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A Fun-gi Way to Improve Immunity & Digestion

A Fun-gi Way to Improve Immunity & Digestion

Mushrooms aren’t just on our dinner plates anymore! They’re in many supplements and natural health products. The benefits of medicinal mushrooms have become widely recognized, and we’re here to break down their powers in relation to maintaining healthy immunity and digestive function.

Mushrooms are Growing in Popularity
In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in mushrooms, from chaga hot chocolates to reishi sodas, but their healing benefits have been known for centuries. Now that they have entered the mainstream, you might be wondering what gives them these mighty powers and how one mushroom differs from another.

Introducing Turkey Tail
Turkey Tail is part of the medicinal mushroom family. For hundreds of years, it has been touted for its antioxidant, immune-boosting and gut-supportive properties and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat many different health conditions.

The Power of Polysaccharides
Turkey Tail is rich in polysaccharides, the most abundant carbohydrate found in food. This carbohydrate helps feed the good gut bacteria in our microbiome. It’s a fantastic prebiotic to support gut health, digestion, and the liver. Turkey Tail also contains an abundance of powerful beta-D-glucans.

What Are Beta-D-glucans?
Beta-D-glucans are a type of soluble fibre that has a powerful modulating effect on our immune system. Modulation allows the immune system to be agile and responsive to potential invaders. Beta-D-glucans fight against infection by binding to receptor sites in the body and activating different parts of the immune response. They are, therefore, a useful tool in priming the immune system and training resistance to invading pathogens.

Quality Control and Extraction Process
It’s important to note that the growth and extraction of mushrooms needs to be done in both sustainable and controlled ways. The natural substrate for mushrooms is tree bark or wood. You may have even seen them growing on trees in healthy forests.

The most potent part of any mushroom is the fruiting body which is the most mature and nutrient dense portion of the mushroom. When extracting for supplementation, the fruiting body is often chosen because it is larger and contains more nutrients.

There are several different extraction processes, including hot water extraction, dual extraction or micronization.

  • Hot water extraction is much like steeping tea. Because many of the beneficial properties of medicinal mushrooms are water-soluble, once steeped in hot water, you’re left with a concentrated liquid.
  • Dual extraction requires two steps, hot water, then a mixture of water and alcohol. After the hot water extraction process, the insoluble compounds are added to a water and alcohol mixture. This mixture is heated, steeped, and then added to the hot water extraction.
  • Micronization is a milling process that removes the parts from the mushroom that cannot be digested, leaving the vitamins, minerals and active ingredients. This provides the most bioavailable form for therapeutic purposes. 

Supporting Your Daily Routine with Turkey Tail
Adding medicinal mushrooms to your diet can be done in a variety of ways. There are mushroom powders, tinctures, and capsules. But they are always best when paired with a healthy and active lifestyle.

Our top 4 ways to support immune health and digestion, regardless of season, include:

  1. Starting the day with a nutrient-dense meal, like a smoothie with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. (How about some Turkey Tail too?)
  2. Compliment your daily supplement routine with additional supports like adaptogens such as ashwagandha and work to manage your stress levels daily.
  3. Take a walk outdoors to get sunlight on your face. Our circadian rhythm supports our overall health, as demonstrated by the wakefulness and drowsiness that come with daylight and dusk.
  4. Get to bed at a consistent time. The body requires rest to respond best to pathogenic invaders.

Health First Turkey Tail is certified organic and grown sustainably on wood. It contains 100% fruiting body, and its medicinal components are released via micronization, heat and double liquid extraction for optimal bioavailability. All Health First mushrooms are 3rd-party tested for consistency and efficacy.

Health First Turkey Tail comes in an easy-to-take capsule. Each capsule’s potency is equivalent to 1200 mg and contains 35.9% beta-glucans on average. Mushrooms are nature’s immune boosters and digestive defenders. With Health First, rest assured that you get a consistent, effective, quality product in every capsule!

Understanding Medicinal Mushroom Extraction | WMS
Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology
Assessment of Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Turkey Tail Medicinal Mushroom Trametes versicolor (Agaricomycetes)
Turkey Tail | Health First Network
Micronization in food processing: A comprehensive review of mechanistic approach, physicochemical, functional properties and self-stability of micronized food materials – ScienceDirect
Dietary modulation of immune function by beta-glucans
Health First Turkey Tail

About the Author: Health First Network


Health First Network is Canada’s leading membership group for independent health & wellness retailers and the exclusive supplier of the premium Health First supplement brand. There are over 130 independently owned and operated retail Members across the country. Click here to learn more about Health First.