Is it safe to eat Mushrooms During Pregnancy?

Mushrooms offer excellent nutrition for your growing baby. Including them in your regular diet helps you share the benefits with the baby in the womb.    You be wanting foods rich in iron; B12 and B6; folate; Vitamins A, C, and D, calcium, zinc, iodine, and potassium. Medicinal mushrooms are good a source of ALL of these nutrients!    These little powerhouses also offer an added benefit of a beta-glucans which are thought to be the main lactation agent responsible for mushroom’s galactagogue properties. Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Shimeji, and Oyster mushrooms have the highest beta-glucan content in the mushroom family.

The benefits include:    

  1. Good Source of Vitamin B Nutrients - Mushrooms are a natural source of many complex vitamin B components, such as riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), and pantothenic acid (B5). These components have several benefits for the mother and the baby. Riboflavin is essential for nerve development, healthy skin, good eyesight and the development of strong bones and muscles. Niacin helps maintain cholesterol levels and is very good for the health of the heart and circulatory system of both the mother and the foetus. Thiamine is responsible for the baby’s brain development. It also boosts your energy, helping with fatigue which can be a common issue during pregnancy. Pantothenic acid prevents digestive disorders by helping food metabolism in your body.

  2.  Aids Muscle Strength and Digestion - Mushrooms are an important vegetarian source of protein, which is vital for the development of the placenta and the foetal support system in the womb. Mushrooms also have a high fibre content which promotes regular motions. The insoluble fibre is crucial for proper digestion, and the soluble fibre moderates blood sugar absorption and helps maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels too.

  3. Antioxidants and Trace Elements - Antioxidants present in mushrooms boost the immune system and help keep you healthy and disease-free during your pregnancy. Mushrooms also contain potassium, and zinc which are vital for the proper growth and development of your baby.

Remember, your pregnancy is not the time to be trying out new foods so if you haven't eaten mushrooms before - beware! Although rare, some mushrooms may cause a small section of individuals with allergies to have side effects. These would include stomach problems (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea) and in some cases where low platelet counts are found bleeding can be exascerbated. Therefore. If you experience allergic reactions, seek medication attention immediately and avoid eating mushrooms in the future.  So, which mushrooms are safe to consume during pregnancy? Let’s find out!

Most commonly available mushrooms like Portabellin and White Button as well as the gourmets like Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms are all safe to eat. Extracted mushroom powders as medicinal supplements and frozen and processed mushroom products, which are well within their expiry date, are also safe for consumption during pregnancy. Possibly Unsafe Mushrooms to Consume During Pregnancy While most mushrooms are safe for consumption, you do need to keep in mind that some may need to be avoided.

Here are the ones that are best kept off your plate:

  1. Raw Mushrooms - Mushrooms are essentially indigestible if eaten raw because of their tough cell walls. To make their nutrients bioavailable to humans, most mushrooms need to be cooked thoroughly before eating.

  2. Magic and Wild Mushrooms - Magic mushrooms and those gathered wild can potentially pose problems. Magic mushrooms contain a substance called Psilocybin which causes hallucinations, muscle weakness, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.  
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms Mushrooms consist of nutrients essential during pregnancy. Here are the nutrients found in 100 grams of fresh Button mushrooms.
  • Energy  – 27.49 calories
  • Protein – 3.68 gms
  • Carbohydrate – 1.98
  • Calcium – 18.38 mg
  • Iron – 0.29 mg
  • Magnesium – 18.3 mg
  • Phosphorus – 87.11 mg
  • Potassium – 318 mg
  • Sodium – 7.72 mg
  • Zinc – 0.17 mg
  • Copper – 0.09 mcg
  • Vitamin D – 0.2 mg
  • Folate – 8.28 mcg DFE
  • Niacin – 0.68 mg
Source – IFCT 2017, ICMR 

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