There's so much negativity surrounding body fat, with reports urging people to lose weight to prevent the risk of heart disease and other health issues. But if you're naturally curvy then you needn't worry, as that little bit extra may have big benefits.
'We know that low body fat negatively affects the delivery of vitamins to your organs'
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, previously found that the fat cells under the skin, known as adipocytes, protect the body from infection by encouraging the growth of new immune cells. In return, these cells fight off harmful bacteria.
There are other reasons why a bit of body fat can be a bonus though. It may sound like a cliché but it does in fact keep you warm, which is much needed when the weather turns chilly - but this only refers to brown fat, the 'good' type.
On top of this, it will enable all the nutrients your body needs to be transported easily.
“We know that low body fat negatively affects the delivery of vitamins to your organs and throughout your body,” personal trainer Cathy Leman tells shape.com.
Vitamins like E and A are some that Cathy is referring to, as they are extremely fat-soluble. Once broken down they will remain in the fatty tissue, ready to keep you at your best.
For those of you who have a low libido, it could be because your body fat percentage isn't high enough - leading to a low sex drive. The same goes for excess body fat, with people feeling insecure and unwilling to be intimate.
If you have a good amount of fat you have nothing to worry about. A recommended number, discovered by the American College of Sports Medicine, is between 20 and 32 per cent for women - but it all comes down to overall health as well. For men, the average body fat should be between around 16 and 30 per cent, and obviously those who tip into high numbers run the risks of health problems linked to obesity.
And if, as a female, you have a high sex drive, you'll be pleased to hear a good amount of body fat aids with fertility. Cathy explains that fat is a good influence on the entire reproductive system, from periods to pregnancy. When the number drops, you could suffer irregularities in your menstrual cycle, such as women who are underweight starting their periods later or not having any at all.
If you think you're in this position, ask your doctor for advice on how to put on weight in a healthy and natural way. Or if you're already a good size and are still struggling, there could be something else playing tricks on your body.
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