Good digestion is the cornerstone of well-being and part of multiple processes. If your digestion is not up to speed, then the immune/nervous system can be compromised. For ex, weak digestion can lead to a disruption of hormone production because the digestive tract has neurons that release similar neurotransmitters that are found in the brain. Many health conditions can be caused by poor digestion, making recovery dependent on restoring digestion.
Signs of Poor Digestion
- B12 deficiency
- Back Pain
- Gallbladder Disease
- Grumbling Gut
- Iron deficiency
- Mucus in stool
- Skin rashes
- Weak/Cracked fingernails
Good digestion is important because food is the building blocks of the body. Food you eat = your blood = your cells = your tissues = your organs = your body. If you have weak digestion, your body is likely not absorbing/receiving all of the nutrients in the food you are eating. I recall a healthy person saying she was the healthiest sick person she knew. She ate organic food but it went right through her, literally, and she did not fully benefit from her good choices.
We are not what we eat, we are what we digest, assimilate, and absorb.
The 4 R’s
The protocol known to strengthen digestion has 4 components that each begin with an “R”. Hence the 4 R’s. This program can be followed by anybody, regardless of any health problem, however the specifics of the protocol need to be individually tailored. If you’re not proficient in understanding how to do this then find a a nutritionist/health care provider that is; especially if you suffer from a serious digestive disorder or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
1) REMOVE “triggers” that may be causing problems (i.e. yeast overgrowth, allergens, toxins, refined food, stress, bad habits, and intestinal stagnation).
2) REPLACE missing factors needed for normal digestion and absorption (i.e. specific nutrients, enzymes, HCl, healthy fats, exercise, sleep).
**Note: The above steps don’t need to be done consecutively; just make sure to address #1 in order for the following 3 R’s to be effective.
Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. (2011). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman.
Brisebois, L. (2013). The 4 R’s of Healthy Digestion. Retrieved at http://www.elainebrisebois.com/the-4-rs-of-healthy-digestion/
Gates, D. (2013).Fermented Foods Can Boost Immunity, Improve Gut Health, & Reduce Allergies. Retrieved at http://bodyecology.com/articles/fermented-foods-can-boost-immunity-improve-gut-health-and-reduce-allergies#.UsH9vfRDvKY
Nichols, T., Faass, N. (2005). Optimal Digestive Health. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts.
Disclaimer: This content is for general information only; primarily educational in nature; and should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice of your doctor that you, the reader, may require for any cause whatsoever, now or in future. Consult a medical doctor regarding any health problem(s) and keep him informed to the opinions, ideas, and dietary advice offered on this site that you find useful.
May ALL bellies be happy!