Aman Abbas (name changed) would never have thought that a glass of juice could save his life. Well, almost.
A couple of months ago, the happy, ever-smiling youngster from Mumbai first noticed that making it through the day was becoming a struggle. Abbas, who works at a financial services firm and also pursues a part-time MBA, found himself regularly falling behind his work and academic targets. Indeed, his frantic, hour-long morning commute to work would drain half his energy. By the time he sat down in his office chair, he just couldn't muster the drive to zip through his assignments like he did earlier. Weekends were worse: his MBA classes seemed dreadfully long and never-ending. And there was no question of a social life--he just didn't have the inclination to meet friends.
Worried, Abbas went to a doctor, who quickly diagnosed the problem. "He told me that due to my schedule, I wasn't getting the right kind of nutrition," Abbas reveals. The solution? Abbas had to drastically increase the quota of vegetables and fruits in his diet. "Since I didn't have the luxury of regular, home-cooked meals, I just started having a daily glass of fruit-and-vegetable juice. That single habit just changed everything," Abbas says, with a smile.
Abbas's life has since turned around. But a number of people his age aren't so lucky. With their hectic lifestyles, many young Indian adults stay up nights to cram for exams, commute for several hours, and wade through mountains of work to meet tight deadlines. Feeling low and tired is quite commonplace. And like in Abbas's case, the root cause of this often is a lack of adequate nutrition.
In the course of their rushed schedules, many youngsters tend to ignore the importance of regular and healthy meals. Meals often tend to get skipped, or consumed in the form of junk food that has very little value. This creates nutritional gaps that have an adverse effect on one's temperament, energy levels and ability to focus. Fixing these gaps is key to getting the natural boost of energy that allows us to deal with the demands of an on-the-go lifestyle.
Experts say that Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron are the three key nutritional elements that one needs to incorporate in one's daily diet. To meet the recommended dietary allowances for the following, a person needs to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Unfortunately, research shows that, on average, 1.5 servings remain unconsumed every day!
Let's see why it is important to include these nutrients in one's diet.
1. Vitamin A
Normally found in: milk and dairy products, eggs, beetroots, carrots, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin
Vitamin A is popularly understood as the component responsible for keeping our eyes healthy, especially as children. However, it also keeps the immune system and organs functioning smoothly, and aids in proper metabolism.
Vitamin A deficiency results in reduced vision, dry hair and skin, and chances of getting urinary and respiratory infections. Hence, it is necessary to get a good amount of fruits and vegetables in one's diet to tank up on the required amounts of Vitamin A.
2. Vitamin C
Normally found in: citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, tomatoes
Vitamin C is another key dietary element. It helps the body grow and repair tissues, and is therefore important for healing wounds and keeping one's bones and teeth healthy. It is important in repelling cardiovascular disease and serves as an antioxidant, protecting the body from several potential diseases.
It is thought that higher levels of Vitamin C indicate a better level of overall health. Like Vitamin A, Vitamin C can be found in a well-balanced diet that contains a lot of fruits and veggies.
Normally found in: dark leafy vegetables (like spinach, methi), beans, dried fruit, lentils, whole grains, pumpkin seeds
The primary function of iron is to make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body's tissues. Hence, a lack of iron in one's diet can leave one feeling fatigued, tired and lethargic. Other symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and susceptibility to infections.
Vibrant, young Indians like Abbas, who ignore the importance of balanced meals, are at higher risk of tiredness and feeling 'low' through the day. In the long run, this can have a major impact on one's health and work. Getting a good mix of the above nutrients is essential for elevating one's energy levels, and enabling one to tackle day-to-day activities more effectively.
The typical life of a young Indian adult often leaves little time to focus on balanced and nutritional meals. This may cause deficiencies in Vitamin A and C, besides iron, which often leave one with depleted energy and enthusiasm levels. However, Tropicana's newly-launched Essentials range, featuring 100% juice and no added sugar, makes it much easier even for those with busy lifestyles to get their daily Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron requirements. The first variant, Tropicana Essentials Fruits & Veggies, delivers the juice of 2 combined serves of fruits and vegetables. The second, Tropicana Essentials Iron, delivers 15% of the recommended dietary allowance of iron, and is fortified with Vitamin A and C. To know more about these two new launches, check out Tropicana's Facebook and Twitter pages. #EssentiallySpeaking