Many pregnant women are aware that they must increase their diet of nutrient-dense meals when pregnant, with fruits and vegetables topping the list. It sounds like a good idea to consume mushrooms since they are healthful and varied, right? It isn’t so simple though.
Can you Eat Mushrooms while Pregnant?
Most edible mushroom species are safe for pregnant women to consume provided they are cleaned beforehand and properly cooked. This is because Toxoplasma gondii may be found in the soil of unwashed mushrooms, and raw mushrooms can induce gastrointestinal pain.
We chose to develop this comprehensive guide on mushrooms in pregnancy since there are so many different varieties of mushrooms (and methods to prepare them). After reading this, you should be able to safely consume or order mushrooms regardless of how you prepare them. They are, after all, rather healthy! (We’ll go into more detail about this later)
Eat Mushrooms Safely While You’re Pregnant
If you wish to consume mushrooms safely, keep the following in mind:
- Pregnant women should not be eating raw mushrooms. This is mostly due to the fact that they are cultivated in soil, which may be a prospective source of Toxoplasma gondii, the toxoplasmosis pathogen. Toxoplasmosis is an uncommon but deadly foodborne sickness that may lead to miscarriage and other pregnancy issues.
- Raw mushrooms may contain varying amounts of agaritine which is thought to be a carcinogen. However, there has been little study done on this topic, and there isn’t enough credible data to make any conclusions.
It’s unlikely that you’ll consume enough mushrooms to reach a hazardous level of agaritine, and there is no research on the effects of agaritine on pregnant women. However, you should avoid eating raw, undercooked mushrooms for the same reason. Cooking is supposed to reduce agartine levels.
- Mushrooms contain chitin; therefore, they have a meaty feel and a high fiber content. Chitin is a tough substance to digest. Cooked mushrooms, with more chitin broken down, are less likely to induce discomfort or indigestion, which a woman may be more prone to when pregnant.
- Mushrooms should always be completely cleaned (not soaked) to eliminate any dirt or debris. Because soaking mushrooms causes them to get waterlogged, many chefs and cooks prefer to ‘brush’ them clean.
- Because tiny quantities of dirt may stay in fissures such as between the gills due to their physical form, it’s best to wash mushrooms under running water before you cook them.
- Cooking mushrooms destroys surface microorganisms and, if present, toxoplasma gondii. As a result, the safest approach to consuming mushrooms during pregnancy is to clean them first, then cook them.
- Don’t eat any unidentified mushrooms, especially those that have been gathered in the wild. Because many hazardous mushrooms have the same appearance as edible varieties, it’s better to stick to the commercially-produced and well-known culinary mushrooms during your pregnancy. This is true for everyone, not just expecting mothers!
Pregnancy Safety and Mushroom Cooking Methods
Mushrooms are safe to consume during pregnancy if they are cleaned and cooked. For the sake of clarity, we’ve included the following mushroom cooking techniques that are commonly inquired about:
- Mushrooms should be as fresh: old mushrooms prefer to slime rather than mold, so remove any soft, slimy places and inspect the stem for mold or deterioration (which is often the first area a mushroom starts getting bad). They’ll be fine to eat if you clean them and cook them.
- Dried mushrooms should always be soaked in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes or cooked according to the package directions. Check for sand or grit and clean it up. Dried mushrooms should not be eaten uncooked or used without first being soaked. Always start by cooking them.
- If you’re pregnant, cooked, cold mushrooms are acceptable to consume — for example, in a salad. They work well as a replacement for fresh, raw mushrooms.
- Mushrooms, whether canned, marinated, or tinned, are safe to consume during pregnancy. They’re a fantastic alternative for raw mushrooms, just like cooked cold mushrooms, since they’ve previously been cooked for the canning process. If the mushrooms are marinated, make sure they’re cooked.
- If you’re pregnant, breaded or deep-fried mushrooms are okay as long as they’ve been properly cooked within their batter or breaded covering. When you’re pregnant, this is one of the calorie-dense and fatty ways to consume mushrooms, so use in moderation.
Mushroom Dishes and Pregnancy Safety
Can you eat mushrooms while pregnant? There are a variety of mushroom-based recipes that you may have questioned about in terms of pregnancy safety. Here are a few of the most well-known:
- Because it may contain raw egg or listeria, mushroom pâté is not healthy to consume during pregnancy. Vegan mushroom pate is also unfitted for pregnant women due to its high water content, which renders it more vulnerable to listeria.
- Depending on the other components, mushroom soup is safe during pregnancy. It’s often referred to as ‘cream of mushroom soup,’ which is safe for pregnant women provided the other components, such as cream or milk, have been pasteurized.
- Because stuffed mushrooms are properly cooked, they are normally safe to eat during pregnancy. If they provide a cold salad-style filling, be sure the ingredients are safe for you to eat if you’re expecting.
- Chicken and mushroom pasta, pies, and other similar dishes are safe to eat during pregnancy if the chicken and mushrooms are properly cooked until they are steaming hot. Undercooked meat should never be consumed during pregnancy owing to the risk of toxoplasmosis or listeria.
- If the mushrooms are cooked as part of the topping, they are okay to consume while pregnant (they usually are).
- Mushroom Coffee – Mushroom coffee is made by combining normal coffee with dried medicinal mushrooms including cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane. Pregnant women may drink coffee as long as they limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200mg.
It is yet to be investigated whether mushroom coffee has an effect on unborn babies. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid mushroom coffee during pregnancy until additional information is available.
List of Safe & Unsafe Mushrooms For Pregnancy
If you’ve read thus far, you are already aware that most edible mushrooms are safe to eat if cleaned and cooked properly. However, we understand that when you’re pregnant, you want to be completely certain that the mushroom species you’re eating is safe, and you want specific details.
The following is a list of the most common mushroom species that you may be interested in learning more about. Because they’re not consumed as cooked food, but rather as a supplement or powder in considerably larger dosages, some aren’t healthy to consume during pregnancy.
- Black Fungus Mushrooms, if completely cooked, are safe to consume during pregnancy. They’re often dried, and they’re used in a variety of Asian and Chinese recipes. Rather than foraging for them, buy them from a reputable commercial supplier. Black fungus mushrooms should always be soaked and properly cooked before eating.
- Button Mushrooms are undoubtedly one of the most common varieties of mushrooms used in cooking. If cleaned and cooked beforehand, button mushrooms are considered safe for pregnant women.
- Chanterelle mushrooms are safe to eat during pregnancy if fully cooked and cleaned beforehand. They’re our favorite mushrooms, however since they’re harvested in the woods, we often discover a lot of dirt in and around the gills and stems, so keep that in mind while washing them. Only purchase from reliable stores, since some inedible varieties resemble them.
- Chestnut mushrooms are safe to consume while pregnant provided they are well cleaned before cooking. They have a robust flavor and are a fantastic addition to a variety of recipes.
- Crimini Mushrooms, because they’re so widespread and accessible in so many areas, are also referred to as the ‘common mushroom.’ It’s most certainly crimini if a restaurant or shop just states “mushroom” as an ingredient. Cooked, cleaned crimini mushrooms are safe to consume while pregnant.
- Enoki Mushrooms, if cooked after cleaning, are safe to eat during pregnancy. Enoki mushrooms, which are popular in salads, are one of the mushroom species you should double-check that they have been cooked first if you aren’t making the enoki yourself.
- Morel Mushrooms, if properly cleaned and cooked, are safe for pregnant women. Because of their spongy nature, cleaning morels are more difficult, and dirt may accumulate in their crevices, so keep that in mind.
- Fresh oyster mushrooms that have been cooked and washed correctly are safe to consume. They may induce gastrointestinal pain if consumed in large quantities. Oyster mushrooms, in the form of a supplement, have not been evaluated for safety during pregnancy, so only eat them fresh, and cooked ones.
- Porcini mushrooms are usually more dried than fresh mushrooms since they have a stronger taste. Cooked porcini mushrooms are safe to consume when pregnant. If using dry, make sure they’re completely soaked, with any grit or dirt removed or rinsed, before cooking. If they’re still fresh, get them cleaned and cook them well.
- Portabella and Portobello mushrooms are essentially substituted names for the crimini mushroom and they are safe to eat during pregnancy. In most cases, the names solely allude to the size.
- Reishi mushrooms are used in Chinese and Eastern medicine. They are often available as a supplement or in powdered form. Reishi mushrooms should be avoided by pregnant women since they have been linked to liver damage in a tiny number of instances.
- Shitake mushrooms may be purchased dried or fresh, and both varieties are safe to consume during pregnancy. Because the stem is fibrous and harsh, just the cap is usually consumed. If using dried shiitakes, soak, clean, and cook fully; if using fresh shiitakes, remove the stem and clean and cook the mushroom caps completely.
- Wild mushrooms may refer to a variety of mushrooms, including those in this list. If cleaned and cooked like any other food, commercially made fresh wild dried mushrooms or wild dried mushrooms options are typically safe to consume during pregnancy.
Always buy wild mushrooms from a trustworthy source, and never select and consume a mushroom in the wild if you are uncertain about it during pregnancy. Keep in mind that there are many poisonous mushrooms that seem similar to edible ones, so avoid mushrooms discovered in the wild unless you’re an expert.
Is It a Good and Healthy Choice While Pregnant?
Mushrooms are an excellent option for pregnant women if they’re cleaned and cooked correctly. They contain no cholesterol and are low in calories and fat, making them nutritious vegetables.
Mushrooms are safe to consume in the first trimester of pregnancy, as well as all later trimesters.
Of course, how mushrooms are cooked might affect how nutritious they are during pregnancy. Breaded, stuffed or deep-fried mushrooms will add calories and fat to your diet, but sautéed mushrooms in garlic over wholegrain toast is delicious and far better.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms During Pregnancy?
Mushrooms are a wonderful source of a variety of critical vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you’ll need while you’re pregnant, in addition to being low in calories and fat.
Although the number of antioxidants in mushrooms varies depending on the kind, they are a rich source of Vitamin C, Selenium, and Choline in general. They also include a variety of B vitamins, are strong in fiber, and contain folate, which is necessary during pregnancy.
Overall, mushrooms are a good option of food to eat while pregnant, as long as they’re cleaned and cooked appropriately.
There are better ways to prepare mushrooms than others, but treat them the same way you would any other healthy vegetable: sautéed, roasted, or grilled mushrooms instead of stuffed, fried, or in creamy sauces.
From the above discussion, we can easily infer that consuming mushroom while you’re pregnant is safe until it complements the cooking methods and types discussed above.
If you have any queries over the topic “Can you eat mushrooms while pregnant”, please let us know in the comments section.