We all know that a healthy diet is good for our health, but did you know that it can also be good for your hearing health? Even though no one nutrient is the key to good health or preventing disease, eating a wide range of healthy foods regularly can help lower your risk of hearing loss.
A study shows that eating well slows down hearing loss.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that sticking to specific diets can slow the onset of hearing loss that comes with age.
This is not the first study of its kind. Several other studies have already found a link between diet and hearing health. But the researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital wanted to rely less on what people said about their hearing and more on how their hearing changes over time. To do this, testing sites were set up in nine places across the country, and audiologists were told to track how people’s hearing thresholds changed over time.
The researchers also looked at the 20-year food histories of the participants to see if their eating habits were similar to the three recommended healthy diets: MedDiet, AHEI-2010, and DASH. Each of these diets was linked to successful aging and a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other long-term illnesses when followed.
The results showed that women who stuck to the diets the most were 30% less likely to lose their ability to hear mid-frequency sounds. They were also 25% less likely to lose their ability to hear high-pitched sounds.
What kind of vitamins and minerals should we eat?
Since Dr. Curhan and her team mostly looked at white women between 50 and 60 years old, more research is needed to come to more clear conclusions. But the study is a good reminder that what we eat can affect our hearing more than we might think. Here are some nutrients that can help you.
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. These help to keep our inner ear’s many blood vessels strong. Researchers found that people who eat two or more servings of fish a week are 42% less likely to lose their hearing because of getting older than people who don’t eat fish very often. If you don’t like fish, you can get omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, and spinach.
Potassium controls the amount of water and blood in your body. Your inner ear is full of fluids, so potassium helps keep your hearing in good shape. Bananas, melons, oranges, spinach, beans, and tomatoes are all excellent sources of potassium.
Zinc is an essential mineral that keeps your immune system working well and helps your body’s tissues grow and heal. It can be found in cells all over the body, but most of it is in the inner ear. You can fill up on chickpeas, lentils, beans, nuts, eggs, dairy, dark chicken, and red meat.
Folate / Folic Acid
Folate, also called vitamin B-9, helps make red and white blood cells in our bodies. In 2003, a study found that people with sensorineural hearing loss had much lower folate levels than people with normal hearing. Eat spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, liver, and nuts, among other things, to get more in your diet.
A and E vitamins
A 2011 study found that vitamins A and E are essential antioxidants for hearing health. People who ate the most vitamin A had a 47% lower risk of hearing loss, and those who ate the most vitamin E-rich foods had a 14% lower risk of hearing loss. Almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, and olive oil are all good ways to get more Vitamin A. Carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, and eggs are all excellent sources of vitamin A.
Magnesium can help protect your hearing from noise-related hearing loss. Researchers have found that magnesium and a mix of vitamins A, C, and E can protect the delicate cells in the inner ear from damage caused by free radicals. Many fruits and vegetables are high in magnesium, as well as dark chocolate, avocados, almonds, tofu, seeds, and whole grains.
One way to keep your hearing in good shape is to eat well. Since hearing loss can happen slowly, you might not think about it until it starts to get in the way of your life. So, it’s essential to have your hearing checked often. This is easy, quick, and doesn’t hurt, so if you think you might be losing your hearing, please get in touch with us immediately.