What are the best cycle hacks for belly bloat and better digestion?
Being strategic with our health is my main jam. And I love sharing tips on how to use your hormonal health to achieve your goals!
Even though I'm not having a cycle right now, there have been many tricks I've been able to use during pregnancy that I learned while cycle syncing to improve belly bloat and digestion. And I'm sharing three with you today!
1. Celery Juice
Celery juice has become a new line item on our grocery budget and I'm here for it.
Is my husband annoyed with hearing the juicer every morning (and when I leave it on the counter because it's obnoxious to clean)? Yes.
Does he comment by how much space the celery takes up on the bottom shelf in our refrigerator? Also yes.
And does he want to roll his eyes (but wouldn't dare at this point) when I ask him to stop by the store to pick up more celery? Yes.
While some women beg for takeout and ice cream during pregnancy, I've asked for celery 😊
Celery juicing is loaded with electrolytes that helps with constipation and digestion. When consumed on an empty stomach, about 20 minutes before breakfast, it also helps kick up bile, your digestive stomach acid. This can spark your digestive system and help clear out food that has become stagnant. I really like this article by the Medical Medium about the movement around celery juicing (following them on Instagram may also be an account you welcome into your feed!)
I used this trick at any time of the month I felt like my digestion needed improvement. Since our hormone levels fluctuate throughout the month, it can impede on how well your digestion and bowel movements are, increasing belly bloat.
Are there specific times of your cycle where you'll feel a bit more constipated?
For me it was always during ovulation and a few days before my period would start. Simply by consuming 16 oz. of celery juice (about how much juice you'll get from an average celery bunch), it would kick things into gear.
I also noticed the extra potassium helps flush fluid retention. Which has been helpful in our cycle and another little secret you can use while pregnant.
Here are 3 easy steps to make your own celery juice:
1. Opt for organic celery. It's a little more expensive, but celery usually falls on the Dirty Dozen list by the Environmental Working Group, who tests the pesticides in produce annually.
2. Invest in a juicer (this is the one I use and have had it for the past three years!) It's been cheaper and more convenient than going to a juice shop.
3. Juice 16 oz. of celery and consume 20 minutes before breakfast.
Usually you will notice a bowel movement within the next hour or so. It can also take a few days for full effect, depending on your situation.
2. Chlorella Tablets
Chlorella is a sea algea that is great for natural detox and promoting thyroid health (which you need for proper hormone balance and keeping your metabolism high).
I often used chlorella tablets in my cycle support to help my body get rid of toxins and metals I might pick up from food and the environment. I looked for "cracked wall" tablets (easier to digest) or you can use in a powdered form to add to a smoothie (it's too earthy tasting for me). I use these chlorella tablets.
Working with my naturopath, she recommended I continue using it during pregnancy. She explained how chlorella binds to toxins before they reach the placenta and pulls them from your system without passing through the placenta. I loved hearing this!
Pregnancy is a very cautious time because whatever you consume, typically gets processed through the placenta too.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a little trick I would use the week before my period to further help with digestion and belly bloat. By rubbing this (very thick) nourishing oil from the tops of your rib cages down across your belly and to your hip bones, it targets the following:
the oil penetrates the skin and helps nourish the lining of your uterus. You'll often hear me say that increased inflammation in the uterus is one of the reasons we have more PMS and menstrual issues. Knowing this is also your baby's home, you want to keep your uterus free from inflammation, which castor oil can help with.
it target your liver. Located behind our right rib cage, castor oil is able to help your detox organ so you process out no longer needed hormones, when you need to (improves digestion, reduces water retention, and overall makes you feel happier).
since it's a penetrating oil, it can also help prevent against stretch marks, which for me was a must through pregnancy. I was using this oil prior to conceiving and have used it every night since I've been pregnant. So far, even at 8 months writing this to you, I do not have a single stretch mark! The point with stretch marks is you want to prepare the skin BEFORE it starts stretching, which was why I was especially diligent in my first trimester. As my belly started to grow, my skin already had 12 weeks to prepare.
This is the castor oil I use. I also often use it for a hair mask and on my eyelashes because it's good for scalp health and hair growth.
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The information shared in this post is for information purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before trying, especially if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical conditions, or are taking any medications. This post also contains affiliate links.