Many people believe that eating mushrooms while pregnant is a good idea because they are nutrient-rich. Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient in many dishes, and whether they play the lead or a supporting role, it's difficult to replicate their woody, nutty, savory flavor.
However, some people disagree and question: are mushrooms safe during pregnancy?
Most edible mushroom species are safe for use during pregnancy if thoroughly cooked and cleaned before consumption. You and your developing fetus can get plenty of vitamins ( B and D), protein, fiber, iron, and a wide range of antioxidants from mushrooms. Still, pregnant women shouldn't consume some varieties, especially raw, poisonous, or magic mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms that are not suitable for cooking can also be included in a pregnant woman's diet. Reishi, Lion's mane, Chaga, and Turkey tail are functional fungi best taken as a capsule or liquid extracts.
Although eating mushrooms is generally considered safe while pregnant, picking the safest varieties is crucial. It is also a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any mushroom supplements during pregnancy.
Below we will explore the link between mushrooms and pregnancy benefits. We will also guide you on safely eating mushrooms during the nine magical months of your life and answer some of your mushroom pregnancy queries.
Benefits Of Mushroom During Pregnancy
For pregnant women, mushrooms are a food source of numerous essential nutrients. They have a low calorie and fat content, are abundant in minerals and B vitamins and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, they serve as prebiotics to promote gut health.
It is safe to keep eating the same kind of mushrooms if you loved them before getting pregnant and had no adverse pregnancy-related effects. Let’s now explore the benefits of eating medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy
Lion’s Mane Mushroom For Pregnancy Brains
Pregnancy brain refers to the cognitive decline and brain fog that pregnant woman struggle with. Some symptoms include forgetfulness, memory issues, poor concentration, absentmindedness, and poor memory.
Lion's mane mushroom, or Hericium erinaceus, has a reputation for helping to clear the mental haze. Additionally, it helps to increase focus, memory, and sharpness.
Hericium erinaceus, also known as "nature's brain juice," is a potent brain enhancer(1). The ingredients in mushrooms promote the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which renews brain cells.
Chaga For Anti-inflammatory And Immune Support
The mother's immune system is constantly changing during pregnancy, from a pro-inflammatory state at the beginning and end to an anti-inflammatory state in between.
Chaga mushrooms, or Inonotus obliquus, contain beta-D-glucans that support a healthy immune system. This means it can stimulate your immune system when you need a boost. Likewise, mushrooms can downregulate it when it is overactive.
The anti-inflammatory properties(2) of ergosterol peroxide, ergosterol, and trametenolic acid, isolated from Chaga mushrooms, are well known. This might aid in reducing inflammatory conditions during pregnancy.
The maturation of dendritic cells(3), derived from bone marrow and an essential part of the immune system, is encouraged by inotodiol, a lanostane triterpenoid from Chaga.
Reishi Helps Combat Oxidative Stress
Antioxidants shield the body from free radicals, which significantly contribute to several pregnancy-related illnesses. Oxidative stress also affects various reproductive issues, including high blood pressure, miscarriage, fetal growth restriction, preterm labor, and infertility.
Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum, is well-known for its antioxidant properties(4), which boost the immune system and keep pregnant women healthy and free from disease. Triterpenoids and polysaccharides are primarily responsible for the mushroom's defense against oxidative damage.
Turkey Tail Gives You A Burst Of Energy
Pregnancy can sap the energy out of you as your body is working hard to support the new life growing inside. In addition, the body has to adapt to many physical changes with the development of a baby. Furthermore, increased levels of progesterone, low sugar, and blood pressure can add to your fatigue.
The extract of Turkey tail mushroom, or Trametes versicolor, has been shown to enhance energy and fight fatigue(5). Even traditional medicine believes that the mushroom balances various biological systems in the body, thereby helping improve energy.
How To Eat Mushrooms During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women should only consume a moderate amount of mushrooms, purchase them from a reputable source, and ask about the product's origin.
Here are some things to consider while eating mushroom in pregnancy:
- “Shrooms” or “Magic Mushrooms” containing Psilocybin should never be taken during pregnancy.
- Foraged or wild mushrooms should also be generally avoided.
- Buy fresh and clean mushrooms that are not damaged or bruised. Then thoroughly wash and cook them before eating.
- Medicinal mushroom supplements are another easy and safe way to eat mushrooms. They are available as capsules, powder, tinctures, and tablets.
Tips For Cooking Mushroom During Pregnancy
There are several safe ways for pregnant women to consume mushrooms, such as:
When preparing mushrooms at home, rinse them in a bowl of water to get rid of any dirt, as eating them could expose you to microbes that could make you sick. Once dry, pat them.
Infections may result from improperly cooked mushrooms. Cook and maintain hot mushroom dishes at a minimum temperature of 140°F (60°C) following food safety guidelines. Store them properly to prevent bacterial growth and the possibility of foodborne illnesses.
Are Mushroom Supplements Safe During Pregnancy?
Mushrooms supplements, when taken in moderation, are generally safe during pregnancy. But, as there are limited studies on pregnant women, you should speak with your holistic health provider beforehand.
Which Mushroom Is Best For Pregnancy?
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Turkey Tail are known to have beneficial effects during pregnancy. These are easy to use and can be taken in the form of capsules, tablets, tinctures, or powders.
Lion’s mane, Turkey tail, Chaga, and Reishi mushrooms pregnancy benefits include keeping the mind sharp, increasing energy levels, and fighting inflammation and oxidative stress. Always seek your healthcare provider's approval before using medicinal mushrooms while pregnant. Never use health products or medicinal mushrooms on your own unless they have been shown to be both safe for you and the life developing inside you.
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/
- Anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of extracts and compounds from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (2)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814613000526
- Inotodiol From Inonotus obliquus Chaga Mushroom Induces Atypical Maturation in Dendritic Cells, (3)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.650841/full
- Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12358482/
- Effect of Coriolus versicolor Mycelia Extract on Exercise Performance and Physical Fatigue in Mice, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5666542/