Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient in many dishes. Whether they’re the star of the show or a supporting role, their woody, nutty, savory flavor is hard to replicate.
So, let’s tackle the big question for the mushroom lover and mama-to-be: can pregnant women eat mushrooms?
Well, mushroom aficionado, this is your lucky day!
With a few exceptions (we’ll discuss those later), it is totally fine to eat mushrooms during pregnancy. Hooray!
Here’s the lowdown on eating mushrooms when pregnant.
In this article 📝
- Can you eat mushrooms while pregnant?
- Can pregnant women eat raw mushrooms?
- Can pregnant women eat cooked mushrooms?
- Which mushrooms are safe during pregnancy?
- Mushrooms to avoid during pregnancy
- What not to eat when pregnant
Can you eat mushrooms while pregnant?
Can I eat mushrooms while pregnant? The answer is yes!
So what about the exceptions and rules?
Well, like most other pregnancy food safety instructions, it comes down to the preparation and cooking methods.
To safely eat mushrooms during pregnancy, they should be:
- Clearly labeled, identifying the type of mushroom
- Bought from a reputable store or source
- Free of mold, bruising, or decay spots
- Cleaned under running water to remove dirt and soil particles (if fresh)
- Thoroughly soaked and then cleaned in running water (if dried)
- Cooked thoroughly until piping hot
Due to the fact that mushrooms grow in the ground, the cleaning stage of mushroom preparation is really important.
Soil particles may contain a pathogen that causes the rare—but serious—condition called Toxoplasmosis, which is very dangerous for pregnant women.
Can pregnant women eat raw mushrooms?
Eating raw mushrooms is never advisable — whether you’re pregnant or not — so cooking mushrooms is essential.
Raw mushrooms contain carcinogens and can also cause upset stomachs because they’re difficult to digest.
Can pregnant women eat cooked mushrooms?
Cooking mushrooms breaks down the fibers to make them more easily digestible, destroys any bacteria or pathogens, and helps the nutrients within become available for absorption.
By the way, there’s many benefits of mushroom during pregnancy.
Mushrooms are a really great source of many vitamins and minerals that are important for your pregnancy diet.
They contain antioxidants, a whole range of complex B vitamins, Vitamin D, fiber, and folate.
Which mushrooms are safe during pregnancy?
Generally, edible mushrooms that are safe, popular, and commercially available are best.
Think culinary mushrooms like oyster, portobello, white button, chestnut, straw mushrooms, and crimini.
Shiitake mushrooms are also on the green list, so long as they are prepared and cooked properly.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a naturally occurring formaldehyde—a form of carcinogen—which, when exposed to heat, is broken down and eliminated.
That’s why cooking them thoroughly with heat is a must.
If you’re ordering any mushrooms off a menu, check with your server to see what type they are and that they’ll be fully cooked through.
Mushrooms to avoid during pregnancy
So, is there a time when you shouldn’t eat mushrooms?
If you’re unsure of the variety of mushrooms served to you, it’s best to leave it aside.
This is not the time to play forest forager and pick your own (unless you seriously know what you’re doing).
Many poisonous mushrooms look just like their edible counterparts.
And mistakes can (and do) happen—even among seasoned wild-mushroom foragers.
Foraged wild varieties include reishi, dryad’s saddle, wood ears, field blewits, penny buns, giant puffballs, scarlet elf cups, beefsteak-, hedgehog-, and cauliflower fungus.
And, of course, it goes without saying magic mushrooms are a no-no.
So, if you’ve ever wondered can you take shrooms while pregnant, it’s generally recommended to avoid them.
Rule of thumb? If you’re not sure what kind of mushroom it is on your plate, don’t risk it.
What not to eat when pregnant
While consuming a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables is amazing while pregnant, raw sprouts during pregnancy, like alfalfa, mung bean sprouts, and clover sprouts, are a no-go.
This is largely because they need moisture and warmth to grow—the very same conditions that bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli thrive in.
Basically, raw or undercooked sprouts may increase your risk of a foodborne infection so better to avoid entirely.
It can be a minefield out there, mama-to-be, but don’t worry!
You’ll be able to chow down on all your faves once your little peanut makes their arrival!