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5 Foods for Better Hearing
You are what you eat. Nutrition is important to all aspects of your overall wellbeing, including your auditory system and hearing health! What you eat and the nutrition you provide your body can help you improve your health, including your hearing health.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to reverse hearing loss with a change to your diet, but it can help you better protect your ears from it before it happens or help prevent it from getting worse. Here are five foods that you might want to consider for just that purpose.
You might be familiar with magnesium as a metal that’s highly reactive in its concentrated form, but it’s also a very important mineral for the body that can be found in a wide range of foods, including dark chocolate, flax seeds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, nuts (including almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews), avocados, legumes, kale, spinach, bananas and salmon.
Magnesium can benefit your hearing health by maintaining the function of the nerves that transmit sound from the ear to the brain while also helping to safeguard the hair cells in the inner ear that pick up noise, preventing them from getting damaged by loud noises. Additionally, magnesium improves blood flow and prevents oxygen deprivation, which can contribute to hearing loss.
Another highly reactive metal often demonstrated in the high school chemistry lab, potassium is also another mineral that’s vital to several bodily functions and comes in cucumbers, bananas, apricots, cantaloupes, oranges, avocados, watermelons, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, edamame, spinach, and eggs.
Potassium deficiency can have a range of impacts on the body, one of which is suspected to be the decrease of the fluid levels inside your inner ear, which in part can contribute to hearing loss. As such, you want to make sure that your levels of potassium aren’t too low.
Another crucial mineral for the body, zinc, can be found in oatmeal, beans, lentils, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, dark chocolate, crab, lobster, oysters, pork, beef, dark meat chicken, mushrooms, kale, garlic, and spinach.
Zinc is thought to be used primarily for cell growth, but it can also improve the immune system, boosting its ability to protect the ear from ear infections. Healthy zinc levels have also been linked to lower rates of tinnitus and presbycusis.
B-vitamins, including folates (which are manufactured from folic acid taken in by the body), are crucial for some processes, including producing red and white blood cells, as well as turning carbs into fuel for the body. It’s found in a wide variety of foods, including greens like Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, and broccoli, legumes like peas, chickpeas and kidney beans, grains like whole grains and sunflower seeds, as well as animal products like liver and eggs, and fruits like lemons, melons and bananas.
By improving circulation throughout the body, folates can help ensure that the hair cells in the inner ear get the blood flow that they need, which helps to keep them healthy and make them more resilient against the damage that can cause hearing loss.
Omega-3s (including your omega-3 fatty acid) have gotten a lot of attention lately as a key component in many of the body’s most important functions. It’s found in a range of foods, such as walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, Brussels sprouts, spinach, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, oysters, fortified eggs, fortified milk, hemp seeds, purslane, and salmon.
Omega-3s play an important role in a lot of functions, but they can also help keep your ears healthy as you age, contributing to the prevention of age-related hearing loss.
What Else Can You Do?
The foods above can help, but they are not the only step you can take to help improve your hearing health. The single best step you can take is to make an appointment with your audiologist for a routine hearing test. Your audiologist can make sure that your hearing range hasn’t changed over recent years and offer even more advice on protecting your hearing depending on your circumstances, such as wearing hearing protection in loud environments.
Consult an Audiologist for Help Today
If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss, consider reaching out to Siouxland Hearing Health Care, P.L.C. We have audiologists in place to help you get the testing, diagnosis and treatment you need for your auditory issues. Give us a call today at (712) 266-3662.