Shroom with us! We’ve taken it upon ourselves to discover everything there is to know about our fungal friends, and we’re always searching for new ways to bring them into our lives. It’s easy to be enchanted by these strange and beautiful inhabitants of mysterious places, and we know they hold the answers to many struggles we have from the modern lifestyle. Stunningly beautiful and oddly intriguing, turkey tail mushrooms are abundant in health benefits and offer unique compounds with amazing qualities.
What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey tail mushrooms, aka Trametes versicolor, are colorful, fan-shaped, variegated mushrooms that have rings that radiate from the center to the edges. There are several varieties and a few look-alikes. They are very common and grow all over the world. Even with their widespread growth habits, they’re a prized mushroom for fungi hunters because of their incredible health-promoting abilities.
They are not usually eaten in meals as some other functional mushrooms are, as they’re a bit chewy and can have a woody texture. They, however, have a nice flavor and make a great addition to broth, and they can be prepared as a decoction (a simmered tea) or as a dual extract. You can also find turkey tail mushroom powder and capsules, which are available in various drink mixes.
Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
They Support the Immune System
Maintain your thriving immunity! Turkey tail has unique compounds that have been studied for their ability to promote immune system health and support innate and adaptive immunity. While many functional mushrooms have beneficial polysaccharides that nourish immune system health, turkey tail mushrooms have special ones called polysaccharide krestin (psk) and polysaccharopeptide (psp). These encourage normal immune system activity and help the body maintain efficient immune function, offering a broad range of immune system benefits.
They Promote Gut Health
Mushrooms for your microbiome!
Long-lasting wellness depends on a healthy gut, and turkey tail can help you keep your digestive system in balance and your good microbes thriving. That special polysaccharide, PSP, has prebiotic qualities and supports beneficial bacteria that you want living in your digestive system. Turkey tail helps your microbiome to keep up the diversity of microorganisms which translates to all kinds of whole-body benefits.
By keeping your gut happy, your mental health is supported, your immune system can be strengthened, and of course, your digestion will be smooth sailing.
They Promote Healthy Cellular Activity
Protect your cell health!
Turkey tail is one of the most popular functional mushrooms for supporting normal cellular activity and maintaining the overall health of our cells. By supporting the functioning of the immune system, they help encourage the body to remove occasional cells that are declining or unhealthy. They also support the immune system’s surveillance activities, watching out for and defending against any flawed cells.
Turkey tail is rich in beta-glucans that invigorate the activity of macrophages and natural killer cell function. Beta-glucans also offer support to the respiratory system and can be helpful in maintaining strong boundaries against typical seasonal threats.
They Reduce Common Oxidative Stress
There is no escaping cellular aging, but some mushrooms may slow down the process. Turkey tail provides compounds that help with everyday oxidative stress that our bodies have to deal with day in and day out.
Phenols, flavonoids, and polysaccharides in these mushrooms are known to have this effect and are very supportive in the everyday metabolic exchanges that happen throughout the body. This is part of the reason you often see mushrooms in skincare products. They help reduce the appearance of aging skin, and they can help promote the look of youthfulness throughout the body as well.
They Support Athletic Performance
Power up with magnificent mushrooms! Many athletes turn to cordyceps to promote their athletic abilities, but there’s a new mushroom on the block that can provide performance benefits as well. Although it works differently in the body than cordyceps, turkey tail helps to promote muscle strength and endurance. These two mushrooms together make a great combo for athletes looking to get the most out of their athletic performance.
They Help Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Keep it steady.
Many mushrooms promote proper blood sugar levels and turkey tail is no exception. The kind of fiber found in mushrooms helps to keep blood sugar in healthy ranges. In turkey tail, the PSP compound may provide additional benefits that help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This doesn’t mean you can just eat a bowl full of sugar for breakfast, but turkey tail can be a part of a healthy routine to help keep blood sugar balanced.
They Support Liver Health
Turkey tail has a long history of being used to keep the liver in good health.
Our livers have to deal with a lot these days, so it’s more important than ever to support the daily detoxification processes that our livers provide. As turkey tail mushrooms help to reduce common oxidative stress, this helps the liver maintain its health without being overburdened and helps to protect liver cells.
Turkey tail is able to absorb selenium from the environment, which is a very important trace mineral that is beneficial for liver health. If grown on a selenium-rich substrate, turkey tail can be a good source of a bioavailable form of this nutrient.
They Benefit Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Turkey tail is rich in beta-glucans, which benefits cholesterol levels already within a normal range. Not that it will cancel out a fast food lifestyle, but it can help support the typical ways cholesterol is eliminated from the body. Although many mushrooms are high in soluble fiber, which helps keep cholesterol levels healthy, whether or not you are getting the fiber will depend on the form of mushrooms you consume. A liquid extract will not provide much fiber, but it can contain some beta-glucans and other polysaccharides, depending on how it’s made. A good way to get all the fiber from turkey tail is to try a powdered form or a powdered extract.
They Offer Neuroprotective Benefits
Mushrooms are magical for brain health. Turkey tail helps to protect neural tissues by reducing everyday oxidative stress and supports the process of removing metabolic wastes from the brain.
Once again, the polysaccharides in turkey tail provide many of these benefits, but this mushroom also supplies a generous amount of other compounds known to have neuroprotective qualities. Baicalin, quercetin, and catechin are found in turkey tail and are all beneficial to brain health. These mushrooms are also known to promote a sense of well-being and can support healthy energy levels in a gentle way that benefits and soothes the nervous system.
Potential Side Effects
Turkey tail is an edible mushroom and is considered to be safe for most people, but if you have a medical condition or are on medications, consult with your doctor before adding in a new supplement or food item with turkey tail.
Waking up to Wellness
We could go on and on about all the amazing benefits that mushrooms provide, but all you really need to know is that they help us feel great and live life to the fullest. Turkey tail is just one of a whole collection of incredible mushrooms that you should get to know.
Now that our Beyond Brew superfood coffee alternative is available, it’s easier than ever to mix these mystical mushrooms into your morning. It’s also a great afternoon pick-me-up that won’t keep you up all night. Made with six different functional mushrooms, plus pre and probiotics, you can do your health a favor each day and discover how good it feels to have a transformative morning ritual that inspires your mind and invigorates your body.