Many experts point to the benefits you can enjoy by consuming apple cider vinegar as part of your diet or as a natural remedy. With so many purport benefits, we ask the question – is apple cider vinegar safe to use during pregnancy?
Along with kombucha, cranberry juice, green smoothies and green apple vinegar has become one of the most widely consumed drinks by wellness and fitness enthusiasts across the United States.
These benefits can include boosting your energy, minimizing leg cramps, preventing indigestion and even preventing serious disorders like diabetes. Of course, for pregnant women symptoms like indigestion, leg cramps and low energy can sound extremely familiar, since they are extremely common issues in pregnancy. But pregnant women may wonder whether it is safe for them. Below is some useful information to help you decide if apple cider vinegar is right for you.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
When you next cider or apple juice with yeast and allow the sugars in this mixture to ferment into alcohol, you have started the process of creating apple cider vinegar. After this first fermentation, bacteria is added to increase fermentation so that the result is acetic acid.
Types of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are two primary types of apple cider vinegar: pasteurized and unpasteurized. The pasteurized type has been processed to remove sediment and bacteria and is a clear liquid. Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is not pasteurized or filtered. This means that it will tend to be cloudy with sediment and what is known as “the mother.”
“The mother” represents a mixture of beneficial bacteria and acetic acids that are produced in the fermentation. This looks like strands in the vinegar, and it is this substance that is thought to contain most of the health benefits offered by apple cider vinegar.
Some Potential Benefits from Apple Cider
Over the years, many claims have been made regarding the fitness and health benefits that apple cider vinegar can offer to its users. It is thought that it can be beneficial for a range of ailments. Some of the following is fairly anecdotal in nature, since scientific research hasn’t yet confirmed the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in dealing with all of these issues.
Some studies have suggested that apple cider vinegar can be helpful in lowering blood sugar response and insulin sensitivity when you are eating certain foods. Keep in mind that including apple cider vinegar as a part of your diet to help manage your diabetes is something you should do in consultation with your doctor.
When you consume apple cider vinegar on a regular basis, it’s thought that it can help you remove toxins from your body, while also enhancing pH levels in your body and your bowel function. Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics that can enhance the health of your gut overall. A proper balance between pH levels and gut bacteria has been demonstrated to be helpful with a number of gastric issues, including acid reflux, heartburn and constipation.
It’s thought that when you take apple cider vinegar prior to a meal, it can help reduce your appetite so that you will consume fewer calories. However, if you are pregnant you shouldn’t be worrying about dieting and losing weight during your pregnancy. Instead, you should focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet of nutritional, healthy foods for yourself and your baby.
Because apple cider vinegar is believed to have antibacterial and even antiviral properties, it may be that it can help you to fight off a sore throat or cold without using medications. Certainly, when you’re pregnant you want to be careful about taking too many over-the-counter medications when dealing with a cold or the flu.
One of the most common complaints of pregnant women is that leg cramps interfere with their ability to get a sound night’s sleep.. This can be the result of increased pressure on your circulatory system, as well as lower potassium levels. It just so happens that apple cider vinegar has lots of potassium for alleviating this problem.
This becomes particularly useful if you combine apple cider vinegar with a natural sleep aid such as Melatonin as this can really help you get a good nights sleep.
Eczema, Acme, varicose veins and warts are all thought to improve with a topical application of apple cider vinegar.
Any Dangers for Women During Pregnancy?
As noted above, there are two types of apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized and pasteurized. Usually, healthcare professionals cautiously suggest that pregnant women avoid consumption of any unpasteurized food because of the supposed risk of food poisoning. The entire point of pasteurization is to eliminate pathogens from raw juices, dairy products and other foods.
Unpasteurized apple cider has not been pasteurized, but this is why the “mother” organisms are there to offer their benefits. Still, using this product would place you at increased risk for salmonella, listeriosis or other foodborne illnesses. Given the potential risks, always consult your doctor before using this or any other unpasteurized products.
So, is apple cider vinegar safe to use during pregnancy? Absolutely. However, we’d suggest that you always stick to the pasteurized version of the drink and if you’re in any doubt about it you speak to a certified nutritional expert.
Last update on 2022-12-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.