There Are Many Woes of Pregnancy
Sure, your family and friends can be sympathetic, but they’re not the ones rushing to the bathroom with morning sickness, dealing with backaches and swollen feet, or pushing through the fatigue of carrying another human life.
Foot rubs and words of encouragement are always appreciated, but they do nothing to get to the root of all your problems. Feeling good always starts with our insides, so treating the causes of your issues instead of alleviating the discomfort can really improve the quality of your life when you’re expecting.
Although there is no magic pill to make all of your nasty symptoms go away, there are some natural treatments that can really make a difference in your daily life. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most commonly used natural medicinal treatments, and for good reason, too.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar Exactly?
Apple cider vinegar is made by taking the juice of apples and fermenting it with yeast and bacteria. The sugars in the juice are turned into alcohol, then acid-forming bacteria is added to that mixture to turn it into vinegar.
There are different kinds of apple cider vinegar, and each comes with their own benefits. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the most popular kind because of all of the healthful properties it contains.
Pasteurized apple cider vinegar also exists and is the safest option for pregnant women because the high heat treatment kills any bacteria or microorganisms that could harm the baby.
Although raw apple cider vinegar is extremely safe for everyone to consume, mothers-to-be might feel more secure with the additional safety precautions.
Why Do People Drink It?
When people talk about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, they’re usually referring to the raw, unpasteurized variety. Raw apple cider vinegar contains what is called ‘the mother,’ which is a stringy substance that harbors good bacteria.
Although it looks unappetizing and the taste is very sour, unfiltered apple cider vinegar could help improve overall wellness. To get the most use out of your apple cider vinegar, make sure you shake the bottle to distribute ‘the mother’ so you can get a dose of the good bacteria.
Reader’s Digest presents a list of scientific evidence of the many health properties of apple cider vinegar. Consumption can improve all facets of wellness from curing stomach aches to preventing cancer.
What Are Some Examples of Health Benefits?
Got an unrelenting case of the hiccups? By taking a dose of apple cider vinegar, you could actually stop the hiccups in their tracks because the taste is so jarring to our bodies. Apple cider vinegar actually overstimulates the nerves that are causing the spasms.
If you feel like you’re catching a cold, apple cider vinegar can help your body clear out the bad germs. Since vinegar is so acidic that most germs can’t survive in it, by coating your throat every few hours, you’re preventing germs from building up and settling in.
One of the most common reasons why people swear by apple cider vinegar is because of its aid in weight loss efforts.
People who ingest a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 15 minutes before their meals eat less and digest more efficiently, which can tip the scale in a more favorable direction.
Since everyone suffers from the many stresses of life, fatigue is something we all wish we could resolve. As it turns out, apple cider vinegar contains potassium which can help alleviate your tiredness. If you don’t feel like eating a banana, adding a dose of apple cider vinegar to your drink could be just what your body needs.
Diabetics can also rejoice at the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help control blood sugar levels. Before eating a meal rich in carbohydrates, if diabetics drink some apple cider vinegar, they can help their body cancel out any blood sugar spikes.
If you’re guilty of enjoying too many eggs, doughnuts, or other foods rich in cholesterol, incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet can help mitigate the harmful effects of cholesterol. A few studies have shown a decrease in bad cholesterol, or LDL, in people who consume apple cider vinegar daily.
So How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Relevant to Pregnant Women?
Pregnant women can benefit from incorporating apple cider vinegar into their diets as well, but they must be more cautious. Although some experts claim that pasteurization destroys the medicinal properties of apple cider vinegar, more research is needed on the topic.
Although rare, unpasteurized foods always run the risk of carrying harmful bacteria like E. Coli that can cause serious foodborne illnesses.
Health complications like this put enough stress on the body to cause a miscarriage, which is why avoiding unpasteurized foods is a must for pregnant women.
So why risk taking apple cider vinegar at all? Many moms swear it can cure or alleviate many painful or annoying side effects of pregnancy.
Rebecca Malachi gathered some scientifically-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar for pregnant women in her guide on Mom Junction.
What Are Some of the Reported Benefits of Pregnant Women Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar?
Women who have dealt with pregnancies swear by apple cider vinegar curing their digestive ailments like morning sickness and heartburn. The pH of apple cider vinegar complements the pH of our bodies and acts as a neutralizer when acids are building up.
Apple cider vinegar also helps our good gut bacteria flourish. Yeast infections are common and frequent in some pregnant women, so finding a way to treat and prevent them in the future can save someone a lot of irritation and discomfort. The good news is you can either drink it or pour some in a warm bath for instant relief.
Getting a good night’s sleep is difficult from all the pressure in your body. Apple cider vinegar can act as an anti-inflammatory to relieve some pressure you feel. It will also help your blood flow easily, which reduces the swelling you may experience in your extremities.
Pregnant women don’t have it easy, which is why you should never feel ashamed about indulging in your cravings.
However, if you are determined to not put on additional weight not needed for the baby’s health, consuming apple cider vinegar before meals can curb the number of calories you consume.
Remaining as calm as you can during a pregnancy is good for the development of your baby. Everything you eat and feel makes its way to the baby, so you have to make sure you are at your healthiest. Apple cider vinegar has been noted to improve blood pressure, so drinking it can help balance out any stress you’re feeling.
For more information on how apple cider vinegar helps with pregnancy, check out this video by All Natural Home. They explain all of the symptoms it can relieve and inform you how to safely ingest it while pregnant.
Are There Any Risks?
Aside from the potential foodborne illnesses, one could possibly contract from apple cider vinegar, there are a few things to note before incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily routine, as reported by Healthline.
Apple cider vinegar should never be taken as a shot. It tastes disgusting, so it may seem appealing to down it all in one mouthful, but this can be dangerous. Since the vinegar is so acidic, undiluted apple cider vinegar can eat away at the lining of your throat.
Instead, the safe way to consume apple cider vinegar as a drink is by mixing a tablespoon of it into your drink. That way you can prevent any damage and also make the drink more palatable.
Since pregnant women can have severe aversions to foods they usually don’t mind or even enjoy, apple cider vinegar is definitely something that could be problematic. If you find that you absolutely can’t stand the taste or smell, then you shouldn’t continue to try.
Although there are several health benefits to apple cider vinegar, if you don’t have the stomach for it while you’re pregnant, then don’t sweat it. Anything that makes you ill should not be forced down. Stay in tune with your body and listen to how it responds to the vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar can also negatively interact with some kinds of medication, so you should definitely talk with your doctor before adopting it into your routine.
If you’re a diabetic who uses insulin, apple cider vinegar may react negatively with insulin to decrease the amount of potassium that’s in your body. Apple cider vinegar should always be consumed in small doses to avoid these negative interactions.
If you take diuretics, apple cider vinegar can have a similar effect of lowering potassium levels. Again, if you ever start to feel unwell after taking apple cider vinegar, you should stop and seek professional medical advice on how to proceed.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Really a Superfood?
The term superfood can be extremely problematic as The Guardian reports because people equate it with magic or overconsume it in unhealthy amounts.
There is nothing that exists that can cure any ailments and make you immortal. This is why you should be cautious with food trends that pop up, because there is usually little science backing them.
While there are numerous studies reporting the benefits of apple cider vinegar, more research is still needed. It’s possible that apple cider vinegar may not make you feel better, but there are also minimal risks in trying it out and seeing how your body reacts to it.
Avoid any gimmicky products that advertise a product as a superfood because it is probably more expensive than other brands that offer the same quality and it’s playing with your emotions.
Of course, we want to be healthy and happy, but overall wellness comes from a balanced lifestyle of healthy diet and mindful exercise routines.
Can I Buy Any Kind of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Some health stores may try to sell you raw and natural apple cider vinegar, but their product might be dangerous if it is not regulated.
It’s better to do a little research into tried and true brands that have safe methods of processing apple cider vinegar.
If you want to buy unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, you can tell by its appearance if it contains ‘the mother’ if the liquid is murky and has some stringy bits floating around the bottom.
Pasteurized apple cider vinegar should have it listed on the label. The liquid will be clear and lighter in appearance. For more information on the health properties and differences between pasteurized and unpasteurized, check on this article on Healthfully.
What Are Some Ways to Incorporate It Safely into My Diet?
You don’t have to be brave and drink your apple cider vinegar every day. Even when it’s diluted, it still has an overwhelmingly unappealing taste. There are other creative ways you can sneak it into your food.
The more complex and diverse the flavors are in your drinks or foods, the easier it will be to mask the bitter taste of apple cider vinegar. Keep in mind that if you want to work with unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, cooking with high heats can tamper with some of the health benefits.
Balsamic vinegar is commonly used to make salad dressings, so try swapping that for some apple cider vinegar instead.
Using other ingredients like sweet honey and tangy mustard can create a rich flavor profile that complements every note. Try it on salads, pizza, meats, or anything else you can think of.
Did you know you can make your own ketchup in a breeze? All you have to do is combine apple cider vinegar with tomato paste and a few spices to make your own ketchup devoid of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup found in store brands.
You can also make healthy smoothies, teas, and cocktails that mask the pungency of apple cider vinegar. Be sure to include foods with different flavors that complement the sourness.
You can try making your own apple cider at home by combining apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and some maple syrup to create a complex and delicious drink.