World Sight Day 2018 is celebrated every year all over the world on October 11, 2018, to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of your eyesight. The day was first marked in 2000 by the Wold Health Organisation in association with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IABP) in order to increase the layman's knowledge about blindness and visual impairment, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent these. World Sight Day has assumed an even bigger significance in today's world, where most of the urban population is continuously hooked onto mobile phones and laptop screens for the better parts of their days. Eye diseases, if detected early, are preventable. The theme of World Sight Day 2018 is 'Eye Care Everywhere.' According to IAPB, out of the 7.3 billion people, 36 million are blind, while in total 253 million people are visually impaired, which includes people with other types of eyesight ailments.
Some of the common eye diseases that World Sight Day aims at bringing attention to, include cataract, blurred vision, trachoma, dry eye, glaucoma, near and far sightedness, diabetic retinopathy, etc. There are certain micro-nutrients like some essential vitamins, which can help protect your eyes from falling prey to these diseases. You can not only protect your eyesight, but also improve it by munching on these healthful snacks and foods.
Here are 10 of the best foods that you can include in your daily meals to protect your eyesight:
1. Sweet Potatoes And Carrots
Sweet potatoes and carrots are not just healthy and full of satiating carbohydrates, but are also great for vision. They contain beta carotene, which is present in most orange-coloured veggies and fruits and it prevents macular degeneration in the eyes.
Beetroot is one of the best veggies you can give to your eyes. The deep red or purple-coloured root vegetable contains compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which maintain the health of the retina. Beetroots can boost the efficiency and health of your eyes.
The deliciously flavourful strawberries may also lower your risk of developing cataracts due to the presence of vitamin C, which is nature's antioxidant.
Spinach and other green leafy veggies like kale and mint are superheroes of eye health. Spinach contains a potent mix of nutrients, which are all great for protecting eye sight. Along with vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, spinach also contains beta carotene, making it an absolute force against eye diseases.
5. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, has been used as home remedy for a number of maladies, but did you know that it can also help you in preventing eye damage? The vitamin C in amla maintains the integrity of our connective tissue and also strengthens the collagen in our cornea.
Almonds are rich in riboflavin or vitamin B2, which is as essential for eye health, as it is for skin health. It supports collagen formation and reduces risks of cataracts. Other sources of vitamin B2 include milk, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes.
Eating salmon, which is a fatty fish, may help patients fight dry eye. Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are also essential for maintaining eye health. Other sources of omega 3 include walnuts.
The humble bright green peas can also go a long way in fighting cataracts. This is due to the presence of niacin or vitamin B3, which is another essential nutrient for eye health.
Another important source of vitamin B3 is turkey, which is a healthy and lean meat. Consuming turkey can not only help you sweat it out better at the gym, due to the presence of lean protein, but will also help your eyes grow stronger.
10. Bell Peppers
The bright-coloured bell peppers are a definite nutritional powerhouse, but did you know that they can help prevent macular degeneration as well? They are low in calories and absolutely fat free. Moreover, just 100-gm of bell peppers can meet your daily recommended intake requirement for vitamin A and C.
It's pertinent here to mention that small healthy habits like washing your eyes with cold water, periodically switching off from phones and laptops and getting regular eye check-ups are also important measures to maintain eye health, in addition to a healthy diet.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.