What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apples twice- first to make hard cider and then into vinegar. Once the apples are transformed into apple cider vinegar, it is either pasteurized or left unpasteurized in its natural state.
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is known for having many possible health benefits due to its probiotic content. Probiotics are good bacteria that help improve gut health.
Apple cider vinegar has many different uses and may be beneficial for your health. In addition to drinking apple cider vinegar, it can be used for many home remedies too!
For instance, some people choose to apply it topically to help with acne or use as a natural fruit and vegetable wash.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Breastfeeding Moms?
Before consuming anything while pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s essential to know whether it’s safe. Many foods and beverages are safe to consume during this time!
Having a well-balanced diet high in animal or plant-based proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables is always best.
However, certain foods and drinks can be dangerous for babies as they develop, especially during pregnancy.
It’s always best to be cautious when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding, you know that the food and beverages you consume are passed to your child. This is why you may be wondering if apple cider vinegar is safe.
Apple cider vinegar is safe for breastfeeding moms as long as you choose pasteurized apple cider vinegar.
The jury is still out on whether the bacteria in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar affect a breastfeeding mom and her baby. It is best to be safe to ensure you and your baby stay healthy.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?
If you are pregnant, you can consume pasteurized apple cider vinegar safely. As mentioned, the effects of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar are unknown as far as pregnancy and breastfeeding go.
During pregnancy, your immune system is compromised. For this reason, you are more likely to get food borne illnesses. There is some concern that unpasteurized apple cider vinegar could cause those illnesses.
The recommendation while pregnant is to avoid raw or undercooked proteins like meat, fish and eggs, lunch meat, unpasteurized milk, unwashed fruits and vegetables, alcohol, and to limit caffeine.
If you would like to consume apple cider vinegar during this time, I would suggest drinking pasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Pasteurized versus Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains yeast, bacteria, acetic and citric acid, and enzymes.
However, pasteurized vinegar will likely provide no bacteria as they are destroyed in the pasteurization process. Some of these bacteria may include E.coli, Salmonella, and cryptosporidium.
It’s recommended that you do not consume any type of vinegar or beverages with live bacteria while pregnant or breastfeeding. After this time in your life, it should be safe for you to drink unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
What Are Alternatives to Apple Cider Vinegar While Breastfeeding?
It’s important to note that many of the health benefits you may see come from unpasteurized apple cider vinegar due to its probiotic content.
Since the recommendation for breastfeeding moms is to consume pasteurized apple cider vinegar, you may be missing out on some of those benefits.
If you would like to make a safer choice, I would suggest looking for a probiotic that is safe for use while breastfeeding. A probiotic will be much more effective than pasteurized apple cider vinegar!
Be sure to look for a probiotic that is designed for nursing moms. I love the brand Garden of Life for their high-quality standards. Check out this option!
What Are the Side Effects of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar While Breastfeeding?
While pasteurized apple cider vinegar is safe and healthy while breastfeeding, there are a few side effects, especially if you consume too much apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic. Beverages and foods high in acidity can cause damage to your teeth. In some cases, it may cause erosion to your tooth enamel and contribute to gum irritation.
Skin Rashes or Burns
Some have experienced skin rashes when topically applying apple cider vinegar for the treatment of various skin ailments like acne. If you are using apple cider vinegar topically, be sure to dilute it with water.
One case involving the daily consumption of 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar led to low potassium levels and osteoporosis. Doctors believe the body tried to lower the acidity of the blood by leeching minerals from the patient’s bones.
If you experience a side effect, it’s important to stop consuming apple cider vinegar. Then, check with your doctor to see if you should continue taking it.
What Are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
As mentioned, there are countless health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Note that apple cider vinegar may not have these same benefits for everyone.
Likely Weight Loss Aide
As you navigate postpartum life, you may not be ready to start losing weight by working out. Apple cider vinegar can help you slowly lose weight when paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise. By adding about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your water before a meal, you can start chipping away at the post-pregnancy weight.
Apple Cider Vinegar May Help Digestion
If you experience heartburn or bloating, simply add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to your beverages. The research is anecdotal at this time. However, some people report improvements with digestion.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
For those that are diabetic or insulin resistant, apple cider vinegar has shown to improve blood sugar levels following a meal higher in carbohydrates.
May Prevent Infections
Apple cider vinegar may help fight yeast infections and urinary tract infections due to its high acidity. However, many women have found unsweetened cranberry juice to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections.
In general, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is more effective. However, it is safer to use pasteurized apple cider vinegar while pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Can You Consume Apple Cider Vinegar?
Some people who consume apple cider vinegar take it as a shot or add it to a warm glass of water. These are popular options, but they are not the only options out there!
Here are some other ways to get the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Making salad dressing and having it handy in the fridge is an excellent way to add apple cider vinegar to your diet. Simply mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy this on a salad or use it as a dip for your favorite veggies.
Mix Into a Detox Drink
You can make a simple detox drink with apple cider vinegar. All you need is eight ounces of water and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Then, you can add honey, lemon juice, and even red pepper to taste! You can make this with hot water, lukewarm water, or ice water.
Add to Herbal Tea
If you don’t necessarily like the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can add it to another drink. Try adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a hot cup of green tea. You could also add lemon, honey, and other spices, depending on your preference. Then, you will get the benefits of the apple cider vinegar without the intense flavor.
It’s Best to Err on the Side of Caution While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Pasteurized apple cider vinegar is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms to consume. There are no known harmful effects of apple cider vinegar during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding, however, it is best to be cautious to protect yourself and your baby.
As a breastfeeding mom, it’s always best to remain cautious about what food products you consume. I would suggest adding a probiotic to your daily routine to receive all of the same health claims of apple cider vinegar. But without the risk!
Note that the information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is always wise to consult a doctor if you have additional questions.