Pregnancy is that time in the life of a woman when health rules her mind and heart. A pregnant woman would go lengths and breadths to ensure that she has the best of health and her offspring is born healthy and well. Talking of health, the latest addition to the health basket is the apple cider vinegar. Scientifically proven to offer many benefits such as weight loss, low cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels etc. apple cider vinegar has gained place in the shelves of most kitchens. But then, you are now pregnant and you don’t take chances. So here we are, with all the information on whether it is safe to drink apple cider vinegar during pregnancy or not.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is prepared in two steps – just like alcohol is made. At first, apples are crushed and exposed to yeast which makes the sugar in the apples to ferment. The fermented sugars produce a liquid and turns them into an alcohol. To this solution, bacteria are added which further ferment the alcohol produced from the sugars from the apples and these bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. This forms the main compound in the vinegar.
Other compounds in apple cider vinegar (ACV) include acetic, citric, and malic acids.
This solution is then filtered and pasteurised. Always remember that raw, undiluted and unpasteurised apple cider vinegar can not only burn your oesophagus but also cause many infections due to the exposure to bacteria. By itself, ACV can be dangerous to your health, so always dilute a teaspoon of ACV with a quarter glass of water to save yourself from any reactions.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe During Pregnancy?
Apple cider vinegar when pasteurised and consumed in diluted state can be considered largely safe during pregnancy. It is important to mention that no specific research has been carried on the subject of ACV being safe for pregnant women, yet pregnant women can safely use pasteurised ACV within recommended limits to get maximum benefits. Also, unpasteurised foods pose quite potent health risks to pregnant women and are strongly recommended to be avoided.
One may argue that unpasteurised apple cider vinegar presents more health benefits than the pasteurised ACV due to the presence of probiotic bacteria. While this holds true, consumption of certain bacteria present in unpasteurised ACV could pose health risks to pregnant women. Since immunity of a pregnant woman is already weakened by pregnancy, consuming unpasteurised apple cider vinegar could also pose potent risks to the unborn baby.
Generally speaking, you can still get quite a lot of benefits of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy – provided you drink it diluted and it is pasteurised. Should you decide to use unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, make sure you weigh the risks and exercise great caution. Must to add here that your doctor’s go ahead is also required.
What Are The Benefits Of ACV During Pregnancy?
Pasteurised apple cider vinegar offers many health benefits to pregnant women, such as –
- ACV for heartburn
As pregnancy progresses most pregnant women battle the issue of heartburn. Heartburn coupled with indigestion is more common during the third trimester of pregnancy. You can drink a tablespoon of ACV diluted in a large glass of water to get quick relief from heartburn during pregnancy
- Fighting elevated blood sugar levels
Many women suffer increase in blood sugar levels due to buildup of glucose in the blood caused by certain hormones that the placenta produces. This can further lead to gestational diabetes. This condition can be effectively tackled by used ACV as the enzymes in it aid in controlling blood sugar levels. ACV helps the body prepare more insulin that uses the glucose and stores the excess in the liver
- Preventing urinary tract infections
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to suffer frequent urinary tract infections. Though not always dangerous, it can be quite an uncomfortable situation to be in. You can drink a teaspoon of ACV mixed with a glass of water twice a day
Whether pregnant or not, detoxification of the body is always helpful in maintaining a clear skin, healthy digestive system and better health. Apple cider vinegar contains minerals and enzymes that can help the body flush out toxins and waste products effectively. Apple cider vinegar can also help to stimulate circulation and aid detoxification in the liver
- Treat common cold with ACV
Thanks to the weakened immunity, common cold is not uncommon when your body is working overtime to support the needs of the growing fetus. Apple cider vinegar when diluted in a glass of warm water can help clear nasal blockages and prevents sinus infections
- Relief from leg cramps
As your blood volume goes up by about 50% during pregnancy, you need the right balance of electrolytes to manage the bloodflow. Add additional weight that pregnancy brings along, and you have the perfect recipe for leg cramps. ACV is rich in potassium and improves blood circulation thereby providing your relief from leg cramps
- Get clear skin with ACV
Pregnancy glow is a myth for many women, including me. Because ACV contains detoxification agents and flushes out toxins drinking apple cider vinegar during pregnancy can give you better, acne free skin. It also fights breakouts by flushing the deposits of oil just beneath the skin, You can also apply diluted ACV with a cotton ball on affected areas
- Fight inflammation and swelling
Swelling in hands and feet during pregnancy is quite uncomfortable. Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent and provide relief from swelling in the hands and feet. As it improves blood circulation, the retention is decreased and you find relief from edema
- Constipation and ACV
Battling constipation during pregnancy is nothing new. Many people consider apple cider vinegar to be a mild laxative. ACV contains the digestive friendly malic acid and acetic acid and a little amount of magnesium that promotes healthy and regular bowel movement. Drinking small amounts of diluted ACV may have a favourable effect on your bowel movements
While the safety of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy is still questionable, there is no denying the fact that it is one of the most touted home remedy for many conditions when pregnant. However, do exercise utmost caution as pregnancy is a delicate time, especially if you are trying apple cider vinegar during the first trimester of pregnancy for the first time.
Apple Cider Bath While Pregnant
Many women use ACV bath to as a home remedy to treat urinary tract infections. Bathing in apple cider vinegar is also a popular home remedy to fight yeast infections. Bathing in raw apple cider vinegar also improves the appearance of skin and soothes irritation effectively. Plus, some women find it easier to use it externally on the skin to derive benefits then to consume it.
To make apple cider bath while pregnant, take a cup or two of ACV and pour it in your bathtub. Soak yourself in this hot tub for about 20-30 minutes and rinse off the excess vinegar with cool water. Make sure to damp your hair and face before soaking in ACV bath.
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Is Safe To Drink During Pregnancy?
Do not have more than one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water more than twice a day. For best guidance, seek your doctor’s recommendation on dosage of ACV during pregnancy. And remember to only use pasteurised apple cider vinegar during pregnancy.
You can even buy organic ACV to ensure you do not expose yourself to any harmful bacteria.
Apple Cider Vinegar Pills While Pregnant
There are apple cider vinegar pills and capsules that are available at most pharmacies. It may be easier to pop them in and get the impressive benefits of ACV just like that. However, the pills contain concentrated dosages of unpasteurised apple cider vinegar so do run this through your doctor before you start with them. Pregnancy is not the time to take chances so exercise caution.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Drinking small amounts of apple cider vinegar is largely safe for most people, but do watch out for the below side-effects and reach your doctor on immediate basis.
- Frequent urination – though it is also a pregnancy condition
- Upset stomach since ACV can act as a mild laxative
- Insulin reaction – if you are on anti-diabetic drugs or insulin, your need to check the use of ACV with your doctor
- Headaches, redness or other allergic symptoms
- Tooth damage can be a possible side-effect if you drink raw ACV. Raw ACV is highly acidic and erode your tooth enamel. Additionally, you will burn your oesophagus as well
Do share what you think of using apple cider vinegar during pregnancy!