Can you eat Raw White Mushrooms?

In this article, we will discuss the question, “can you eat raw white mushrooms?”. We will also discuss the health benefits and risks of eating raw white mushrooms and if their nutritional value changes after cooking. 

Can you eat Raw White Mushrooms?

Yes, raw white mushrooms can be eaten raw.. White mushrooms are the most cultivated kind of mushroom on the planet. Besides being extremely low in calories, they offer different health-promoting impacts, for example, improved heart health and cancer-fighting properties (1).

What are the health benefits of eating raw white mushrooms?

Eating raw white mushrooms can offer several health benefits. According to studies, white mushrooms are a fantastic source of nutrients, especially the B vitamins, such as riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and pantothenic acid (B5), these vitamins are essential for energy production, brain function, and cell metabolism (1,2,3). 

They are also rich in minerals like selenium, copper, and potassium, which boost the immune system, the heart, and antioxidant defense, and other therapeutic molecules like triterpenoids, glycoproteins and enzyme inhibitors that strengthen the health system (1,2).

White mushrooms contain ergosterols (provitamin D2), steroid molecules that transform into vitamin D and is essential for supporting bone health and immune system balance, and is a naturally occurring supply in these mushrooms (1).

Besides, the fact that white mushrooms are a low-calorie food with a high water content and high dietary fiber content makes them a fantastic alternative for weight management and hydration (1,2). 

What are the risks of eating raw white mushrooms?

While raw white mushrooms are generally safe to consume, there are a few potential risks to consider. Agaritine, a substance found in raw mushrooms, has been demonstrated in animal experiments to have carcinogenic effects.

Although the effect on human health is yet unknown, agaritine levels in commercially available mushrooms are normally modest (4). 

Another thing is that raw mushrooms can also cause allergic responses in some people or digestive discomfort, which can show up as symptoms like nausea, bloating, or diarrhea (5,6). 

Microbial contamination can also occur if white mushrooms are not properly cleaned and prepared. That said, it is advised to properly prepare them to maximize safety and nutrient availability.

Can all mushrooms be eaten raw?

No, all mushrooms can not be eaten raw. As a matter of fact, all mushrooms are not edible even after cooking. As for raw ones, only a few mushrooms are brutal or might sit badly if they are eaten raw (7). 

Also, if you have cooked them at least once in your life, you will be aware that they give a ton of water & are shrunken when cooked. 

Does the nutritional value of raw white mushrooms change after cooking?

Yes, the nutritional value of raw white mushrooms can be affected by cooking methods, but this does not necessarily mean that is just loss of nutrients, because while some heat-sensitive nutrients, such as vitamin C and certain B vitamins, may experience some loss during cooking, other nutrients become more bioavailable and easier to digest (8,9). 

According to studies, the indicated cooking methods for preserving or improving the nutritional value of mushrooms are frying and grilling (8,10).

The method of cooking can break down the tough cell walls of mushrooms, enhancing the release and absorption of nutrients, and heat can increase the antioxidant activity of mushrooms, potentially boosting their overall health benefits (11). 

In summary, the extent of nutrient loss or gain depends on the specific cooking method and duration. Overall, cooking white mushrooms can alter their nutritional profile, but it can also enhance nutrient absorption and increase their antioxidant potential (11).

How to safely eat raw white mushrooms?

To safely consume raw white mushrooms you can follow some tips (12):

  • First, choose firm mushrooms with no signs of spoilage.
  • Clean the mushrooms under cold running water and remove any dirt on the surface.
  • Slice the mushrooms for better consumption.
  • If you are not eating them immediately, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness or freeze to extend the shelf life.


In this article, we discussed the question, “can you eat raw white mushrooms?” Moreover, we also discussed the health benefits and risks of eating raw white mushrooms and if their nutritional value changes after cooking. 


1. Sinha, S.K., et al. Nutritional-Medicinal Profile and Quality Categorization of Fresh White Button Mushroom. Biointerface Research in Applied Chemistry, 2020, 11(2):8669-8685.

2. Usman, M.; Murtaza, G.; Ditta, A. Nutritional, Medicinal, and Cosmetic Value of Bioactive Compounds in Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus): A Review. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 5943.

3. Solano-Aguilar, G.I., et al. The Effects of Consuming White Button Mushroom Agaricus bisporus on the Brain and Liver Metabolome Using a Targeted Metabolomic Analysis. Metabolites. 2021, 11(11):779.

4. Roupas, P., et al. Mushrooms and agaritine: A mini-review. Journal of Functional Foods, 2010, 2, 91-98.

5. Ho, M.H.K., Hill, D.J. White button mushroom food hypersensitivity in a child. J Paediatrics and Child Health, 2006, 42, 555–556.

6. Cunha, I.M., et al. Anaphylaxis to Agaricus bisporus ingestion. Einstein (São Paulo), 2020, 18.

7. Elkhateeb, W.A.,Daba, G.M. The wild non edible mushrooms, what should we know so far?. Int J Adv Chem, 2022, 6(1):43-50.

8. Reid T, Munyanyi M, Mduluza T. Effect of cooking and preservation on nutritional and phytochemical composition of the mushroom Amanita zambiana. Food Sci Nutr. 2016, 5(3):538-544.

9. Ng ZX, Tan WC. Impact of optimised cooking on the antioxidant activity in edible mushrooms. J Food Sci Technol. 2017, 54(12):4100-4111.

10. Roncero-Ramos, I., et al. Effect of different cooking methods on nutritional value and antioxidant activity of cultivated mushrooms. Int J Food Sci and Nut, 2016, 68(3):1-11.

11. Cho, Y.M., et al. Influence of heat treatment on the antioxidant activities and polyphenolic compounds of Shitake (Lentinus edodes) mushroom. Food Chemistry, 2006, 99(2):381-387.

12. Czapski, J., K. Szudyga. Frozen Mushrooms Quality as Affected by Strain, Flush, Treatment Before Freezing, and Time of Storage. J Food Sci, 2000, 65.

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