Feeling uneasy after those inevitable festive meals? Staying hydrated can help. To reduce gas trouble and improve digestion, here are some drinks that you can try out.

1. Water: Drinking warm water helps to ease discomforts such as heartburn and constipation. It helps to break down food in the stomach, eases the movement of waste through the digestive system and softens the stool. Studies show that drinking warm water helps improve the gut microbiota - the collection of bacteria, archaea, and eukarya that live in the gastrointestinal tract. The quality of gut microbiota influences not just digestion but immunity, mood and mental health as well.

2. Herbal or spiced tea: Just like warm water, drinking herbal tea or tea spiced with turmeric, ginger, peppermint and fennel can help digestion, and reduce signs of bloating, diarrhea, constipation and nausea. They work by reducing inflammation caused by digestive distress.

3. Prune juice: Prunes are rich in fiber and prune juice is known for its laxative benefits. A 2014 study has shown that prunes are more effective than psyllium husk used in the treatment of constipation. They work by improving stool frequency and consistency.

4. Kombucha: Drinking kombucha, a type of fermented tea known for its probiotic health benefits, is recommended post-heavy meals. According to a recent study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, drinking kombucha with a meal can help reduce high blood sugar by reducing glycemic index and insulin levels. The drink also has antibacterial properties that can protect against infection-causing bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella typhi.

5. Green juice or smoothies: Green juices are not just excellent sources of vitamins and minerals that are essential for immunity, but they also help improve hydration, reduce inflammation and boost digestion.

Beverages to avoid after meals

Although certain beverages can aid digestion, some drinks such as carbonated drinks and alcohol should be avoided. While carbonated drinks raise stomach acid levels, alcohol can increase inflammation, cause damage to the digestive tract and negatively impact gut health.

Tips to improve digestion

Choose the food items wisely. Include whole foods and fibrous ones while cutting down on processed food. Apart from staying hydrated, certain simple lifestyle changes can also help in improving digestion. Going for a light walk, taking probiotics, avoiding naps soon after eating, and engaging in activities like yoga and breathing exercises can help in digestion.