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The Importance of Good Nutrition

It’s true what they say – you can’t out-train a bad diet. 

As you probably already know, making nutrition a priority is essential for whole body health and wellness. You’ve heard it time and time again but don’t forget that the benefits of good nutrition go beyond weight and what you see in the mirror. Countless studies have shown that diet is intricately involved in a large number of chronic diseases. According to the CDC, more than half of all American adults have at least one preventable chronic disease, many of which are related to poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Specifically, diet is tied to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poor bone health. By implementing good eating habits, you’re more likely to reduce risk of these diseases and improve blood pressure, cholesterol, immunity, energy levels, and mood.

Let’s not forget about what nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can also do to your brain. A 2017 scientific review mentions the contribution of low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids to cognitive and mood dysfunctions, including depression and memory loss. Luckily, the studies in this review have shown that eating a diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can prevent (and even reverse) these defects. Food for thought (pun intended). So, what exactly does it mean to have good nutrition? Here are a few tips:

Saying YES to…

 Whole foods. No, not the store. Real, unprocessed foods (i.e. foods that don’t need a label)

 Eating slowly and with intention

 Lean proteins

 Vegetables

 Healthy fats (including omega-3’s)

 Smart carbs

 Staying hydrated

Avoiding…

 Alcohol

 Added sugar

 Artificial sweeteners

 Calorie-containing beverages

 Processed grains

 Processed junk food

It’s important to remember that changing your diet to improve quality of nutrition will not happen overnight, and that’s okay! Be patient with yourself. We are human and will eventually crave “calorie-containing beverages.” In moments like this, moderation is key. Practice making one change at a time and you will be headed in the direction of health and vitality. 

Written by: Kelly Fiallos

Referenced: 

Chronic Diseases in America. (2019, October 23). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/chronic-diseases.htm
Spencer, S.J., Korosi, A., Layé, S. et al. Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion. npj Sci Food1, 7 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41538-017-0008-y

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