Can You Eat Mushrooms During Pregnancy?
Yum, mushrooms! Who can resist them? Mushrooms can really go into any dish. We love mushrooms in soups, salads and pizzas. But, can you eat mushrooms during pregnancy? If you ever wondered if there’s a medical obstacle to your enjoyment of mushrooms, read on and find out.
Mushrooms are surprisingly rich in minerals, vitamins and protein, making them an amazing food for a baby. This means they are also ideal for a pregnant woman. As it turns out, eating mushrooms during pregnancy are an excellent choice and you don't need to worry much about it.
Which mushrooms you'd better never eat?
We all know that button mushrooms are the safest variety imaginable. But, there is a furious debate raging on as to whether they should be eaten cooked or raw.
While the jury is still out on that one, we do know some mushrooms and ways of eating them will definitely harm you and your baby. Read on for some useful tips.
Say “NO” to uncooked mushrooms during pregnancy
Leave food adventure to survival lists like Bear Grylls. You stick with the true and tested ways of eating mushrooms. Being pregnant is the time to be picky with what you eat. Don’t get baited into eating raw mushrooms, no matter what kind they are.
Raw mushrooms have all kinds of toxins that disappear with cooking. These toxins can hurt you and your baby, not to mention they increase cancer risks.
Skip the magic kind
We all know drugs are bad. But imagine the havoc they wreak on a tiny fetus in your womb. Just say no and move on.
Eating magic mushrooms during pregnancy can do some serious damage to his/her nervous system. Don’t gamble with the baby’s health for a few moments of pleasure. Rather have him/her grow up healthy and happy.
Medicinal mushrooms are a coin flip
There is a roughly even split in the medical community whether a pregnant woman should eat medicinal mushrooms. Simply put, the evidence for either side is inconclusive.
If you don’t know for sure, err on the side of safety and say “no” to medicinal mushrooms. Nobody knows what the safe dose of medicinal mushrooms is, so better play it safe and skip them altogether. Medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy are not a good idea.
By the way, if you’re out having dinner in a restaurant, ask the waiter about the mushrooms on the menu. That simple question goes a long way towards making your night out a safe and comfortable one, rather than you ending up in the ER with a food poisoning.
Discerning between safe and poisonous mushrooms
Unless you know for a fact the mushrooms you’re about to eat are safe, don’t do it. Just throw it in the trash and move on. It’s not worth the risk.
Once you eat the suspicious mushrooms during pregnancy, it’s possible the toxins will cause serious damage to your and baby’s health, causing sickness or death. You might think the mushrooms are safe, but there’s a difference between thinking and knowing. This isn’t meant as a comprehensive guide to dangerous mushrooms, but here are some red flags.
Will this mushroom poison me?
- Are you eating them raw? Even if you pick up a mushroom that you know is perfectly safe, don’t dare eat them raw. Stew them, fry them, make a bowl of soup out of them, just don’t eat them raw.
- Raw mushrooms can make your tummy churn for days on end, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. This is because raw mushrooms, even when they are safe, can have toxins that irritate the intestinal lining. These toxins can cause serious harm to you and your baby.
- Are you eating mushroom leftovers? Are you seriously eyeing those mushroom leftovers? By now, they must have turned into mush. We understand that pregnant women can have cravings, but come on. Stop and reconsider what you’re doing. Fresh food is the healthiest, so always choose the freshest food possible for you and your baby.
- Hormonal changes lead to food cravings. However, even though you think you’ll easily stomach the mushroom leftovers, it’s possible your gut objects to that idea and you just vomit it all out.
- Are the mushrooms parasol-shaped? They look so cute with their open umbrella shape but don’t let looks deceive you, those can be some of the nastiest poisons in nature. You will recognize these mushrooms by heads that look like open umbrellas, milky rings and gill-like shapes on the stalk.
- Parasol-shaped mushrooms are edible, but can be easily mistaken with a nasty poisonous mushroom known as the “vomiter”.
So, which mushrooms can I eat?
- Typical puffball. These cutesy mushrooms are common and perfectly safe to eat. But, they still have to be cleaned, cut and cooked beforehand. When fried, they are finger-licking good, but can also be used in a salad or soup.
- Oyster mushrooms. These are easy to recognize. Even better, they are so easy to grow yourself! Once you realize what an easy snack they are, you’ll love oyster mushrooms. They look white-ivory, have a soft texture and grow during warmer months on trees in bunches.
- Maitake mushrooms. Sounds like a mouthful? Wait until you actually taste maitakes. They have a distinctly ruffled skin and grow bunched up together, which causes them to overlap one another. This is probably the best possible kind of mushroom to eat.
Why should I eat mushrooms during pregnancy?
Baby can’t grow in mommy’s tummy without good food. When you eat something healthy, it passes on to your little one. So, if you eat great things, such as mushrooms, your baby will get all the benefits and grow up to be strong and happy.
Mushrooms are a healthy and delicious food because of how many varieties there are. As long as you’re eating safe ones and cooking them thoroughly, you’ll reap immense benefits.
- Rich in B-vitamins. This is a hugely important vitamin that we can never get too much. Did you know there is a dozen of B vitamins and that we need each of them? B-vitamin complex helps us in so many ways:
- Regulates digestion and brain function and development
- Boosts the strength of muscles, nerves and muscles
- Regulates hormonal cycles and levels
- Rebuilds cells
- Lowers the risk of birth defects and genetic flaws
- Plenty of vitamin D. Not getting enough sunshine? Sun usually helps us convert cholesterol to vitamin D, but what do we do during cloudy weather? We eat mushrooms! They are a hidden source of sunshine. Or vitamin D, at the very least.
- Vitamin D lowers diabetes risk factors for both the baby and mom
- Boost immune system activity and protects the baby from birth defects
- Promotes the growth of healthy teeth and bones
- Plenty of antioxidants. Some mushrooms can poison you, and others can heal you. That’s just the way Nature works. Those that heal you can really do wonders, giving you a lot of benefits and antioxidants
- They protect the body from toxic chemicals we’re exposed to daily
- Stop the flu in its tracks
- Keep the bowel movement going and the digestive tract healthy
- Keeps your energy levels high and wards off fatigue
- Loads of protein. You’re probably sick of hearing the word “protein”. But it’s excellent for you. Protein helps the body rebuild damaged or destroyed cells. The same goes for your baby.
- Protein helps you control your weight, especially if you’ve put on a few extra water pounds during pregnancy
- Protein balances hormonal levels, leading to smaller mood swings
- Protein keeps the brain functioning with a hitch and helps the baby develop a healthy and responsive nervous system
- Protein is used by the body to create muscles, so that you can carry the baby with ease
- Protein gives plenty of energy for the body to burn and doesn’t increase diabetes risk factors
- Rich in iron. What does eating mushrooms during pregnancy do? Enrich your bloodstream with nutrients that then go to directly to the baby. This puts an extra load on your blood and your heart, which need iron to keep working overtime. Mushrooms are truly rich in iron.
- Iron helps the baby get all the nutrients he/she needs
- Iron helps prevent fatigue and exhaustion
- Especially if the mother experiences bleeding, iron replenishes lost hemoglobin and prevents anemia
And, there it is. Mushrooms are a great choice of energy and nutrients for both mommy and baby. You simply have to choose the right kind and cook them properly in any of dozen ways available. You’ll never get bored of eating mushrooms during pregnancy. So, what are you waiting for? Dig in!