The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar in Pregnancy

I've been a firm advocate for the benefits of taking apple cider vinegar for ages now, long before I fell pregnant this time around, but naturally, once I knew that I was carrying Baby, I double checked that it was safe for me to continue taking ACV (though I'm not sure why I thought it may not be)
 
Many of the benefits of drinking ACV daily, when not pregnant, appear to simply be intensified, or all the more useful, in pregnancy, and what's more, there's evidence to suggest that Baby's benefit considerably from having a Mum who takes ACV every day too.
 
A couple of notes however, firstly, when buying apple cider vinegar, check the label. To get the true benefits, you need to be drinking ACV that is made from 100% apple juice, with nothing else added. Secondly, like anything, moderation is key - don't drink the entire bottle in one hit. I tend to have a generous glug in a large mug of hot water to start the day - that's more than enough.
 
So, what are the benefits of taking ACV daily, in pregnancy and otherwise?
 
  • A majority of ACV's benefits are tied up to digestive health. The efficiency of your digestive system effects your entire body. If your digestive system is struggling,  this can have an effect on: your skin, your mental health, your energy levels, your productivity, the quality of your sleep, your risk of infection and your libido, among many other things. ACV helps to significantly improve digestive efficiency, meaning that you digest food quickly and effectively, getting the most from the nutrients you take in.
  • Because it increases metabolic efficiency, ACV also helps with the body's ability to absorb fluids from the digestive tract, helping to keep you hydrated. Being well hydrated is important all of the time, but especially so during pregnancy when your body is under particular strain and you're using twice as much energy for bodily functions. Being well hydrated will make you feel more energised, and also limit your tendency to snack or feel hungry all of the time - both very useful for pregnant ladies!
  • A sluggish gut more often than not results in sluggish behaviour. We all feel a bit tired when we're full, and if your food is passing through your digestive tract at a slower rate, you're only going to feel tireder (not a word) for longer. Keeping food moving, whilst increasing the amount of nutrients you absorb from each meal, will ensure that you have all of the energy you need to get through the day.
  • Constipation, nausea, excess wind, heartburn and acid reflux are all common symptoms throughout pregnancy. By increasing digestive efficiency - ACV can help to alleviate all of these complaints. Despite it's sharp taste, apple cider vinegar is highly alkalizing, NOT acidic, and will help to calm down acidic complaints (like burning burps) that annoy many pregnant ladies.
  • By ensuring your digestive and metabolic systems work more efficiently, ACV can help to ensure that your baby gets even more wonderful nutrients from the food you eat (you do still need to make healthy food choices though!)
  • There is a surprising link between digestive efficiency and mood regulation/mental health. Those who suffer from a slow, irritable gut are often more likely to experience mood swings and display depressive tendencies. I'm by no means suggesting ACV as a treatment for mental health issues, and if you're experiencing mental health problems in pregnancy please make your midwife or doctor aware as soon as possible, however, taking ACV could help to stabilise moods and keep irrational, seemingly hormonal, outbursts under control!
  • ACV can help to alleviate the symptoms of water retention, which are particularly common in pregnant women. If you suffer from swollen ankles and feet towards the end of the day, your symptoms may be helped with daily ACV. Remember if the swelling comes on very suddenly, and doesn't go away after you elevate your feet for a while, or they're still swollen when you get up in the morning, this could be a symptom of pre-eclampsia and you should be seen immediately by your midwife.
  • ACV helps to flush toxins from your system, which can have a range of benefits. You may notice your skin is clearer, your eyes appear brighter, your hair looks healthier, you appear slimmer (bump excused), and you manage to avoid those dreaded pregnancy urine infections which plague many women.
  • Taking ACV daily has been shown to significantly increase immunity - this is good news for us preggos - as we can be more susceptible to bugs and infections, some of which could pose a threat to our babies.
 
I usually get my apple cider vinegar from our friends at Little Stour Orchard. It contains nothing but apple juice from their organic orchard, and it tastes amazing. They're the only peoples on the planet to be granted two gold stars in the Great Taste Awards (2014) for a vinegar (Aspall Cyder Vinegar which is the most widely available organic cider vinegar, has only ever achieved one star), and of course, it's totally local (to me).
 
Please remember that none of the above information should be taken in place of medical advice. If you're suffering with severe pregnancy symptoms, it's always best to seek the opinion of your midwife or doctor. However, apple cider vinegar won't do you any harm, so rather than take my word for it, your best bet is to try it yourself and see what benefits you experience as a result.

2 comments:

  1. To give you some background, I was training for a fitness bikini competition when I found out I was pregnant this time.

    http://www.bluesupplement.com/womens-multivitamin/

    ReplyDelete
  2. The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lot of great information which can be helpful in some or the other way. Checkout this link

    ReplyDelete