Eating Your Way to Healthier Hearing
What we eat has a direct effect on our health and well-being, and our hearing health care is no exception to that. Some foods contain the nutrients – vitamins and minerals – to keep your ears healthy! They’re not a magical cure for hearing loss, and neither do they guarantee that you won’t experience hearing loss during your lifetime, but they can play a part in warding off damage and boosting your overall ear health.
Superfoods to help your hearing
- Magnesium rich foods
Dark chocolate, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts, seeds, whole grains, avocados, salmon, legumes, kale, spinach and bananas.
Magnesium can help maintain nerve function and help protect the hair cells in the inner ear from loud noise exposure. So noise induced hearing loss can be guarded against by eating more magnesium rich foods. The perfect reason to indulge in that dark chocolate treat!
- Folate foods
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas and leafy greens – spinach, kale, romaine lettuce. Beans and pulses, chickpeas, kidney beans, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, liver, lemons, melons, bananas, eggs, peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Folate and folic acid help improve your circulation, and good circulation keeps your inner ear’s hair cells healthy. Folic acid helps your body generate new cell growth.
Folate has also been shown to improve tinnitus, though more studies are needed.
- Potassium rich foods
Bananas, melons, oranges, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, raisins, apricots, yoghurt and low-fat milk. Cucumbers, melons, sweet potatoes and coconut.
Potassium regulates the fluid in your inner ear. This fluid level tends to drop as we age which contributes to age related hearing loss, or presbycusis. The inner ear is important because it translates the noise we hear into electrical impulses the brain interprets as sound. So make sure you get enough potassium rich foods in your diet.
- Zinc rich foods
Oatmeal, dark chocolate, yoghurt, beans, lentils, oysters, crab, lobster, peanuts, pork, beef, dark chicken meat, mushrooms, kale, spinach, garlic and pumpkin seeds
Zinc can help boost the immune system, ward off ear infections and help with cell growth. Eating enough zinc has been linked to a reduced chance of developing tinnitus and age related hearing loss (presbycusis). Zinc is useful for the prevention and possible treatment of sudden and unexplained sensorineural hearing loss. Eat zinc-rich foods to help boost your immune system and your ability to heal.
- Omega-3s foods
Ensuring you get enough fatty acids in your diet can help keep your ears functioning properly as you age. Omega-3 fatty acids can help delay or prevent age related hearing loss. They can also help brain function, sending signals between your brain and your ears more effectively.
Oily fish, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, oysters and salmon. Walnuts, seeds, fortified eggs, fortified milk, brussel sprouts and spinach.
- Vitamin D foods
Vitamin D keeps the bones in your body healthy, and your ears are full of delicate bones.
Vitamin D does not occur naturally in many foods so fortified foods are a good option.
Fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, fortified breakfast cearals and cow, soy, almond or oat milks.
- Vitamin B12 foods
B12 is important for balance, amongst other things, so is particularly important if you suffer from tinnitus or a balance disorder.
Meat, eggs, chicken and dairy products.
The foods we eat can provide all the nutrients we need, but if you decide to take any dietary/vitamin supplements, it’s a good idea to check with your GP first as higher than usual levels can impact on other aspects of your health.
And if you’re concerned about your hearing, it’s a good idea to book a free hearing test and hearing health check with your local Hearfocus hearing care specialist.
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