Provided you do not consume toxic varieties that you harvested yourself, mushrooms are generally safe for consumption. They offer vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet. However, eating too many mushrooms could cause you to ingest excessive amounts of certain nutrients, potentially resulting in danger to your health. Seek the advice of a dietitian if you have concerns about your mushroom intake.
Mushrooms can be a rich source of iron. Morels, for example, provide nearly 14 g in a 4-oz. serving. Men require 8 mg and women need 18 mg of iron per day for its role in supporting healthy red blood cells and carrying oxygen through the blood. The safe upper limit for iron consumption in adults is 45 mg per day, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Therefore, consuming an entire pound of morels exceeds your daily limit for iron. Excessive dietary iron may cause gastrointestinal upset and accumulation of iron in your soft tissues.
Phosphorus is a vital component of your skeletal system, a variety of cellular proteins and membranes. You require a daily intake of 700 mg to support these functions. Consuming more than 4 g per day may lead to high levels of phosphate in your blood and calcium deposits in your organs. Mushrooms contain varying amounts of phosphorus, with 4 oz. of morels providing over 200 mg to your diet. Eating 1 lb. of morels in a day exceeds your daily requirement of phosphorus, while 5 lb. in a single day supplies toxic levels of this mineral.
Mushrooms give your diet zinc, a trace mineral serving as a vital co-factor in enzyme reactions, and it plays a role in the integrity of proteins and cell membranes. Zinc also helps your body use vitamin A and folate. Morels offer more than 2 mg in a 4-oz. serving, accounting for 20 to 25 percent of your daily requirement. Taking in more than 40 mg of zinc per day may cause short-term gastrointestinal problems or induce a copper deficiency over the long term. Similar to phosphorus, consuming 5 lb. of morels exposes you to dangerously high levels of zinc.
Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, with Chanterelles, for example, providing more than 4 g in a 4-oz. serving. Dietary fiber keeps your intestines functioning smoothly. However, a high intake of fiber, especially when your digestive system in unaccustomed to it, may result in abdominal distress and constipation. Your daily diet should include 20 to 35 g of fiber. Consuming 1 lb. or more of Chanterelles may cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference -- Mushroom
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute; Iron; August 2009
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute; Phosphorus; August 2007
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute; Zinc; February 2008
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension; Dietary Fiber; Linda Boeckner; 2006
- The Mushroom Council: Nutrition Benefits