While many people practice preventive measures such as using ear plugs, turning down the volume on their audio devices, and staying away from loud sound sources, watching what you eat will have a direct effect on your hearing as you age. The saying “you are what you eat” couldn’t be more accurate, as the nutrients you receive from food helps you maintain a healthy body and mind. Eating, whole nutrient-dense foods will contribute to keeping your ears healthy, and can potentially help prevent or delay hearing loss.
The food that you eat does have a direct effect on the health of your hearing. To help keep you and your ears healthy, check out our list of nutrients for healthy hearing.
1. Folic Acid
It has been discovered that age-related hearing loss develops in individuals who were found to have low folic acid levels. It is believed that the body utilizes folic acid to absorb homocysteine, which is linked to tinnitus and hearing loss. Include these folic acid-rich foods into your daily diet: cereal, enriched bread, liver, broccoli, okra, spinach, bok choy, parsley, asparagus, avocado, bell peppers, squash, seeds, beans, and lentils.
Zinc is effective in boosting the body’s immune system, healing wounds, treating tinnitus, as well as preventing ear infections. Also, being deficient in zinc is related to age-related hearing loss. Include these zinc-rich foods into your daily diet: beef, dark-eat chicken, pork, cashews, peanuts, almonds, split peas, lentils, oysters, and dark chocolate.
Magnesium can help protect your ears from noise-related hearing loss. Researchers came to this conclusion because magnesium can help fight off the effects of free radicals that are emitted during loud noises. Include these magnesium-rich foods into your daily diet: brown rice, potatoes, Brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, broccoli, and bananas.
Fish eaters have been found to have a 42% lower chance of age-related hearing loss, as omega-3’s can help strengthen the blood vessels in the ear’s sensory system. Include these omega-3 rich foods into your daily diet: olive oil, tuna, salmon, sardines, trout, tofu, Brussel sprouts, purslane, chia seeds, flax seeds, cauliflower, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
Potassium is responsible for the regulation of the amount of fluid in your blood and body tissue. As you age these levels drop naturally, and that can contribute to hearing loss. Include these potassium-rich foods into your daily diet: potatoes, yogurt, lima beans, low-fat milk, spinach, raisins, apricots, oranges, melons, tomatoes, and bananas.
6. Vitamin B12
Having a vitamin B12 deficiency can result in hearing loss. Vitamin B12 works in a similar matter to folic acid, as it helps lower homocysteine levels and keeps blood cells healthy and happy. Include these B12 –rich foods into your daily diet: spirulina, nori, clams, liver, dairy, eggs, haddock, trout, and salmon.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D, while it can be difficult to get from food, is essential to your health. Vitamin D can strengthen the tiny bones in the ear, as well as help aid in the prevention of hearing loss. You can receive vitamin D from safe sun exposure, but you can also find it in certain foods. Include these vitamin D-rich foods into your daily diet: sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, milk, yogurt, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms, lichens, and microalgae.