When you ask someone to list some of the ways to prevent hearing loss, you typically hear the same answers. Staying on top of ear infections, keeping your ears clean, listening to music at a reasonable level, and wearing earplugs are the most common answers. While none of these answers are false, many don’t realize that what you eat also has a significant impact on your hearing. In fact, some of the foods that you may be eating on a daily basis can actually help protect your ears and prevent hearing loss.
‘You are what you eat’ is a term we hear all too often, but it’s true. Good health and nutrition go a long way in keeping your body healthy and functioning at its peak. If you want to help protect your ears for the long haul, continue reading to learn how you can prevent hearing loss with food.
Vitamin C is essential for immune function, and besides being able to help keep away the cold, vitamin C can also help in the fight against ear infections. Foods rich in vitamin C include kale, guava, kiwi, chili peppers, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, mangoes, and oranges.
Vitamin D can help reduce inflammation, prevent hearing loss, and even helps strengthen the tiny bones in your ear. While you get vitamin D mostly from the sun, some foods are rich in vitamin D, and they include caviar, sardines, margarine, mushrooms, tofu, beef, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, mackerel, tuna, cod liver oil, and salmon.
Keeping your vitamin E levels up can help guard against damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and ear cells. Also, vitamin E is effective at warding off infections. Foods rich in vitamin E include sweet potato, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, Atlantic salmon, olive oil, almonds, spinach, mango, avocado, butternut squash, wheat germ, palm oil, trout, red bell peppers, and sunflower seeds.
Another mineral that can help protect against age-related hearing loss, zinc also helps boost the body’s immune system. Studies have also discovered that zinc is effective in treating tinnitus in certain individuals, and can even help you ward off ear infections. Foods rich in zinc include dark chocolate, beans, oysters, lentils, split peas, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pork, beef, and in dark meat chicken.
Keeping your folic acid levels up is an excellent way to maintain good hearing since folate is linked to age-related hearing loss. However, folate is not stored well in the body since it is water soluble, so make sure you are eating foods that are rich in folic acid daily. Foods rich in folate include organ meats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, avocados, okra, broccoli, lentils, asparagus, chickpeas, pinto beans, citrus fruits, spinach, peanuts, almonds, and beans.
Beneficial for the cardiovascular system, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and help prevent hearing loss. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include spinach, anchovies, flax seeds, chia seeds, cauliflower, purslane, walnuts, eggs, beans, Brussels sprouts, salmon, tuna, sardines, oysters, herring, tofu, caviar, winter squash, wild rice, linseed oil, cod liver oil, and olive oil.
Effective at combating presbycusis, age-related hearing loss, potassium can help protect against hearing loss. Potassium levels decrease naturally as we age, so eating foods that are high in potassium is necessary to keep this in balance. Foods rich in potassium include lima beans, potatoes, winter squash, sweet potato, white beans, tomatoes, yogurt, beats, black beans, spinach, bananas, oranges, milk, apricots, and melons.
Magnesium can help our body deal with stress, and studies have shown that magnesium can help prevent hearing loss, ease hearing sensitivities, and even reduce tinnitus. Foods rich in magnesium include tofu, avocado, spinach, broccoli, barley, brown rice, tomatoes, artichokes, almonds, cashews, bananas, potatoes, Brazil nuts, beans, dark chocolate, figs, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.