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weight loss immune health

Why a Healthy Weight is Important for a Strong Immune System

More than ever, it’s important to make sure your immune system is healthy and functioning at its peak.

And while there are many different ways to promote immune health, perhaps the most conclusive and well studied approach is to maintain a healthy weight while living an active lifestyle.

Being overweight or obese drastically impairs our body’s ability to protect itself. And it also increases the risk of other things, like not being able to live independently as we get older.

That’s why we put together this article. Use it as your one-stop guide for understanding the link between weight management and immune health. Plus, we’ll go over some proven ways to start losing weight.

What is Immune Health?

Immune health relates to how well the various parts of your immune system are functioning at any given time. 

The immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism against diseases, germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

Several organs and body parts make up the immune system. Your bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, and tonsils all play a role in immune health [1].

When these parts are healthy, they are able to most effectively protect you from getting sick.

Why is Immune Health Important?

A weakened or compromised immune system exposes you to a host of negative things. You’re more likely to not only get sick, but to contract diseases and generally live a lower quality of life, especially as you get older [2].

Poor immune health can also lead to autoimmune disorders. As the name suggests, an autoimmune disorder is when your body’s own immune system works against itself [3].

Basically, the damaged or compromised parts of your immune system can misdiagnose healthy body cells. Thinking it’s a virus or foreign invader, they attack and damage these cells.

Examples of common autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis.

How Diet and Nutrition Impact Immune Health

While some immune and autoimmune disorders are genetic, many are the result of chronic poor lifestyle choices. The quality of your diet, for example, is one of the primary things that determines how effective your immune system is [4].

When you eat healthy, wholesome foods, your body receives the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to keep its systems strong.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet has also been shown to improve immune system health [5].

But when you eat unhealthy foods that are void of these essential nutrients, your immune system suffers. In fact, there is a direct relationship between malnutrition and immune system dysfunction [6].

So in essence, the old cliche “you are what you eat” actually does apply, at least when talking about your body’s protective mechanisms. 

How Body Weight Impacts Immune Health

It’s an unfortunate truth, but the science is clear and conclusive: being overweight or obese has a negative effect on your immune health [7].

This is true for at least 4 scientifically-backed reasons:

More of these diseases and conditions are listed below.

Diseases and Conditions Linked to Excess Body Weight

Overweight and obese people are more likely to suffer from [11]:

We’re often told that being overweight is “bad,” but this list of ailments and the 4 reasons mentioned above might help motivate you to finally embark on the weight loss journey you’ve been considering.

Weight Loss Health Benefits

Unfortunately, our culture’s most celebrated aspect of weight loss is what you look like in the “after” photo. But the health benefits of weight loss extend far beyond physical appearance.

People who have a healthy weight are:

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Ways to Start or Enhance Weight Loss

Fortunately, there are things you can do to start losing weight today.

The good news is all of these things are highly actionable. You can start losing weight today if you want to.

Losing Weight is an Investment in Your Health

Whether you’re specifically focused on boosting immunity or just want to live an overall healthier life, losing weight is truly an investment in yourself.

Living at a healthy weight sets you up to be healthy not only now, but as you get older, too.

If you decide that now is the best time for you to start your weight loss journey, then pick a plan that works for you and stick with it. 

Consistency, above all else, is what’s going to lead to the best results!

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