You may feel like there’s nothing you can do to prevent hearing loss. Most of the seniors in your life struggle to hear conversations, and you’re worried you’ll also face hearing loss at you age. Hearing loss isn’t inevitable, and there are things you can do to lower the risk of hearing loss. Start by protecting your hearing! Always wear hearing protection when you’re in places with a lot of noise, and practice safe listening by turning down the volume on your personal music player. Another way you can lower your risk of hearing loss is by following a healthy diet.
Linking Diet and Hearing Health
Did you know that your diet can affect your ears and your brain? You know that what you eat can affect your mood and your energy levels, decrease your risk of diabetes, and help you maintain a healthy body weight. What you eat also impacts your ears. A study published in May 2018 found that eating a healthy diet with all the right vitamins and minerals can reduce your chances of developing hearing loss by up to 30%!
The recent study by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed collected data from nearly 71,000 women and found that what they ate made a big difference. The data was in the form of questionnaires the women filled out once every 4 years over a 22-year period. The healthiest diets that corresponded to the women with the least chance of developing hearing loss were the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. Both these diets promote eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, seafood, and poultry. They restrict dietary intake of red meat, salty food, highly processed foods, cholesterol, and sugary food and drink.
Foods That Help You Hear
Eating a balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs for your overall health and for your hearing. Healthy foods won’t cure hearing loss, but they will reduce your risk of hearing loss, and help you maintain healthy ears.
Magnesium: An important nutrient for your ears is magnesium. Found in avocados, whole grains, and dark chocolate, magnesium can prevent noise induced hearing loss. It improves blood flow to the ears and can prevent damage to the ears from free radicals, or unstable atoms that are often generated by loud noises.
Folate: Dark green leafy vegetables, as well as beans and lentils, contain folic acid. This nutrient is important to the health of your ears and brain, and with lots of folate in your body, you’ll reduce your risk of age-related hearing loss. Folic acid helps maintain a healthy blood flow by breaking down amino acids, like homocysteine, and regulating blood flow.
Potassium: Potassium maintains the fluid levels throughout your body, including blood flow and the fluid in your inner ears. Healthy fluid levels in the ear are critical for clear hearing and hearing health, so eating potassium rich foods like bananas, potatoes, oranges, and black beans will keep your ears healthy and lower your risk of hearing loss. Potassium levels tend to drop with age, so be sure you’re getting your daily dose of this important nutrient.
Zinc: Did you know that zinc can help prevent hearing loss? Zinc boosts your immune system, and can protect your ears from sudden and unexpected hearing loss. Eating nuts, seeds, shellfish, and legumes will help you fight off ear infections, and will help your body deal with the effects of tinnitus, that ringing of buzzing sound you sometimes hear in your ears.
Omega 3s: You know that omega 3s are important to your overall health, and eating seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and fish can prevent or reduce age related hearing loss. Omega 3’s support blood flow to the ears, and delay or prevent age-related hearing loss.
Exceptional Hearing Care
Now that you know a healthy diet can lower the risk of hearing loss, take a close look at what you’re eating, and make healthy choices for your overall health and wellbeing as well as for your ears. If you’ve been struggling to hear, or want more tips on how to protect your hearing, visit us at Exceptional Hearing Care for all your hearing needs.