“Inflammatory dietary pattern linked to depression among women,” says a study out of the Harvard School of Public Health. While more research needs to be done, it is clear that, while inflammation is important to our immune systems, excessive inflammation is linked to a truckload of health concerns (“heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions”) and skin concerns (acne, eczema, psoriasis, aging).

What foods are pro-inflammatory? Pretty much everything you know you shouldn’t be eating:

– Sodas, colas, other sweetened and processed drinks, like pre-packaged juices or iced teas
– Refined, processed foods: white rice, flour, pasta, bread
– Junk food

In addition to reducing pro-inflammatory foods, we need to up our intake of anti-inflammatory foods like “wine, coffee, olive oil, and green leafy and yellow vegetables.” Wine, of course, in moderation — we’re talking a glass or two a day not weekend binging.

In this study, women who ate more of the pro-inflammatory foods and less of the anti-inflammatory foods showed “up to a 41% greater risk of being diagnosed with depression than those who eat mostly the less inflammatory diet.”

It’s a basic tool, but the checklist below may help you get started with simple reminders to do every day.

Skin, body, dress sizes, heart health, setting a good example for kids…and now happiness. There really is no downside to getting healthier.

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