Functional health is a state of being in which all systems and functions of the body are working optimally. If you don’t have optimal functional health, you will experience sub-optimal abilities, unfavorable symptoms, and may even develop chronic diseases.
The thing is, it may not all happen at once. You may start feeling chronic fatigue, poor digestion, brain fog, and trouble sleeping. Then, if you don’t address the underlying causes of these symptoms, you may develop more severe conditions like obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
The 4 R Protocol is a system for increasing your functional health. It involves removing harmful things, replacing them with beneficial ones, replenishing what is deficient, and restoring balance. The protocol is a research-backed approach to optimizing healthspan and preventing age-related decline.
It is a system I implement with my clients to help them create healthy habits and jumpstart their internal health and even weight loss. Following these steps can improve your health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.
The 4 R Protocol Pillars
Let’s look at the four pillars and how you can start implementing them in your life today:
The first step is to remove anything harmful from your diet and lifestyle. This includes processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, and toxins. Processed foods have been, in most cases, unhealthily modified from their natural state. They often contain additives and preservatives that can be harmful to your health.
Sugar is a primary culprit in chronic disease. It promotes inflammation and impairs the function of your immune system. Unhealthy fats, such as trans fats, can increase your heart disease and stroke risk. Too much soy causes hormonal imbalances in men and women. Toxins, such as those found in cigarettes, can damage your cells and lead to cancer.
Think of this step as an elimination diet. You are removing anything that could potentially be harming your health.
The second step is to replace the things you have removed with beneficial things. It includes eating more whole foods, healthy fats, and fiber.
Whole foods are unprocessed. They have not been altered from their delicate natural state. They are packed with nutrients that are essential for your health. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation and improving brain function. Fiber is necessary for gut health and digestion.
The third step is to replenish any deficiencies you may have. It includes vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. We are setting the gut up for success here by feeding it digestive enzymes, good bacteria, and the nutrients it must have to function correctly.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body to function properly. Probiotics are the favorable bacteria that live in your gut and help with digestion.
Restore and Repair
The fourth and final step is to restore balance in your life. This includes getting enough sleep, managing stress, and exercising.
Sleep is vital for your overall health. It helps your body repair and regenerate healthy cells. Stress can have a major catastrophic impact on your health, so it is crucial to find ways to manage it. Exercise is significant for cardiovascular health and weight management.
Here we are mainly focusing on our second brain, our gut. When we have a healthy gut, we have a strong foundation for our overall health. Adding supplements like L-glutamine, N-acetyl-glucosamine, and zinc can help to heal the gut and reduce inflammation.
Positive Effects of the 4 R Protocol
Let’s look at some of the effects people feel using the 4 R Protocol.
Fewer Food Allergies
Allergenic foods are often the most inflammatory and can lead to various health problems. By removing allergenic foods from your diet, you can reduce inflammation and food sensitivities, even those you’ve suffered with for years.
The 4 R Protocol can help improve digestion by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Proper digestion leads to better nutrient absorption, less gas and bloating, and regular bowel movements.
The 4 R Protocol can help clear skin problems by reducing inflammation and removing toxins from your diet. Some saw a reduction in skin-related issues like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Smoother skin, fewer breakouts, and a more even skin tone are just some of the benefits people have reported.
Following the 4 R Protocol gives your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. It can lead to higher energy levels and improved mental clarity and focus.
Inflammation affects each individual differently. It can cause bloating in the midsection for some. Others experience swelling in the fingers, ankles, and feet. Many report feeling aches and pains throughout the body. The 4 R Protocol can help reduce inflammation and, in turn, many of the symptoms that come along with it. Some people with chronic inflammation report feeling better overall, having less pain and joint issues.
Weight loss is and will always be a major concern and even a goal for starting the 4 R Protocol, and for good reason. Obesity is a risk factor in almost every illness, even mental illness. The 4 R Protocol can help with weight loss by reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and increasing nutrient absorption. All of which leads to a more efficient metabolism.
With the laundry list of many other chronic illnesses, I feel rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t get talked about as much as it should be. Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. It can also lead to fatigue, fevers, and an overall feeling of malaise.
The 4 R Protocol can help by reducing inflammation and providing the nutrients needed to support natural healing and lubrication for joint health. While it may not be an absolute cure, following the protocol can help to ease symptoms and improve quality of life.
The Immune System
The immune system is in control of protecting the body against infection and disease. When it’s working correctly, we don’t even think about it. But when it’s not, we get sick. It is essentially our body’s first line of defense. The 4 R Protocol can help support the immune system by removing foods and chemicals that can suppress it and adding nutrients that help promote a healthy immune response.
The Nervous System
The nervous system is an essential network of cells and tissues that carry messages between the brain and the body. It is responsible for everything from our thoughts and emotions to our movement and coordination. Poor stress management and lack of sleep contribute to the deterioration of the nervous system.
But not getting the nutrients you need and processed food does the same. The 4 R Protocol can assist the nervous system by providing the nutrients required for proper function, as well as by removing foods and chemicals that might impede nerve signaling.
Mental health is another overlooked aspect of overall health, but it is just as important as physical health. Mental health involves our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It directly impacts how we think and feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
The 4 R Protocol can improve mental health by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, and providing the nutrients needed for proper brain function. All these can lead to improved mood, decreased anxiety and depression, and sharper cognitive function.
PMS is a body of symptoms that women experience in the days leading up to their period. It can include bloating, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and cravings. The 4 R Protocol can help to ease PMS symptoms by reducing inflammation and balancing hormones. Many women have found relief from their PMS symptoms by removing foods that can trigger cravings and create a hormonal imbalance and adding nutrients that help reduce inflammation.
An autoimmune disease is a dis-ease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. There are many types of autoimmune diseases with a wide range of symptoms. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Multiple Sclerosis are a few well-known ailments. The 4 R Protocol can help to ease symptoms and even heal the gut in some cases.
The 4 R Protocol, which includes removing foods that set off an immune response and delivering nutrients that aid in the decrease of inflammation, may assist people with autoimmune diseases in living a better life by boosting their quality of life.
Wrapping Up the 4 R Protocol
The 4 R Protocol is a holistic approach to gut health that can lead to many positive changes in your life. By following the four steps of Remove, Replace, Replenish, and Restore, you can improve your digestion, clear up your skin, reduce inflammation, and even lose weight.
The idea is simple. Give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. Remove those that suppress the immune system and cause allergic reactions. Manage stress, and get proper rest. It will lead to increased energy levels and improved mental clarity and focus.
Following the 4 R Protocol can improve your functional health and reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. If you are struggling with a chronic health condition, the 4 R Protocol may be able to help you find relief.
If you have any questions about the 4 R Protocol or how it can help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am happy to help in any way I can.
And remember, don’t play with your body. You only get one.