Apple cider vinegar during pregnancy can be a very good home remedy for pregnant women, with a number of benefits. Apple cider vinegar or ACV is simply apple juice or cider that is mixed with yeast that naturally ferments the sugar present in the fruit to form alcohol. Additional bacteria may be mixed with this initial ferment to form acetic acid.
So, in essence, apple cider vinegar is just vinegar made from crushed and fermented apples. When consumed in moderate amounts, and in its pasteurized form, it boasts a number of benefits for pregnant women. However, it is recommended that you do not consume raw apple cider vinegar during pregnancy.
Types Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may come as either filtered or unfiltered. The unfiltered kind usually is also unpasteurized. Pasteurization is simply the process of heating the apple cider vinegar in order to kill any of the harmful bacteria that may be present in it. As such, it is not a wise idea to consume unpasteurized apple cider vinegar while pregnant, since the bacteria may end up being harmful to your body.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe To Consume During Pregnancy?
There is as of yet, no solid research to back the claim that apple cider vinegar is either safe or unsafe for consumption during pregnancy. That being said, there are still a few things to consider in order for acquiring the maximum benefits from consuming apple cider vinegar while mitigating the risk of most of the potential side effects.
For starters, it is highly advised that you do not consume unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, as the remnants of bacteria it contains can potentially cause a number of side effects. In addition to this, it is greatly recommended by doctors and dieticians alike that it is much safer to consume when filtered.
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In addition to this, it is also worth noting that apple cider vinegar may only prove beneficial in moderate amounts. Due to its alcoholic and acidic nature, consuming too much can cause digestive issues and other side effects in pregnant women. Because of this, doctors often even recommended that you consume it after diluting it with clean water.
10 Benefits Of Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy
There are a number of benefits of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy, when consumed in moderate amounts, worth considering. A few are as listed below:
1. Helps reduce heartburn
Due to the rapidly growing fetus and acid reflux, heartburns are rather common in pregnant women, particularly from around the 12th week of pregnancy. Consuming apple cider vinegar during pregnancy for heartburn is a very quick and effective way of dealing with this, and so it comes recommended by most doctors.
2. Helps with digestion
As a result of their weakened immune systems, it is common for pregnant women to face issues with digestion, particularly in the later trimesters. However, apple cider vinegar contains antibiotic properties and pectin. As a result, consuming it regulates your metabolism, promotes the growth of good bacteria, soothe your upset stomach and is one of the best home remedies to combat constipation during pregnancy.
3. Helps prevent urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections are also rather common in pregnant women. You can tell if you potentially have a urinary tract infection by observing whether your urine is turning cloudy. Apple cider vinegar is rich in enzymes that can potentially help treat as well as prevent this in pregnant women.
4. Helps against morning sickness
Morning sickness is all too common in pregnant women, particularly in the first trimester. Apple cider vinegar, being pH neutral, helps settle the acids in your stomach to relieve you of nausea, and by extension, morning sickness as well.
5. Helps maintain blood pressure
It is not uncommon for blood pressure to fluctuate rather dramatically in pregnant women. However, as this can cause prolonged episodes of fatigue, nausea, and other ailments, you must treat this at the earliest. In moderate amounts, the acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar helps combat this.
6. Helps against diabetes
Much like blood pressure, your sugar levels also tend to fluctuate during pregnancy. Apple cider vinegar helps combat this by lowering sugar levels in your blood and improving your insulin sensitivity from certain foods.
7. Helps combat yeast infections
Yeast infections are a very common occurrence in pregnant women and can lead to itchiness, rashes, and more. The topical application of apple cider vinegar can potentially reduce these infections and their likelihood, but it is advised that you consult your doctor first.
Related Reading: 8 Common Pregnancy Skin Problems
8. Helps in detoxifying your body
While pregnant, your body is susceptible to a number of external toxins, and poor metabolism. This can leave you vulnerable to a number of other ailments as well. The antioxidants present in apple cider vinegar help detoxify your body and reduce the likelihood of catching these ailments.
9. Helps boost immunity
A woman’s immunity system takes quite a hit during pregnancy, especially in the later stages. This can leave you vulnerable to a lot of common ailments, such as the common cold. The anti-bacterial and immunity-boosting properties of apple cider vinegar help combat this.
10. Helps improve blood circulation
During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for a woman to have irregular blood flow. This can lead to varicose veins, swelling, and other such issues. Consuming apple cider vinegar can greatly assist in regulating your blood flow, thereby relieving you of these ailments.
Risks Of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy
Though apple cider vinegar can provide a number of benefits for pregnant women, it is not without its potential risks. Listed below are some of the potential risks and side effects of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy.
- If consumed without dilution, apple cider vinegar can harm various parts of your digestive system due to its acidity
- Undiluted apple cider vinegar can also corrode your enamel and cause pain to your gums due to the same acidic properties
- Consuming unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can lead to potential infections and even sickness due to the presence of unwanted bacteria
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
Things To Taken Care Of While Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy
As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar is not without its share of benefits as well as risks for pregnant women. However, there are a number of things you can do to mitigate all potential risks and get the most out of apple cider vinegar. We recommend you to take below precautions while consuming apple cider vinegar:
- Make sure you are consuming apple cider vinegar in its filtered and pasteurized form
- Always ensure a moderate consumption of apple cider vinegar. Dilute it with water as required. This will reduce the corrosive effect it can have on your body due to its acidic nature
- Consult your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar into your diet to determine the appropriate amounts and possible even brands. In addition to this, always follow up with your doctor if you experience any uncomfortable symptoms
- Properly rinse your mouth after consuming apple cider vinegar to effectively protect your enamel from acidic corrosion
- Do not combine your apple cider vinegar with any other kind of vinegar as this can increase its overall acidic potency. Also, never combine it with any medication that you might be taking. This can potentially have harmful consequences
- Buy organic apple cider vinegar to maximize the benefits you get from it
- Do not consume apple cider vinegar if you are facing problems with your stomach
- Do not consume apple cider vinegar shortly before or after consuming tea or coffee
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If consumed properly with appropriate precautions, apple cider vinegar offers a great number of benefits for pregnant women. As such, it is most certainly worth keeping in your diet during pregnancy, and perhaps even afterward. Just make sure you consult your doctor beforehand and properly follow up as required.
As previously stated, apple cider vinegar is only beneficial in appropriately moderate amounts. As such, it is recommended that you consume it in a diluted form, and not too often.
That being said, it is better to consult your doctor or dietician to determine the ideal dosage of consumption as they would have a more informed opinion.
In order to minimize risks, it is recommended that you drink apple cider vinegar in a diluted form. This can be done in a number of ways – by diluting it with water, preparing a mocktail out of it, and so on. There will be a number of recipes you can easily refer to online. You can add few drops of it to salads as well.
It is strongly advised that you routinely follow up with your doctor during the course of your pregnancy. In addition to this, feel no hesitation in consulting them if you experience symptoms like stomach ache, digestive issues, pain in your enamel or gums, and so on.
In addition to this, certain other symptoms to keep an eye out for include nausea and vomiting, formation of red, itchy rashes, dizziness and fatigue, and so on.
Even in its relatively more harmful unpasteurized form, there are no notable reports of something quite as drastic as a miscarriage occurring as a result of consuming apple cider vinegar.
That being said, it is still important that you consume it in moderate, dilute amounts, in its pasteurized form, as it is considered the safest form.
The ideal brand of apple cider vinegar for you is dependent on a lot of factors. This includes your location, its relative availability, and even your budget.
As such, it is highly recommended that you consume an organic version of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for the best opinion on the ideal brand of apple cider vinegar for you.
That being said, Braggs is one of the most popular brands of apple cider vinegar. It is widely available in a number of health stores, supermarkets, and major e-commerce platforms like Amazon.