Few foods and drinks are among popular choices to be consumed by people before or after meals. These ingredients may aid digestion, relieve constipation and bloating, boost healthy body weight and make you feel more relaxed. They are also good to have to enjoy optimal health benefits. You may incorporate these foods and drinks in your lifestyle to stay fit and healthy. These include:

Vegetable salad: Eating a vegetable salad half an hour before meals can reduce your caloric intake. If you want to lose or maintain weight, fill your stomach with this low-calorie roughage like lettuce, cucumber, radish, turnip and tomato before you have your meal. Eating green salad immediately after meals is also very beneficial. Due to the presence of high amount of fibre, it can aid digestion.

Fruits: Eat a bowl of fruits two to three hours before a meal. It will fill your stomach with a low-calorie food which is high in fibre. This habit may help control overeating during mealtime and improve digestion.

Buttermilk: Buttermilk and other probiotic foods contain live bacteria cultures which promote healthy digestion-enhancing bacteria that live in the intestine. As you drink buttermilk, it tends to wash down the spices and calms an irritated stomach lining after a spicy meal.

Hot water: Drinking hot water after meals is quite healthy. It activates the digestive tract by hydrating the digestive organs and helps eliminate waste. Hot water moves through your stomach and intestines. It dissolves the food that is hard to digest. Warm water to a temperature between 120 degree F and 140 degree F should be drunk. It should not be so much hot that it burns your lips and taste buds.

Warm lemon water: Drinking warm lemon water after 30 minutes of consuming food may help in digestion. It allows you to digest food more easily and helps to prevent build-up toxins. You can also avoid bad breath by drinking a glass of lemon water after meal.

Green tea: Drink green tea two hours before or after meals. This habit can maximise nutrient intake and iron absorption. Do not drink it immediately before, after or along with meals because green tea contains tannis and caffeine which would act as a hindrance in digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. If you cannot wait for two hours, wait for at least 45 to 60 minutes after meals to consume it safely.

Jaggery: Eating jaggery activates the digestive enzymes in our body. Thus having a small piece of this natural unrefined form of sugar after meal is considered healthy. It satisfies the craving for some sweet after food and also helps in proper digestion of food.

Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds contain volatile oils which can kick start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes. The seeds trigger the secretion of digestive juices which pace up the process of digestion. Moving it through the tract immediately after eating food helps beat bloating and indigestion.

Eating habits can affect your health and risk for certain diseases. Digestion plays a significant role in breaking down food into nutrients which the body uses for energy, growth and cell repair. Also, maintaining a healthy weight is quite important for the body’s overall well-being.