Snacking: Yes or No?

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By Lydia Wallie, Nurition Director

Is your stomach a stomach that growls, or one that bloats?

This post covers snacking and the role of the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) to provide insight into how to better support your digestive system.

If you experience your stomach rumbling or growling, that's typically a sign that phase III of your Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) is occurring. (1) If you haven't heard it in a while or if you're experiencing bloating or elimination issues, it may be due to snacking or stress, which both inhibit this important cleansing process in our small intestine. (2)

How do we make sure the MMC is occurring? Zero snacking between meals and healthy stress management in order to allow for normal digestion and clearing of the stomach and small intestine.

As long as you don't have blood sugar or adrenal issues, it's very beneficial to our health to have about 4-5 hours of fasting (this translates to: no gum, no food, and no beverages except water) in between our meals. If we don't have this fasted break, whatever we consume will inhibit our MMC which is basically "a mechanical and chemical cleansing of the empty stomach in preparation for the next meal." (3)

This is especially important for anyone dealing SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) since the MMC cleans out the small intestine between meals and disturbances in the MMC are linked with SIBO. (4)

Symptoms that are indicative of SIBO include: abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, abdominal distension, diarrhea, flatulence, and weakness. SIBO is also related to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), so there may be additional benefits for those with IBS to begin fasting between meals. (5)

Stay tuned for our next nutrition post where we'll cover more on intermittent fasting specifically.

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