Digestion 101: The 4R Protocol
In the previous two posts in this digestion series, we covered what proper digestion looks like, what can go wrong, and how to fix it.
Today, we'll be covering one of the best ways to heal your gut and digestion: The 4R Protocol.
The 4R Protocol has four steps:
Common dietary irritants, like processed and refined foods, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, refined seed oils, and sugar
If you have already removed these foods, remove nuts, seeds, coffee, and eggs to test the next steps
Anti-inflammatory medications, specifically NSAIDs - work on preventing the need for NSAIDs via diet and lifestyle
Eat adequate omega-3 fatty acids to balance out the naturally high omega-6 diet that most of us eat (this does NOT mean supplement with fish oil; rather, eat foods like salmon that are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis)
Eat adequate amounts of soluble fiber from starchy veggies or fruits like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and plantains
Drink adequate amounts of water
Eat plenty of gut healing foods, like bone broth, salmon, and liver
Eat probiotic foods like raw sauerkraut or other fermented veggies
Drink kombucha or kefir
Supplement with probiotics
See this post on exactly where to find probiotics and probiotic rich foods.
Eat one of the eliminated foods at each of your meals after the 2-4 week elimination and not any changes to mood, energy, mental clarity, digestive function, and your skin
Repeat the reintroduction of one eliminated food every 3 days to discover which foods are problematic for you
It can be daunting to start this process on your own, so I recommend trying either the Whole30 or The 21 Day Sugar Detox if you feel like you need a group program and support to help guide you through the process. Or, if you are here in Lincoln, NE, come find me, and we can go through the process together!
Healing the gut isn't easy, especially in a society constantly surrounded by processed foods and stressful situations. However, most chronic disease (diabetes, inflammation, mental health disorders, autoimmune diseases) begin in the gut - so it is critical that we take control of our gut health and digestion now before it's too late!