Should You Eat Mushrooms During Pregnancy
Is it safe to eat mushrooms during pregnancy? Does it matter if they are raw or cooked? What about the alleged health benefits of medicinal mushrooms? Should you avoid eating mushrooms during your first trimester? If you are pregnant mushrooms should be no problem, says several authorities on the subject; here’s why…
Mushrooms during pregnancy
Probably the only mushrooms during pregnancy that a woman should not eat are ‘magic mushrooms,’ raw mushrooms, and any toxic or poisonous mushrooms. Experts say that the rest are likely fine to consume, including medicinal mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms during pregnancy are a big no-no
Of all the foods to avoid during pregnancy, most mushrooms are not among them. However, the so-called magic mushrooms (also known as psychedelic mushrooms) are actually in the category of ‘toxic’ mushrooms since they have chemical properties (psilocybin) that affect the chemistry of the brain and may adversely affect your unborn baby.
Most medical doctors typically highly advise mothers-to-be to stay away from these hallucinogenic mushrooms during pregnancy, or while nursing. Any and all toxic or poisonous mushrooms during pregnancy should also be completely avoided.
Be especially careful of picking wild mushrooms to eat as some mushrooms may be misidentified and you may accidentally ingest poisonous mushrooms during pregnancy. The ‘false chanterelle’ is one such mushroom that looks like a chanterelle, but is actually poisonous.
Raw mushrooms during pregnancy should be avoided
Raw mushrooms should be avoided for similar reasons. Mycologists like Paul Stamets typically adhere to the practice of eating dried or cooked mushrooms, or mushroom extracts/tinctures rather than advocating eating any mushroom raw. This goes for anyone, not just pregnant women.
Mushrooms during pregnancy that are eaten should be cooked because a slight amount of carcinogenic toxins are present in raw mushrooms. Cooking or drying them can remove these toxins and create health benefits instead, such as being immune boosting, and providing fiber (beta glucan) and vitamins (like vitamin D) and minerals.
Medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy are safe?
Many mycological experts and naturopaths and physicians, as well as companies (like Myko San) who have researched medicinal mushrooms tend to agree that most medicinal mushrooms (like shiitake, maitake, etc.) are not too different from other edible mushrooms commonly bought in the grocery store (white button mushrooms, portabella/crimini mushrooms, etc.) and are just as edible.
Medicinal mushrooms simply are mushrooms that have particularly high amounts of constituents in them like beta glucan (a polysaccharide sugar that is also a fiber) that helps boost the immune system as it passes through the intestines. Some mushrooms boast properties such as being anti-tumor, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-fungal, and even anti-bacterial in nature.
Sir Eliezer Ben-Joseph, a Traditional Naturopath in El Paso, Texas who speaks on his radio show Natural Solutions Radio, told me that medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy are safe to eat, even during your first trimester.
So yes, according to this doctor you can eat mushrooms while pregnant, and they are even good for you!
The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at http://www.aminoacidinformation.com and Vancouver Health News at http://www.VancouverHealthNews.ca. National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com, plus our newest portal at http://todayswordofwisdom.com.
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