As you make up your next grocery list, add on a few foods that support healthy hearing! You can find most items in the produce aisle of your local grocer. Incorporating these delicious ingredients can help provide the building blocks that make up the foundation of healthy hearing.
And most of these foods support the health of other functions of your body. Remember, the health of your entire body is its own ecosystem — relying on one another for a holistic and well-balanced lifestyle.
Vitamins and minerals are substances found in the foods we eat and they are essential to your body. You can absolutely subsidize your diet by using vitamin supplements, like a one-a-day vitamin. However, vitamins and minerals are best absorbed by your body for maximum benefit when they are consumed via the whole foods, mainly plant-based, that they’re naturally found in.
According to Dr. Sharon Curhan, MD, a physician and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, there is no magic bullet when it comes to nutrients and hearing health. That is to say, although studies have been done, none point overwhelmingly in favor of incorporating a certain vitamin as a cure-all to shield against hearing loss.
But, we do know that enjoying foods with complex nutritional benefits has an impact in lessening the risk of hearing loss. Choose these vitamins to beef up your arsenal in the fight for healthier hearing.
There are conflicting reports about the impact of upping Vitamin C and hearing health. In animals, studies conclusively find that hearing loss risk is mitigated by high doses of Vitamin C, but in humans, at least one study shows the opposite effect. The thing is, Vitamin C is essential to other health systems of the body. It helps you form blood vessels, muscle, and collagen in bones, cartilage and it’s integral to the body’s healing process. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, cantaloupe, or broccoli.
Adding the orange color found in fruits and vegetables, carotenoids can be found in — you guessed it — carrots. It’s also found in yams, kale, spinach, and tomatoes. Carotenoids are important in the body’s antioxidant defense and cell-to-cell communication.
In supplement form, you can pop a B9 pill to increase your folate intake. Our bodies require this vitamin for healthy cell division processes. You can find it naturally occurring in whole foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other leafy green vegetables.
Vitamins are organic substances, which means they are made by plants and animals. Like vitamins, minerals are also essential to our healthy diets. They are inorganic substances that can be found in the very soil and rock that make up the earth. We can incorporate them into our nutrition by eating the plants that absorb minerals from the earth and in the meat of animals who eat the plants.
Potassium helps regulate the fluid within the body and its tissues. Potassium levels naturally drop as we age. This is perhaps a reason why age-related hearing loss occurs, as the fluid levels of the inner ear are vital to good hearing health. You can find potassium in bananas, oranges, and broccoli.
A study at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute revealed that people who were pretreated with magnesium were more protected from noise-induced hearing loss. Magnesium can shield cells from free radicals and provide a protective barrier for inner ear cells. In the produce aisle, pick up bananas, potatoes, spinach, or broccoli to increase your magnesium intake.
This immune system aids in cell growth and healing wounds. You can find zinc in beef and pork. If you want to go the vegetarian route, seek out cashews, almonds, lentils, or…dark chocolate! Yum!
Omega-3 fatty acids
A 2010 study found that people who ate two or more servings of cold-water fish per week had a much lower risk of age-related hearing loss than folks who ate less than one serving of fish per week. Sign us up for the fish fry! You can also find Omega-3 fatty acids in eggs, walnuts, and flaxseed.
While there’s no magic bullet, according to Dr. Curhan, she advises that people eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, plus whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. If you want to focus on one or two items that pack supreme nutritional power, you might have noticed that broccoli and bananas make more than a few appearances as a profound source of many of the vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy.
Another great way to ensure your hearing health is to schedule an annual hearing test! For that, we’re here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment!