Why Your Gut Needs a Break from Food

  • Post category:Gut Health

The human digestive system is complex, and several factors are crucial to its ability to function. Many people don’t know that one of these factors is an occasionally empty stomach. 

That’s right: Your gut needs a periodic break from food to function at its best. This is called FASTING. In this blog, we’ll explain why and provide strategies for greater digestive health. 

Meet The Migrating Motor Complex

So, why exactly does your gut need a break from food for optimal function? The answer comes down to the migrating motor complex or MMC. It’s a cyclic pattern of contractions that takes place in your stomach and small intestine. 

The function of the MMC is to move pieces of food, bacteria, and other matter in the gastrointestinal tract down to the colon. The contractions happen in cycles spanning approximately 90 minutes.

The MMC makes sure that food particles left behind after you eat reach the large intestine to be processed. It also helps rebalance the bacteria in your gut so that it’s properly distributed between the small and large intestines. 

But, the MMC doesn’t happen all the time. It can only occur when you have an empty stomach. As soon as you bite into a snack or meal, the MMC stops. So, if you eat and snack throughout the day, your MMC may never complete enough 90-minute cycles to properly redistribute the gut bacteria. 

How Often To Take a Break From Food

So, how long do you need to leave your stomach empty to let the MMC work its magic? Leaving your stomach empty for 12 to 14 hours is considered ideal to cleanse and balance your gut. For most people, the best way to accomplish this is to stop eating a few hours before bedtime and wait to eat for a few hours after waking up. 

The experts at Body Flow Wellness can help you optimize your gut health for greater overall wellness. Contact us today to book your appointment!