Why Am I Craving Mushrooms? 7 Reasons Why

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A puzzled man holding a mushroom, with thought bubbles asking "WHY AM I CRAVING MUSHROOMS?" and illustrations of mushrooms.

You might be craving mushrooms for several reasons. Maybe you love their unique taste, saw an appealing mushroom recipe on TV, are simply feeling hungry, or there could be many other factors.

It’s not easy to pinpoint just one reason for your craving for mushrooms because there can be many triggers.

But don’t worry, as a nutritionist, I’m here to guide you through understanding why you might be craving mushrooms. Stick with me as we dive into various potential reasons behind your mushroom cravings.

1. You like its umami taste

Umami is often called the “fifth taste,” sitting alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

It’s what makes certain foods taste not just good, but deliciously satisfying in a way that fills your taste buds with a sense of fullness and depth. Mushrooms are well-known for their umami taste.

When you eat mushrooms, especially when they’re well-ripened or dried like shiitake mushrooms, they release glutamate.

This glutamate is like a key that fits into specific locks (umami taste receptors) on your tongue. When the glutamate unlocks these receptors, it sends a signal to your brain that says, “Wow, this is delicious and savory!”

So you may crave mushrooms because you like their umami flavor.

2. You might be hungry

Sometimes, the food cravings certain foods just because we are hungry. Yes, when you feel hungry, you might find yourself wanting many different kinds of food.

It doesn’t always have to be something you love a lot or something you don’t eat often.

For instance, there are times I really feel like eating a bowl of lentil soup. Now, I could name 10 different meals I would rather eat instead of lentil soup. But I have noticed these random cravings pop up because I’m hungry.

So, the main idea here is that your craving for mushrooms might just be because you’re hungry, and you end up wanting a specific dish that has mushrooms in it.

3. You got inspired to eat mushrooms from somewhere

It’s really interesting to see how many of my clients have changed their minds about certain foods they didn’t like before.

Then, they have a special experience while traveling that involves that very food, and suddenly, they return with a newfound appreciation for it.

Take this story from a Reddit user, as shown in the image below. They always avoided mushrooms, except in a few select recipes.

But after they watched a video on the right way to cook mushrooms, they decided to try making shimeji mushrooms themselves. And now? They’ve become a fan of mushrooms!

So, sometimes wanting to eat something new can come from seeing someone else try it, like watching a video of someone traveling and eating different foods, including mushrooms. Or it could be from a movie, TV show, or a friend suggesting you try it.

The interesting part here is our brain’s ability to adapt and change with new experiences, a concept known as neuroplasticity. This ability extends to our taste preferences as well.

By giving new foods or cooking methods a chance, we can start to see these foods in a different light and even begin to enjoy them.

With time and repeated exposure, our preferences for certain tastes can evolve, leading us to enjoy flavors we might have previously dismissed.

4. You want something new in your diet

Your wish for mushrooms might come from having the same food too often. Everyone likes to change up their meals sometimes.

I remember back in school, seeing and smelling my friend’s lunch would make me want that instead of whatever I had in my lunchbox.

This doesnt just apply to kids; it’s about how we all naturally like to try new things. We’re curious by nature, wanting to explore different tastes, though some of us might have this feeling stronger than others.

Think about a regular day: you start with coffee, then have toast with some slices of meat or oatmeal with fruit, and then it’s off to work.

For dinner, you end up choosing from the same five dishes you always eat every week. This routine doesn’t change much.

After sticking to these meals week after week, for months or even years, it’s normal for your mind to start looking for something different, something to excite your taste buds again.

And for you, that something different is mushrooms.

5. You are used to eating mushrooms

Most of the time, your body craves what it’s used to eating. For instance, I have a strong habit of eating Greek yogurt with grapes in it.

It’s become so much of a routine that even when I go on vacation, I find myself wanting that same bowl of Greek yogurt and grapes.

The reason you might be craving mushrooms could be because you’re used to having them regularly.

For example, if you’re someone who enjoys Asian food, you’re aware that many dishes in Asian cuisine include mushrooms.

If you’ve been eating these dishes often, either making them at home or eating out, it’s natural for your body to start wanting them.

This happens because your mind remembers the delicious taste and the good feelings you get from eating mushrooms.

6. You are not allowed to eat mushrooms

For some reason, if you’re not allowed to eat mushrooms, your desire for them is likely to increase. There are a few scenarios where you might need to limit your mushroom consumption:

1) if you’re following a carnivore diet,

2) if you’re a Jain vegetarian, or

3) if you’re on a low-FODMAP diet for health reasons.

Essentially, when you can’t have something you want, your craving for it tends to become even stronger. This increase in desire can occur for several reasons.

  • Scarcity Principle: This idea tells us that when things are hard to find or not available much, we tend to want them more. The thought that something is not easy to get can make it look more appealing to us. So, when you’re told that you can’t have mushrooms, this rule makes them seem more valuable and interesting because they’re seen as rare or limited.

  • Reactance Theory: Reactance is what happens inside our minds when we feel like we’re losing our freedom to choose. If you’re told you can’t have something, like mushrooms, you might feel a push inside you (that’s reactance) to get back your freedom. This leads to wanting the mushrooms more, just because you’re reacting against being told you can’t have them. It’s like your mind’s way of fighting back against the feeling that your choices are being limited.

  • Psychological Rebellion: This is a lot like reactance. It’s about how being told not to do something can actually make doing it more tempting. This happens because things we’re not supposed to do or have might feel like they’re tied to our freedom and who we are. Choosing to do something that’s forbidden, like eating mushrooms when you’ve been told not to, can feel like you’re standing up for your own choices and expressing who you are.

7. You are low in vitamin D (Unlikely)

There’s a theory suggesting that if you’re lacking certain nutrients, like vitamin D, your body might naturally crave foods rich in those nutrients.

In this example, if you’re low in vitamin D, you might start craving foods that are high in it.

However, I have reservations about this theory. Currently, there’s no concrete evidence to prove that our bodies can detect specific nutrient deficiencies and guide us toward the foods needed to correct them.

Take the theory at face value: if you’re deficient in vitamin D and find yourself craving mushrooms, it’s presumed your body is seeking to replenish its vitamin D levels.

Morel mushrooms, for instance, contain about 206 IU of vitamin D2 per 100 grams.

But considering the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 800 IU (or 20mcg), mushrooms aren’t the most efficient source.

Foods like sockeye salmon offer a much higher content, with 527 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams.

Also, it’s important to note that mushrooms contain vitamin D2, while fatty fish is rich in vitamin D3.

Although vitamin D2 can increase vitamin D levels in the blood, research suggests it might not be effective.

This brings me to my main concern with the theory: there’s no evidence explaining why the body would crave foods with a moderate amount of vitamin D2 and not those rich in vitamin D3, which is more beneficial.

Ideal sources of vitamin D3 include salmon, herring, cod liver oil, canned tuna, egg yolks, and milk.

So, while I mention this theory to offer a well-rounded view, it’s important to recognize that these claims have yet to be fully supported by evidence.

Also Read: Why Am I Craving Bananas?

Healthy Ways To Satisfy Your Mushroom Cravings

Here are some healthy methods to enjoy mushrooms while reaping their health benefits

Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic and Herbs

This method involves gently frying mushrooms in a small amount of heart-healthy oil, like olive or avocado oil. These oils are full of monounsaturated fats, known to boost heart health.

Adding garlic not only seasons the mushrooms with a rich flavor but also brings immune-boosting benefits.

Incorporating herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley enhances the taste and introduces antioxidants, fighting oxidative stress in the body.

This technique softens the mushrooms and lets them soak up the garlic and herb flavors, offering a tasty way to enjoy mushrooms while preserving their vital nutrients.

Mushroom Stir-Fry

A mushroom stir-fry presents a colorful and nutritious meal, mixing various mushrooms’ health advantages with an array of vegetables.

Oyster, shiitake, and button mushrooms contribute distinct textures and flavors, along with nutrients like selenium, potassium, and B vitamins.

The addition of vibrant vegetables not only beautifies the dish but also provides a spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Opting for low-sodium soy sauce or tamari keeps the sodium in check, making it a heart-healthy option.

Stir-frying on high heat for a short duration ensures the vegetables and mushrooms retain their nutritional value, making this dish a healthy main course.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms offer a flexible and nutritious choice for a snack or appetizer.

Filling large mushroom caps with a combination of chopped vegetables, quinoa, and a touch of low-fat cheese yields a dish high in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients, yet low in calories.

Quinoa, being a complete protein, brings a pleasing crunch and nutritional enhancement, turning these mushrooms into a substantial snack.

Baking blends the flavors while preserving the nutritional quality of the mushrooms and stuffing, making it an ideal option for those seeking a flavorful, nutritious bite.

Mushroom Soup

Making mushroom soup from scratch creates a healthier take on this comforting dish. Using fresh mushrooms guarantees a soup rich in natural umami taste, vitamins, and minerals.

Cooking them with vegetable broth, onions, and garlic deepens the flavor and adds extra nutrients. Herbs may be included for additional flavor and health benefits.

Pureeing some of the cooked mushrooms gives the soup a creamy consistency without heavy cream, cutting down on calories while maintaining a creamy texture.

This approach keeps the nutritional value of the mushrooms and other ingredients intact, resulting in a warm, comforting soup suitable for any time of year.

Mushroom Omelette

First, you beat some eggs and cook them flat in a pan to make the omelet base. While that’s cooking, you cook some mushrooms in another pan until they’re soft.

You then add these mushrooms on top of the omelet, along with some fresh spinach leaves and a little bit of feta cheese, which is a tangy cheese that crumbles easily.

This dish is great for breakfast or brunch because it’s full of protein from the eggs and has lots of vitamins from the mushrooms and spinach.

It’s a meal that fills you up, gives you energy, and doesn’t have too many calories. Plus, the mix of mushrooms and feta cheese makes it really tasty.

Roasted Mushrooms

What it is: You mix mushrooms with a small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which is a sweet and tangy sauce, and then season with a little salt and pepper.

Spread them out on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven until they are soft and a bit browned.

Why it’s good: When you roast mushrooms like this, they get a sweet taste and a nice, chewy texture. They’re great to eat by themselves, on top of a salad, or as a side dish with meat.

Roasting them with balsamic vinegar makes them a bit sweet and very flavorful.

Mushroom and Bean Burgers

What it is: You chop up mushrooms very small and mix them with mashed black beans, breadcrumbs (which help hold everything together), and your favorite spices to add flavor.

Then, you shape this mixture into burger patties and cook them on a grill or in a pan.

These burgers are a great choice if you’re looking for something meat-free but still filling and rich in nutrients.

Mushrooms and black beans together make the burgers juicy and give you fiber and protein, which are good for your health and keep you feeling full.

It’s a tasty alternative to meat burgers and goes well with all the usual burger toppings.

Also Read: Are Mushrooms Good For Weight Loss?

Unhealthy Ways To Avoid When Satisfying Your Mushroom Cravings

While mushrooms are a healthy food by itself, it’s important to be mindful of how you satisfy your mushroom cravings to ensure you’re not compromising your health. Here are some unhealthy ways to avoid:

Avoid Deep-Frying Mushrooms

When mushrooms are coated in batter and deep-fried, they absorb a lot of oil, which significantly increases their calorie and fat content.

This not only adds unhealthy trans fats or saturated fats to your diet but also raises LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can clog arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

While the crispy texture might be appealing, it’s healthier to sauté, bake, or grill mushrooms to enjoy their natural flavors without the added fats.

Limit Creamy Mushroom Sauces

Creamy mushroom sauces often contain ingredients like heavy cream, full-fat dairy, and large amounts of butter.

These components are rich in saturated fats, which, if consumed in excess, can lead to higher cholesterol levels and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

To enjoy mushrooms in a sauce, consider using lighter alternatives like broth-based sauces, which can be thickened with a slurry of cornstarch or flour and water for a creamy texture without the heavy fat content.

Choose Mushroom Pizza Wisely

Mushroom pizzas can quickly go from a healthy meal to a calorie bomb when loaded with extra cheese and processed meats, which are high in saturated fats and sodium.

These ingredients can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Opting for a pizza with a thinner crust, less cheese, and more fresh vegetables, including a generous topping of mushrooms, can make your pizza more balanced and nutritious while still satisfying your craving.

Be Cautious with Mushroom Casseroles

Casseroles are comforting, but using processed ingredients like canned soups, processed cheeses, or fried onions can lead to a dish that’s high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and preservatives.

These elements can contribute to health issues such as hypertension and heart disease over time.

Preparing casseroles with fresh, whole ingredients, using natural herbs for flavor, and incorporating a variety of vegetables alongside mushrooms can create a healthier, flavorful dish.

Reconsider Stuffed Mushrooms with High-Fat Fillings

Stuffed mushrooms are a delicious appetizer or side, but filling them with high-fat meats and full-fat cheeses significantly raises their calorie and saturated fat content.

Instead, consider stuffing mushrooms with lean proteins (like ground turkey or chicken), low-fat cheeses, or a mix of finely chopped vegetables and grains (like quinoa or bulgur) for a filling that’s nutritious without being overly fatty.

This approach allows you to enjoy the rich flavors and textures of stuffed mushrooms in a way that’s aligned with a healthful eating pattern.

Also Read: Why Am I Craving Pineapple?


So, these are the seven reasons why you might be craving mushrooms.

Looking at everything, if you find yourself wanting mushrooms, you should definitely go ahead and eat some.

As long as you’re choosing a healthy mushroom dish, like the ones I’ve mentioned in this article, there’s really nothing wrong with eating mushrooms to take care of your craving.

The only time it’s a problem is when you satisfy your mushroom cravings in a way that’s not healthy. So, just be careful about that, and you should be perfectly fine.


Why do I want to eat mushrooms?

You may find yourself wanting to eat mushrooms due to their versatility in dishes and their rich, savory umami flavor, which can make any meal more satisfying. Beyond taste, people crave mushrooms for their low-calorie content and nutritional benefits, making them an excellent addition to a balanced diet.

What does eating mushrooms do to your body?

Eating mushrooms delivers essential nutrients to your body. They are a low-calorie food packed with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, selenium, potassium, and vitamin D (especially when exposed to sunlight). These nutrients contribute to energy production, antioxidant defense, and bone health, among other benefits.

Why do I like eating mushrooms so much?

Your fondness for eating mushrooms could stem from their umami taste, which enhances the flavor profile of meals. Additionally, the nutritional benefits of mushrooms, providing essential nutrients without adding many calories, can lead to a satisfying feeling after meals without guilt.

What are the benefits of eating mushrooms for women?

For women, the health benefits of eating mushrooms can be particularly appealing. They are rich in B vitamins, which support energy levels and reduce fatigue. Certain varieties, like oyster mushrooms, contain antioxidants that help with skin health and immune support. Moreover, the fiber in mushrooms can aid in digestion and weight management, important aspects of a woman’s health.

What do mushrooms do for your body?

Mushrooms do wonders for your body by supporting your immune system, contributing to heart health through their fiber and potassium content, and possibly reducing the risk of developing serious health conditions. Their content of vitamins and minerals plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health.

What are the hidden benefits of mushrooms?

Beyond their well-known nutritional benefits, mushrooms have hidden benefits, including their potential role in enhancing cognitive function, thanks to their antioxidant properties. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of mushrooms can contribute to neuroprotective benefits and overall cognitive health.

Are Mushrooms Healthier Raw Or Cooked?

Mushrooms can be healthier cooked rather than raw. Cooking mushrooms can enhance their flavor, make them easier to digest, and increase the availability of some nutrients, like antioxidants. Additionally, cooking mushrooms helps break down potentially harmful compounds that can be present in raw mushrooms.

Is it unhealthy to eat a lot of mushrooms?

While mushrooms are nutritious and offer numerous health benefits, like any food, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Eating too many mushrooms could lead to potential digestive discomfort due to their high fiber content. However, for most people, incorporating mushrooms into meals is a healthy choice, provided they are consumed in reasonable quantities.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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