Does your diet affect your hearing?
We all know that nutrition is incredibly important. Eating well gives us energy and keeps our heart pumping happily by reducing the risk of heart diseases like heart attack and stroke. It also lowers cholesterol and decreases the chances of developing other chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. What you eat helps you control weight, improve your mood and promotes overall health. Not only that, but did you know that what you eat can affect your hearing as well?
What Does Eating Have to do With Hearing?
According to the Daily Sentinel, the food we eat might actually play a big role in hearing health. Dr. Joe McDermott, Director of Audiology for Colorado West Otolaryngologists, says hearing health is closely linked with your body’s overall health. It’s easy to see how eating healthy foods promotes overall health, which in turn benefits you hearing. Eating certain foods can actually reduce your chances of developing hearing loss, and protect your hearing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Eating Fish
What are the best foods for your hearing? One of the nutrients closely linked with hearing health is omega-3 fatty acids. They have anti-inflammatory properties that give extra strength to blood vessels throughout the body. This includes the blood vessels in the delicate inner ear. Having healthy blood vessels means all your cells are getting enough oxygen and other nutrients, and your hearing is protected. Foods to eat if you’re hoping to increase your intake of omega-3s include fish like salmon, tuna, or sardines. If you’ve been looking for a perfect excuse to book that fishing trip with the guys, this is it! Those who eat at least two servings of fish each week are 42% less likely to develop age-related hearing loss, as compared to people who aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Antioxidants: Getting Your Leafy Greens
Another important food group for hearing health is antioxidants. Folic acid is the antioxidant you want to get, and it can be found in leafy greens such as romaine lettuce and spinach. Also, look for it in peas, beans, and nuts. Antioxidants like folic acid reduce free radicals, or molecules that cause damage to your body’s cells. Fewer free radicals means less damage in your ear, and clearer hearing. For adults over 50, having a folate deficiency means a 35% higher risk of developing hearing loss.
Vitamins and Minerals: Don’t Forget the Fruits and Vegetables
For hearing health, vitamins are essential. Vitamin B12 has many functions in the body as well as in the ear. It promotes the production of red blood cells and improved blood flow to the ears. Foods high in B12 are meat, dairy, and eggs. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and can be found in many fruits and vegetables like oranges, grapefruit, and bell peppers. Vitamin D keeps bones and tissues in the ear strong, and is found in fish and milk. Vitamin E, which can be found in nuts like almonds and peanuts, improves overall circulation.
Zinc protects against age-related hearing loss, and can be found in dark chocolate. Yes, chocolate! Indulge in your guilty pleasure, it’s for your health. Just make sure it’s dark chocolate, and doesn’t have a lot of added sugar. Finally, magnesium can prevent noise-induced hearing loss. It’s in bananas, potatoes, artichokes and broccoli.
So, the next time you open the fridge, stop to think about what you’re eating and how it might be impacting your health and your hearing. You should have no difficulties finding foods rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Making healthy choices isn’t a guarantee that you won’t one day struggle with hearing loss, but including these foods in your daily diet will certainly improve your overall health and hearing.
For more information on hearing loss or to schedule a consultation, contact us at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids!