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Pregnancy is a time of immense change and heightened awareness. As a woman navigates this transformative journey, her diet becomes a critical factor in ensuring the health and well-being of both herself and her developing baby.

While a balanced and nutritious diet is paramount, certain foods raise questions and concerns, particularly those with potential risks or unknown impacts.

Mushrooms, with their diverse culinary applications and potential health benefits, fall into this category.

What Are Mushrooms Exactly?

Mushrooms are the fleshy, fruiting bodies of fungi. They typically pop-up above ground and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Mushrooms are often celebrated for their nutritional value, and for good reason; they are naturally low in calories and fat, making them a great addition to a healthy diet. But that's not all — they're also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Can You Eat Mushrooms While Pregnant?

Mushrooms are generally considered safe for pregnant women to enjoy. They're packed with nutrients, and many varieties are low in calories and fat. However, there are instances where mushrooms should be avoided, and educating yourself is key.

This list highlights some common mushrooms that are safe to consume during pregnancy, allowing you to add a delicious and nutritious boost to your meals without worry!

Which Mushrooms Are Safe During Pregnancy?

It's always important to be cautious and make informed choices. Luckily, there are many types of mushrooms that are generally considered safe for pregnant women to consume.

Here are some that are not only delicious but packed with nutrients:

  • Portobello: Good source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
  • Oyster: Low in calories and fat, and a good source of protein and B vitamins.
  • Maitake: Contains beta-glucans, which may support immune function and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chestnut: High in fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of potassium.
  • Crimini: Good source of antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals like selenium and copper.
  • White button: Low in calories and fat, and a good source of B vitamins and minerals.
  • Chaga: Grows on birch trees and is known for its high antioxidant content. It's often used to support the immune system and overall health.
  • Turkey Tail: This mushroom gets its name from its fan-shaped appearance. It's also known for its immune-boosting properties and is often used to support gut health.
  • Lion's Mane: Known for its brain-boosting properties. It's often used to improve memory, focus, and cognitive function.
  • Reishi: Known as the "mushroom of immortality" in traditional Chinese medicine. It's often used to support relaxation, sleep, and overall well-being.
  • Cordyceps: A parasitic fungus that grows on insects. It's often used to improve energy levels, athletic performance, and lung health.

Which Mushrooms to Avoid During Pregnancy?

While many mushrooms are generally safe to consume during pregnancy, certain varieties pose potential risks during pregnancy and should be avoided.

  • Mushrooms with high mercury content: Some mushrooms, like chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms, can accumulate mercury from the environment. While the levels are usually low, it's best to practice moderation when consuming mushrooms like this during pregnancy, as mercury can be harmful to the developing fetus.
  • Mushrooms with psychoactive properties: Other mushrooms can contain psychoactive compounds like psilocybin which can cause hallucinations or potentially increased anxiety. Since the research regarding the effects of these mushrooms during pregnancy is inconclusive at the moment, it’s best to avoid them until more reputable studies have been conducted.
  • Wild mushrooms: Picking mushrooms yourself can also pose a risk, since identifying wild mushrooms can be tricky, and even experienced foragers can make mistakes. There have been cases where people in America have mistakenly consumed toxic mushrooms, thinking they were safe to eat. Some examples include mistaking the Death Cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) for edible varieties like the Paddy Straw mushroom. It's crucial to be cautious and knowledgeable when it comes to mushroom identification to avoid any potential risks, especially during pregnancy.
  • Mushrooms that have not been properly prepared or stored: While cooked mushrooms are generally safe, it's best to avoid eating raw mushrooms during pregnancy. This is because raw mushrooms contain chitin which is difficult to digest and may cause stomach upset. You should cook mushrooms before eating them because it helps to break down their tough cell walls and make them easier to digest. Cooking also helps to eliminate any potential bacteria or parasites that may be present in raw mushrooms [*].

Benefits of Mushrooms During Pregnancy

When safe mushrooms are cooked properly, they can offer numerous health benefits, making them a great addition to your pregnancy diet [*].

Mushrooms are low in calories and fat while also being packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial for both the mother and the developing fetus during pregnancy [*].


This nutrient plays a crucial role in supporting overall health and development. In fact, one Portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a medium-sized banana.

Potassium helps maintain a healthy balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body. It helps support proper nerve and muscle function, including the development of your baby's muscles and nervous system.

Potassium also helps regulate blood pressure and may reduce the risk of pregnancy-related complications, such as preeclampsia.

Including potassium-rich foods in your diet, like mushrooms, can help ensure you're getting an adequate intake of this important mineral during pregnancy. It's just one of the many reasons why potassium is important for both you and your baby's health!

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune function. This is especially important for pregnant women, who often have low Vitamin D levels.

Some mushrooms, particularly those exposed to sunlight or UV light, can be a good source of this vitamin.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for the development of your baby's bones and teeth.

It also supports your immune system and helps regulate mood and energy levels.

Vitamin B

B vitamins are crucial for the growth and development of your baby's cells and nervous system. It also helps prevent certain birth defects and supports your own energy levels.

Mushrooms are also a good source of B vitamins, which play a crucial role in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, and fetal development. These include riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.


Selenium acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect your body's cells from damage. This is especially important during pregnancy when your body is working hard to support the growth and development of your baby.

Selenium also plays a role in thyroid function, which is important for regulating metabolism and supporting overall health [*].


Mushrooms contain various antioxidants, such as ergothioneine and glutathione, which help protect cells from damage.


Fiber is important during pregnancy as it helps keep your digestion in tip-top shape and prevents any uncomfortable constipation. It keeps things moving smoothly and helps your body absorb all those essential nutrients.

Plus, it can help control blood sugar levels and lower the risk of gestational diabetes.

Risks of Mushrooms While Pregnant

As long as the mushrooms you’re cooking are purchased from a credible source, foodborne illness is really the worst you can expect unless there is an unknown allergy.


The risks are much higher when consuming mushrooms that were grown in the wild and picked since they could be misidentified and potentially toxic.

Consuming toxic mushrooms during pregnancy can have severe effects on both you and your baby. The specific effects can vary depending on the type and amount of toxins present in the mushrooms.

Gastrointestinal Issues

In some cases, toxic mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, watering of the eyes, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

More serious effects can include liver damage or kidney failure [*].


It is important to check your mushrooms for any imperfections prior to preparing them since even if they’re cultivated mushrooms that are generally considered safe, there can still be potential issues with them.

When mushrooms are not stored or handled properly they can become infested with bacteria which could be potentially dangerous if ingested [*].


Mold can produce harmful toxins that may cause gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can vary depending on the type and amount of mold present.

It's important to avoid consuming moldy mushrooms and always check for any signs of mold before eating them [*].


Even if the wild mushroom is an edible variety, sometimes the environment it is grown in can affect the properties of the mushrooms. This is because mushrooms have a unique ability to absorb and concentrate certain elements from the soil or surrounding environment [*].

Because of this, they can accumulate trace amounts of mercury from the environment where they grow. While the levels of mercury in mushrooms are generally low, it's still important to be mindful of your overall mercury intake, especially during pregnancy.

High levels of mercury can potentially lead to developmental issues. Particularly affecting the nervous system of the baby. This can result in cognitive and behavioral problems, as well as difficulties with motor skills and hearing [*].

How to Prepare and Cook Mushrooms

When it comes to preparing mushrooms for safe consumption during pregnancy, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Buy from a reliable source: Check for any signs of spoilage or mold before using them. Then, give them a good rinse under cool, running water to remove any dirt or debris. If needed, you can gently clean the surface with a soft brush.
  • Cook mushrooms thoroughly: When cooking the mushrooms, it's important to cook them thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria or parasites. You can sauté, roast, grill, or bake them until they are fully cooked and tender. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked mushrooms during pregnancy, as they may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses.
  • Practice good hygiene: Don't forget to wash your hands and clean all utensils and surfaces that come into contact with raw mushrooms to prevent cross-contamination.

If you have any specific concerns, it's always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

The Bottom Line

Cultivated mushrooms that have been stored and cooked properly are generally safe to eat during pregnancy.

They’re low in calories and fat while being high in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, making them the ideal healthy addition to your meal!

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With state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and a commitment to excellence, MiracleCord ensures the highest quality standards in cord blood storage. Give us a call today at 888.743.2673 or download our Free Info Kit.

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.The materials and information contained on the MiracleCord website is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended to, and does not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis, and should not be used as such. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. If you are seeking personal medical advice, you should consult with a licensed physician. Always consult with a qualified health care provider regarding a medical condition.

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