Mushrooms are super tasty, very nutritious, and just make every dish oh-so-flavorful! Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just a huge fan of these squishy things, tossing in some mushrooms to your favorite salad, pizza, or even sauteed recipes makes your food more interesting. And they come in different varieties, too, with varied textures that’s just a feast to the palate!
But hold up, moms! Is it really safe to munch on some mushrooms when you’re expecting? I know this type of fungus is loaded with nutrients, and you want to make sure you’re meeting the recommended nutrition for pregnant women. But what’s the real deal about mushrooms and their safety (or not?) during pregnancy? So should you give it a go or wait for little Bubba to come out before you eat some mushrooms?
If you’re unsure about grabbing a pack at the grocery to serve for tonight’s homemade pizza, you might want to check out this post first to get the lowdown on mushroom and pregnancy.
Eat ‘Em or Not?
When cooked just right, mushrooms can definitely add a nice zing and zest to any meal. They make curries, soups, pizzas, burgers, and your garden salad super appetizing and richer in nutrients. If you want to up your nutrition intake from these babies, you can even go for fresh-picked ones. The fresher, the tastier, right?
But some mommies are a little wary about eating mushrooms because they’re not sure if these can cause harm to their kids or if it’s completely okay to munch on them. Perhaps the main reason behind this fear is you’ll never know the origin or where the mushroom came from. See, mushrooms are fungi bearing spores, which are grown on the soil. So, bad soil might not actually be too promising when it comes to producing quality mushrooms that are safe to eat – yep, whether you’re a mama-to-be or not.
Cooked Vs. Raw
So there are two ways to prepare mushrooms. You can eat them raw or cooked. If you’re expecting, it’s always best to stay on the safe side and avoid raw ones. Get those mushrooms cooked – maybe sauteed, boiled, or baked – and you’re good.
Say you’ve gone hiking and you spotted a wild mushroom. Is it safe to pick a bunch and munch on them?
I wouldn’t recommend that you do it because you might just end up with a toxic mushroom in your mouth. A popular poisonous mushroom that you should stay away from is the false Chanterelle, which looks exactly like the (real) Chanterelle. Hard to tell the difference, so it’s sensible to stay away from those wild ones and adding these to your dishes.
If you’re cooking your mushrooms, though, there’s nothing wrong with munching on them at all. Just make sure they’re fresh, organic, and haven’t been sitting in the fridge for several days or weeks!
What’s up with raw mushrooms anyway? For the most part, they’re carcinogenic. There’s a certain amount of carcinogens in raw mushrooms. But once you cook or dry them, that pretty much gets rid of the toxins. Then, you get the health benefits of these nutrition powerhouse foods.
Why You Should Eat Mushrooms?
Like I said, mushrooms are packed with amazing nutrients. So if you’re feeding yourself right, then you’re doing your little one a HUGE favor, too!
Here are just some of the good stuff that mushrooms can offer to your body.
1. Vitamin B
There are loads of B vitamins in mushrooms. Among these are Thiamine, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, and Riboflavin. In fact, munching on a cup of those yummy portabella mushrooms easily gives you 8 percent of your daily recommended amount of Riboflavin. Then, there’s Pantothenic, Niacin, and Thiamine that strengthen and ensure the proper development of your baby’s central nervous system.These B vitamins also support the healthy and normal body mass of your little one. Nerve and skin health are some of the awesome benefits that vitamin B offers you. And yep, you can get these from your mushrooms!
2. Vitamin D
Mushrooms are super rich in vitamin D, and that in itself is an important reason for you to eat them all up. See, vitamin D makes sure your body absorbs calcium efficiently for the proper formation of healthy teeth and strong bones of your little bub. And guess what? A cup of those tasty shiitake mushrooms can give you a little over 12 units of vitamin D.
Yep, mushrooms contain protein – and in good amounts, too! You need to get some protein in your body to support your baby’s overall development. It’s an essential nutrient that contributes to healthy muscle mass.
Pregnant women need to increase their hemoglobin count as your blood volume also increases. And that’s what iron does, as it’s the primary component in hemoglobin. All the more reason to eat mushrooms because of their rich iron content. Got some morel mushrooms? Munch on a cup of this, and it should give you 8 mg of iron.
Sure, you can’t actually get away from free radicals because these are naturally-occurring substances. But by upping your intake of antioxidant-rich foods, you should have ample protection from that nasty free radical damage. The ergothioneine and selenium in mushrooms also strengthen your immune system to help you fight off infections.
So What Kind of Mushrooms Should You Eat?
There are plenty of great varieties of mushrooms to choose from. Add some button mushrooms to your pizza, sprinkle in some chopped shiitake mushrooms to your soups, or bake some porcini mushrooms after marinating them in something savory. These mushrooms are totally a meal on their own!
To answer your question, YES, it’s safe to eat mushrooms during pregnancy. Just be sure to buy them fresh and always read labels for the expiration date of mushrooms that are packaged or frozen. Proper washing, cleaning, and cooking of mushrooms are also important in ensuring the safety of the mushrooms you eat while boosting the nutrient content you get from them.
Rachel Lee, founder of thebabylover
Only being 36, I understand that becoming a new mom is incredibly exciting but also challenging. I remember having a multitude of questions when it came to my pregnancy, taking care of a newborn child, and raising little ones. That is why I decided to create this blog. I wanted to share the vast amount of knowledge with other mommy’s who need help with everything regarding pregnancy and child care.