Did you know that a well-functioning digestive system can improve your overall health? That’s because its job is to absorb all the nutrients your body needs for growth, energy, and cell repair. It’s also home to 70% of your immune cells that prevent toxins from entering your bloodstream.
When your digestive system isn’t operating properly, it can lead to gut inflammation and a variety of other health issues including:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Sinus problems
- Chronic skin conditions
- Weight loss/gain
- Autoimmune disease
- And more
Not to mention the typical uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, unusual bowel habits, or heartburn. Fortunately, using the “5R” method, there are steps you can take to heal your gut:
- Remove: Remove anything from your diet that may be irritating your gut, such as dairy, gluten, refined sugar, processed foods, or excess alcohol. (If you have a bacterial or yeast overgrowth, herbs or drugs can help alleviate the problem.) Try to eliminate emotional stress, too, which can negatively affect your gut.
- Replace: Replace anything that’s lacking or not functioning correctly with supplements, like digestive enzymes, bile salts, or hydrochloric acid. Increase fiber intake to 25 grams per day, and choose nutrient-dense veggies, proteins, and healthy fats.
- Reinoculate: Reintroduce good bacteria into your system with probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that fight off bad bacteria (such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and probiotic supplements). Prebiotics, on the other hand, help strengthen the good bacteria already in your gut (think fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes).
- Repair: To repair your gut even further, there are a variety of supplements that can help heal the gut tissue, such as L-glutamine, zinc, fish oil, turmeric, antioxidants, and collagen peptides. Also, make sure to get plenty of sleep and practice stress reduction techniques, like journaling or meditation.
- Rebalance: Continue to rebalance your body by adopting smart lifestyle habits. Regular exercise, deep breathing exercises, and eating a nutritious diet all play a role in your health. If there are any foods you eliminated during this program, feel free to eat them again, in moderation, once your digestive system is back on track.
While following the 5R protocol, the goal is to:
- Identify the series of events that led to your digestive concerns and address any nutritional or lifestyle factors that contributed.
- Regulate digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients; improve detoxification.
- Achieve a balance of good bacteria and gut microbiota while eliminating toxins.
- Promote healing through diet, supplements, and healthy lifestyle choices.
The 5R process takes about six to eight months to complete and is most effective with the support of a registered dietitian. But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for improving your gut health. Pay attention to how you feel whenever you eat, and make note of the foods that make you feel your best.
Looking for more ways to support your gut? Sign up for our Gut Health Program ⬇️