Though used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is now gaining fame for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks to the active ingredient,  curcumin, turmeric has been shown to alleviate aches and pains associated with arthritis, and possibly even reduce the risk for certain cancers (by interfering with aspects of cellular signaling).

So what is turmeric? It’s a rhizome (the stem of a plant, usually found underground) that looks like ginger— they’re actually part of the same family. You can slice it and blend into smoothies (try this Turmeric Smoothie) or even juice it. But, it’s more commonly dried in hot ovens and ground into a deep-orange-yellow powder. Check out the seasonings section of your local grocery store for the powdered form or find it in a blend with other curry spices.

Other tasty ways to enjoy the spice: Use it to make a yummy curry for dinner, mix it into yogurt or hummus for a tangy dip, or blend it into tuna and chicken salads for a nice earthy flavor.

Start off with small amounts and gradually increase as you get used to the flavor. The best part? You only need about 1/4 teaspoon each day to reap the benefits, so get started now!