit of oil on both sides of the mushroom so it doesn’t stick to the grill. Follow these tips for perfect mushrooms every time!
Please note that uncooked mushrooms could lead to skin irritation or other sicknesses. Make sure to follow food safety regulations, and make sure that hot mushroom dishes are kept at least 140°F (60°C). Store them in properly to avoid bacterial development.
Now you know that certain mushrooms are safe to eat while pregnant as long as they’re carefully washed and cooked properly. Raw mushrooms are not considered safe to consume during pregnancy, whereas others are an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin D, and other minerals. So, don’t rule out mushrooms just yet!
To learn more about the benefits of eating mushrooms, particularly lion’s mane mushrooms that are safe during pregnancy, visit 11 Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Backed By Science).
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This 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. Advanced MycoTech assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.