When you start making positive and healthy lifestyle changes, you’ll find a whole new world opens up to you in terms of ingredients, produce, recipes and ideas – and it can be a really fun journey towards health and mental wellbeing if you fully embrace it as such.

One ingredient that you may not have come across before is organic mushroom powder, a brilliant source of vitamins B2, B5 and vitamin D, as well as other phytonutrients and minerals like selenium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and copper.

Shiitake mushroom, in particular, is a great choice if you are thinking of adding this to your diet, as it has all seven amino acids in it – including linoleic (also found in olive oil), which can help improve digestion and aid with weight loss.

This type of mushroom has been used in China and Japan for almost 6,00 years in traditional forms of medicine, often used for treating bronchial conditions. Drying the mushrooms makes the flavour more intense, so you may find it tastes meatier or earthier than other varieties.

Mushroom powder is simply dehydrated mushrooms that have been ground up to form a very fine powder. Some are processed beforehand using hot water or alcohol extraction to pull out even more of the beneficial compounds. When buying your powders, make sure you look out for flavourings, artificial ingredients, flavourings and stabilisers as what to avoid.

Other criteria to look out for are labels like USDA Organic, non-GMO, third-party tested and verified, 100 per cent mushroom extract, vegan and gluten-free (if the latter two are relevant).

So… how do you go about using these powders and what would they work well with? You could start off quite small and start putting a bit in with your coffee or tea in the morning, perhaps. If you’re not sure about the bolder flavour, you could dilute it using a splash of oat milk or a creamer of some kind.

Perhaps the easiest way to start incorporating these powders in your diet is to cook with them. If you’re looking for an effortless way to boost your health, this is most definitely it. You can just throw some in soups, stir fries and pasta dishes, or you could sprinkle some on top of your salads if you’re feeling fancy.

Although it is a savoury ingredient, you can even use mushroom in dessert recipes, so don’t be shy… have some fun experimenting in the kitchen over the next few weeks. What about making yourself some chia seed pudding, but with some powder, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao powder? As healthy desserts go, this one really takes the cake!

We’d love to hear how you’ve been using your powders and which ones your favourites are, so get in touch with the team today to let us know what you’ve been cooking up.

Check out BBC Good Food to find out just how beneficial mushrooms can be!