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  • Above Health Nutrition

Housecleaner of the Gut

Did you know that snacking throughout the day might be negatively affecting our gut health?!

Our gut has a built-in housecleaner that keeps the gut healthy and humming. It goes to work in between meals and does not like to be disturbed! This housecleaner is key to preventing IBS and digestive symptoms.

What is the gut's housekeeper and how can we keep it healthy?

The guts housekeeper is called the Migrating Motor Complex or the MMCfor short. It is the gut's self-cleaning housekeeper that runs in the fasting state. The MMC is a muscular contraction that occurs in the upper part of the gut to push debris, bacteria and waste down and out to keep the gut happy and healthy.

The MMC Essentials:

  • Occurs during a fasted state and when we are sleeping.

  • Eating is the only thing that turns the MMC off!

  • It sweeps away excess food, toxins and debris in the intestines.

  • It is regulated by the vagus nerve… more to come on the vagus nerve next month

  • Critical to GUT HEALTH!

*Best way to support the MMC is to space out meals every 3-4 hours so it can run a full cycle.

What happens if the MMC "breaks down"?

If the MMC breaks down and our house cleaner doesn’t show up, IBS symptoms can pay us a visit! This is because there is an increase of food and debris in the gut which can increase bacteria in places where it shouldn’t be. The bacteria are having a party, eating all the excess debris, and this can cause overgrowth of this bad bacteria. A dysfunction in the MMC is a common root cause of IBS and more specifically SIBO and candida overgrowth!

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

  • Bloating

  • Gas

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Rosacea

  • Brain fog

  • Fatigue

Candida Overgrowth

  • Cracks at the corner of your mouth

  • Sinus congestion

  • Post nasal drip

  • Sinus infections

  • White coating on tongue

  • Skin rash

  • Frequent urination

3 Steps to Activate your MMC:

1) Limit snacking in between meals

2) Practice meal spacing 3-4 hours apart

3) Wrap up eating 2-3 hours before bed

While there are no supplements to activate the MMC, these 3 practices will make sure it is up and running smoothly! Supporting our MMC and the Vagus Nerve are powerful tools for healing our gut and preventing dysbiosis. The Vagus Nerve controls our gut-brain connection and plays a major role in gut health.

Meal Spacing & IBS

A well-functioning MMC is necessary to heal your IBS. If the MMC doesn’t mop up enough dirt during the day, it can cause GI discomfort like bloating, gas or inconsistent stools. The ideal time to space meals is three - four hours apart.

If you try meal spacing and still find you need a snack…..

  • Make sure your meals are balanced with carbs, protein and fat.

  • Have a small snack that includes carbs, protein and fat.

  • Sip on herbal tea in between meals

Supporting the MMC can be a key part to healing your IBS but it may only be one piece to the puzzle.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and want to learn more - set up a complimentary 30 minute strategy call to get you started on healing your gut & eliminating your symptoms!


Sun Tea is a great way to increase anti-inflammatory and polyphenol nutrients that are found naturally in tea to support gut health.

Polyphenols help to feed the beneficial gut bacteria to protect the gut and aid in reducing inflammation.

Two key strategies to help preserve optimal gut health or support gut healing if experiencing gut symptoms.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more info on how nourishing tea & herbs are for the gut!


It's as simple as it sounds, no hot water needed!

Sun Tea is made when you place your tea bag or herbs in a pitcher of water and use the SUN to steep it. You can leave the covered pitcher by a sunny window to soak up the rays or simply leave in on the kitchen counter to steep.

Using fresh or dried herbs works just as well.

Save your basil, rosemary, ginger and citrus peel scraps for brewing!

Use one cup of fresh chopped herbs or 3-4 tea bags to two cups of water.

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