Great living and fitness start in the kitchen.

Nutrition is the cornerstone of everything we do. We need nutrient-rich food to perform well at work, exercise efficiently, avoid cravings and even to get a good night’s rest. When your choice to be healthy starts in the kitchen, good things happen. Here are just a few —

You’ll perform better at work

The World Health Organization reports that “adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average.”

The food you eat directly impacts your cognitive performance. If you’re consistently finding yourself in a mid-afternoon slump at work, think back to what you ate for lunch. Poor eating habits or skipping lunch can impact performance and ability. Starchy foods might give you a quick boost of energy but they tend to leave you in a slump come three-o’clock. This slump is typically caused by alterations in cortisol secretion, usually due to blood sugar disturbances.

When you need a boost mid-morning and you want to amp up your focus, reach for something high in antioxidants like blueberries. A banana has about 25 grams of glucose, which is the amount research suggests is ideal for brain function.

Foods that promote dopamine production and better glucose balance will support superior cognitive performance. A plant-based diet with lean proteins is ideal — a high-protein breakfast and a combination of protein and non-starchy veggies at lunch. These foods keep your blood sugar stable and your focus sharp, whereas a donut does just the opposite.

You’ll have a healthy smile

Food makes a big impact on your mouth, and not in just the literal way. Calcium in foods like milk and leafy greens helps to strengthen your teeth. Yogurt, along with high-fiber fruits and veggies, fight bacteria-causing bad breath and tartar build up. In addition, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and gum disease.

So when you start filling your plate with good-for-you foods, you’re also giving your body something to smile about.

You won’t have the same unhealthy cravings

According to a Tufts University study, 91 percent of us report having food cravings for sugary sweets and junk foods. These cravings are particularly apparent for those who skip breakfast.

Recent research from the University of Missouri shows that beginning your day with a protein-rich breakfast can help reduce those cravings you have for junk food later in the day. The participants that were involved in the university’s study cited that they didn’t feel deprived of their unhealthy snacks, in fact, the participants reported they didn’t think of them at all. The researchers link eating a breakfast high in protein to an increased level of dopamine in the brain.

A solid breakfast and healthy protein-packed lunch should hold you over so you’re not constantly reaching for snacks throughout the day. But if you need a snack to tide you over mid-morning, reach for nuts and seeds or veggies with hummus. In the evening, grab for a few berries and a square of dark chocolate.

You’ll save money

This might seem a little far-fetched, but it’s the truth: eating healthy will save you cash.

Health-conscious eaters tend to be better food planners, often preparing their own meals in lieu of grabbing fast food. A hundred-dollar trip to the grocery store goes much further than it will at fast food establishments and restaurants, and preparing your own food means you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

You’ll sleep more soundly

After adopting a healthy lifestyle by working out routinely and making healthy food choices, you might find that it’s easier to fall asleep at night. Sleep helps to rejuvenate both our minds and our bodies and it is necessary for healthy functioning in our daily lives.

In addition to helping improve focus and performance, sleep is critical to regulating our moods, energy levels and even our weight. Sleep experts from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), report that more than 18 million Americans have trouble sleeping, which can lead to some serious health risks. If you’re working hard in the gym and eating well, you’re ahead of the crowd since the amount and quality of sleep you get directly relates to nutrition.

Yes, you’re bound to see some changes when you switch up your diet to be healthier, but rest assured, those changes are likely going to be good.