Gut Health has been a lifelong concern for me. Charles Poliquin once shared an intriguing insight: those with blonde hair and blue eyes tend to be more sensitive to various factors, often exhibiting intolerance to substances like gluten. While the origins of this notion remain unclear, I’ve observed its striking accuracy over the past decade since he mentioned it.

Personally, my journey with Ulcerative Colitis began at 17, driving me to meticulously monitor my dietary choices. However, grasping gut health involves more than just dietary considerations. The interconnectedness of the Brain-Gut axis and the vagus nerve demands our attention, offering insights into this complex realm.

Presently, let’s delve into a comprehensive seven-step approach encompassing diet, actions, and mindset—an approach known as the “7 R’s of Gut Health.”

But why should you prioritize Gut Health?

It serves as a cornerstone of overall well-being

  • hosting 90% of the immune system
  • producing 80% of serotonin (the happiness neurotransmitter)
  • and synthesizing 80% of dopamine (the motivation neurotransmitter)

Disrupting gut equilibrium not only affects these functions but can also trigger systemic inflammation, leading to fatigue, joint and muscle pain, headaches, sinus problems, and severe conditions such as autoimmune disorders, brain inflammation, allergies, asthma, and skin issues. Indeed, skin condition often mirrors gut health—where the gut falters, skin may suffer.


The adage “you are what you eat” gains depth when we acknowledge that our identity transcends ingestion—it involves absorption and elimination.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract, pivotal in these roles, orchestrates functions vital for our well-being:

  • DIGESTION: Breaking down food for efficient intestinal absorption.
  • ABSORPTION: Facilitating the passage of digested nutrients for energy and cellular functions.
  • EXCLUSION: Ensuring only suitable particles are absorbed; a compromised gut can admit harmful substances.
  • DETOXIFICATION: A complex process involving the liver and GI tract, metabolizing toxins for elimination. Ailing guts can reintroduce toxins, spawning free radicals.
  • EXCRETION: Ridding waste products through urine, faeces, sweat, and breath (CO2).

In Functional medicine, treating causes instead of symptoms employs the “7 Rs”: Reset, Remove, Replace, Repair, Reinoculate, Rebalance, and Reintroduce.

The 7-R Program aims to:
  1. Identify triggers causing health issues—psychological (stress/trauma) or physiological (foods, allergies).
  2. Ensure effective digestion, absorption, and detoxification.
  3. Correct dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria), eliminating pathogens and restoring balance.
  4. Foster gut microbiome diversity.
  5. Facilitate gut healing through diet, supplementation, stress management, lifestyle, and mindset.
  6. Enhance tolerance and resilience.
  7. Foster holistic physical and mental well-being, acknowledging the gut-brain connection.

The protocol’s effectiveness necessitates at least 3 months’ adherence, sometimes extending to 6-9 months.

Embracing the program requires commitment beyond incremental changes; substantial diet and lifestyle adjustments may be required. Recognizing the profound influence of gut health on overall well-being should provide the motivation to persevere.


Each of the 7 R’s of gut healing holds a specific purpose:

  • Reset: A comprehensive rejuvenation of diet, mindset, and lifestyle.
  • Remove: Eliminate stressors—nutritional, chemical, and psychological—negatively affecting the GI tract environment. Identify allergens and intolerances, combat parasites, yeast, and bad bacteria, and address chemical and environmental stressors along with emotional and traumatic stress.
  • Replace: Restore deficient nutrients, especially digestive enzymes crucial for gut health. Stress reduction supports enzyme production. Nutrient-rich foods and supplements like zinc, magnesium, multivitamins, and fish oil aid the body’s needs.
  • Reinoculate: Boost beneficial bacteria through probiotics and prebiotics (foods aiding good bacteria). Prebiotic foods’ effect varies depending on the gut healing stage.
  • Repair: Fortify the delicate gut lining using nutrients like glutamine, zinc, colostrum, vitamins A, C, E, and fish oil.
  • Rebalance: Strike a balance between health and lifestyle, considering food choices, sleep, stress management, mindset, exercise, hydration, and overall body systems.
  • Reintroduce: Gradually reintroduce foods, gauging your body’s response. Certain interactions may provoke adverse reactions. The example of lactose intolerance and gluten’s impact on lactase production elucidates the process.

By committing to this program, you can revitalize gut health, paving the way for optimal function and overall wellness.

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