Food is one of the most important parts of life. Too much or not enough of the right type of food and nutrients can be detrimental. The same is true for the impact of food to our hearing. Obesity and diabetes both have strong correlations to hearing loss. Food also offers nutrients that are beneficial to your hearing.
In the International Journal of Audiology (2013, Vol 52, p. 369-376), Spankovich and Le Prell report “a significant relationship between dietary nutrient intake and susceptibility to acquired hearing loss is emerging.” Some nutrients we can make sure we incorporate can help protect our hearing:
- Folates: Folates are a member of the vitamin B family. Folic acid is the synthetic
version and our body doesn't know the difference. Foods that contain folates naturally include: dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, avocados, and many more.
- Anti-Oxidants Magnesium & Vitamins C & E: Helps prevent cell damage and reduces the free radicals that cause hearing loss from forming. Foods to eat might be nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
- Potassium: As we get older, our potassium
levels drop and potassium is important and plays
a big part in cell interaction within our inner ear.
Some foods to consider would be bananas, potatoes, spinach, citrus fruits, fish, beans, tomatoes, nuts and others.
- Zinc can help improve the impact of tinnitus
and age-related hearing loss. Foods to increase
in your diet might be whole grain, spinach, carrots,
chicken, shrimp, cheese, brown rice, red meat,
grass-fed dairy among others
- Omega 3 Fats & Vitamin D: Helps combat age-related hearing loss & Vitamin D specifically is important to our bone mineral density which directly impacts the tiny bones in our ears. Try increasing your veggie intake with leafy greens, avocados, broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots. Red meat, fish, nuts, olive oil and some fruit such as peaches, papaya and other melons can also help.
If you are concerned you may already have some hearing loss, you can take our quick online hearing test to get a better idea. Also make sure you visit your local farmers market to get the freshest, healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.