Ramp Up The Health: 10 Reasons Why Good Nutrition Really Matters

by Stefani Pappas

March is National Nutrition Month, an effort backed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to inform the public on healthy food choices and promote physical activity.

The 2015 National Nutrition Month theme is, "Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle," which encourages people to practice healthy eating and exercise habits to achieve a healthy weight and reduce disease risk.

We, Millennials, are busy people. We have new jobs, dates to tend to and are always going out with friends.

It's easy to neglect your health during this time of your life, but nutrition is everything, and it's important to keep your body at its peak state of health to perform at your best and live your life to the fullest.

Instead of letting yourself go, focus on these reasons why nutrition really does matter:

1. Boosts Immunity

That runny nose you have on your first job interview isn't ideal.

Nutrition can make or break you when it comes to immunity. Good nutrition and a sound diet can offer much needed protection from illnesses and other health problems.

Components of your diet that you should emphasize for peak immunity include protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, prebiotics and probiotics.

2. Increased Concentration

You know when you start to fall asleep during date night? A good diet and certain foods can help improve brain health and concentration.

For example, fish is rich in omega-3 fats, which is linked to brain health.

Foods including blueberries, avocados, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate have been linked to improved brain health as well.

3. Improves Workout Performance

Millennials are efficient; we want to get stuff done, and done fast. When you have limited time for a workout, a poor diet shouldn't be what holds you back.

A good diet with sufficient calories, carbohydrates, fluids, iron, vitamins, minerals and protein can provide the energy to fuel you through a race or daily workout.

4. Combats Tiredness And Fatigue

We all know we are supposed to eat breakfast, but a well-balanced diet throughout the day is just as important for sustaining your energy.

Carbs may have a bad reputation, but make sure you don't neglect them; carbohydrates are your body's ideal source of energy.

Focus on fiber-rich carbohydrates and portion control. Proper intake of carbohydrates throughout the day can combat tiredness and keep you alert. Carb the f*ck up.

5. Weight Control

Balance, moderation and portion control are all key components of weight loss.

Losing weight is a calories in, calories out equation. Proper nutrition, in combination with daily physical activity, is the true method to control your weight.

6. Wards Off Illness

Yep, eating well can help you lose weight and get fit, but it also does so much more than that.

Clinical dietitians work to help patients improve their nutrition and combat disease through medical nutrition therapy.

This type of intervention can improve a person's health, quality of life and disease outcomes. A well-rounded diet can fight against heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

7. Improve Your Sex Life

Better food, better sex. The right quality foods can keep blood pumping to your sex organs. Focus on foods like plant protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Capsaicin is a spice in chili peppers that gets blood moving to all parts of the body, and can improve sex drive as well.

8. Reduces Cancer Risk

One-third of cancer deaths could be prevented if all Americans had balanced diets, emphasized plant-based foods, exercised regularly and maintained healthy weights.

Fruits and vegetables especially have been linked to reduced risk of developing lung, esophageal, stomach and colorectal cancers.

9. Clear Skin

Changes in your skin can be a direct result of changes in your dietary habits. Balanced nutrition promotes healthy skin, too.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and antioxidants can improve your skin health and complexion.

10. Longevity

Although perfect nutrition doesn't necessarily guarantee a longer life, diet is one of the most important contributing factors to longevity.

Avoid chronic disease and other illnesses through good nutrition and live a long, healthy life.