The mushrooms you might see on your supermarket shelves — cremini, shiitake mushrooms, portobello — are not only harmless but also beneficial for your health. Regardless, can you eat too many mushrooms?
They’re a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and plant-based protein. Eating mushrooms is beneficial for bone health, but you would have to consume an abundance of mushrooms to ingest too much of some of these nutrients.
Can You Eat Too Many Mushrooms
It is possible to eat too many mushrooms and experience digestive discomfort from the excess fiber or vitamin D.
However, if you consume, for instance, 10 cups of mushrooms in one day, you are consuming an exorbitant amount of fiber and vitamins.
Although eating large amounts of fiber isn’t necessarily harmful, you may begin to experience some uncomfortable side effects such as bloating, constipation and stomach pain.
Too much fiber can exacerbate digestive issues, but mushrooms are a rich source of B vitamins which can help.
If you consume significant quantities of mushrooms, you’ll have too many B vitamins in your system. However, because they are water soluble, they will exit your body through urine and not build up over time.
Although B vitamins are great for you, consuming high amounts can lead to toxicity. For example, ingesting more than 200 milligrams of nerve tissue daily can cause problems – although that would require eating almost 90 cups of mushrooms! Another nutrient found in mushrooms is niacin. Consuming 3000 milligrams or more in a day can result in liver damage.
However, as long as you’re not planning to eat a 100 cups of mushrooms every day, you should be fine. Mushrooms exposed to UV light contain high amounts of vitamin D; having over 60,000 IU of vitamin D puts you in a danger zone.
You’ll need to eat around 24 cups of portobello mushrooms to reach this amount, but eating toxic amounts of vitamin D can cause vomiting and kidney issues.
Is it Better to Eat Mushrooms Cooked or Raw?
Often, people choose mushrooms for their nutritional value, but are worried that cooking them will destroy many of the fungi’s natural benefits. What is a cooked mushroom if a large percentage of its nutrients have evaporated?
While it’s true that some nutrients are indeed lost when mushrooms are cooked, this doesn’t tell the whole story. B vitamins may be boiled away, but cooking also increases other key nutrients, like vitamin C. To get a more holistic view: while overall more of its nutrients are lost than gained, there are benefits to both eating raw and cooked mushrooms. It’s complicated!
Carcinogenic compounds such as hydrazine and formaldehyde are lost during the cooking process. Although these compounds are heat-sensitive, other more desirable elements are also lost when mushrooms are cooked.
We believe cooking is the best way to prepare mushrooms. They may lose some water content and thus shrink a bit, but they will still retain their nutritional value. If you’re worried about lost nutrients, just consume a few extra cooked mushrooms. You can’t make up for lost nutrients by eating raw mushrooms, as either way you’ll be consuming carcinogens.
How Many Mushrooms Can I Eat a Day?
Although mushrooms offer many health benefits, there are some limitations to how often you can consume them. The first obstacle is the calorie content. While a particular food might be healthy, it’s still important to pay attention to how many calories you’re consuming. On average, women need approximately 2000 calories per day while men require closer to 2500 calories.
Given the variation in size and species, it’s tricky to give an accurate calorie count for mushrooms. However, a typical medium-sized white mushroom will have about twenty-five calories. If a man of average build ate nothing but more than one hundred of these mushrooms in ONE day, he would exceed his recommended caloric intake and start bloat up. For women, that number is eighty less; they’d need to eat only eighty throughout the day instead.
If you were to eat hundreds of mushrooms a day, weight loss would be the least of your problems. While we all know how important vitamins are for our diet, too much of anything is never good. The white mushroom—the most popular type in North America—contains approximately two percent vitamin D.
Can You Eat Too Many Mushrooms – Bottom Line
Although mushrooms offer numerous health benefits, including blood pressure and improve immune system, it is possible to consume too many. Pay attention to your calorie intake and limit your consumption of vitamin D-rich mushrooms, as too much can lead to toxicity.
Cook your mushrooms to avoid carcinogenic compounds, but remember that some nutrients may be lost during the cooking process. As with all healthy foods, moderation is key. Enjoy mushrooms, but avoid poisonous mushrooms and don’t overdo it! And always check with a trusted medical professional before making any major dietary changes.