Find out the truth behind this web-based recommendation.
If you're on Facebook, you've likely seen a post making the rounds. Moms everywhere are claiming that drinking grape juice daily can be the key to preventing gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the stomach flu.
The most commonly shared version of this nutritional rumor is published on the Must Have Mom blog. The post claims that grape juice changes your intestinal tract's pH, making it harder for the virus to multiply, and it also contains a wealth of anti-viral chemicals to kill off the virus.
Curious about if this fruit-based beverage really does have preventative properties, we spoke with our Assistant Nutrition Editor, Jamie Vespa.
"Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, especially when it comes to nutrition," says Vespa, “There is absolutely no scientific rigor to back these claims." But this doesn't mean grapes aren't good for you. "Grapes are rich in anthocyanins, which are polyphenol phytochemicals. Some research suggests they could help reduce the risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, and cancer."
Juices are often rich in sugars and low on fiber, so if you're looking to get a healthy dose of grapes, opt for the whole fruit. If you're looking for other beverage options to increase your gut health, kombucha and kefir are great probiotic-rich choices. While these drinks may help your good gut bacteria, they definitely will not prevent the stomach flu. Instead, the best preventative measures are focusing on washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with those who may be ill.