A plant native to South India and Indonesia, if you like curry or mustard, you’re already familiar with this yellow food. What you might not know is that turmeric-due in large part to curcumin, turmeric’s primary active ingredient-is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories on the planet.

The majority of foods we consume, including low fat diets, promote arterial inflammation, which is a leading (and often underrated) cause of heart disease. Physical, emotional, and environmental stress on our bodies causes inflammation, which impedes repair.  In a general sense, the more quickly the inflammation subsides, the more quickly one recovers. Foods like turmeric reduce inflammation, thus expediting recovery (and circulatory health). Extrapolated over time, individuals on a nutritional regime high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric will in turn be able to live, work, and exercise more effectively and more efficiently while simultaneously taking out an insurance policy against culprits that foil even the most conscientious of us.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that there is some evidence to suggest that people who eat diets rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast, prostate, lung, colon, and skin cancers.