We don’t often think about food when it comes to hearing loss, but that’s a big mistake. There are a lot of foods that boost our immune systems, lower cholesterol levels, control insulin, give us energy, or make us feel better. It’s not surprising that some foods are good for our hearing. Have you ever thought about what kinds of foods you should be eating to boost your hearing? Here are a few of the most important nutrients for your hearing health.
Minerals that Help You Hear
Minerals are crucial for overall health and wellbeing, and ensure our bodies are functioning in tip top shape. Zinc is good for your immune system, and everyone knows calcium is good for your bones and teeth. When it comes to hearing, there are a few minerals you need to include in your diet.
Potassium: Potassium helps regulate the fluids in your blood and in your body. Since your inner ear is filled with fluid, potassium plays a big role in your hearing health. The hair cells of the inner ear pick up vibrations in this fluid and transmit the vibrations to the brain as electrical signals. The brain interprets these signals, and you experience it as sounds. As we age our potassium levels can drop, affecting the health of our ears. To make sure you’re getting enough potassium, eat fruits such as bananas, melons and oranges. There are also high levels of potassium in certain vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, lima beans, and even in yogurt and milk.
Folic Acid: Another mineral that’s important for your hearing health is folic acid, a mineral in the blood that’s in charge of new cell growth. Studies show that adults with low levels or folic acid are more prone to age-related hearing loss, since less folic acid in the blood means worse overall health of cells, and lower blood circulation. To get your daily dose of folic acid, make sure you’re eating your dark greens, like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.
Vitamins Important for your Hearing Health
Vitamins are also important for your overall health and your hearing health. They keep your immune system strong and healthy and give you lots of energy.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important for the health of the delicate hair cells in your inner ear. These cells are responsible for translating sound signals to electrical signals and sending them to the brain. Vitamin C also strengthens your immune system, fighting off infections, like ear infections, that could cause some serious damage to your hearing. Foods that contain a lot of vitamin C include fruits such as oranges, kiwi, berries and other citrus fruits. Dark greens like kale and chard are also high in vitamin C.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties, protecting your immune system and affecting your overall health. It also improves circulation, keeping your ears flooded with oxygen and nutrients. For your daily dose of vitamin E, eat a handful of nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts and sesame seeds. You can also find vitamin E in spinach, turnips, and kale.
Vitamin B-12: B vitamins are important for hearing health, especially vitamin B-12. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin B-12 actually increase your risk of noise induced hearing loss, and can lead to tinnitus, that ringing or buzzing in your ears when you’re in a quiet place. Vitamin B-12 is found in animal products, like red meat, beef, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Seafood is also high in vitamin B-12, so enjoy your salmon and sardines.
Eating Well to Hear Well
If you want to look after your hearing health, be mindful of what you’re eating, and make sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet. But most importantly, make sure you’re eating a wide variety of healthy foods for your hearing and your overall health.
If you’ve experienced hearing loss, visit us at Moore Audiology for a hearing assessment. We’ll test your hearing in quiet and in noise and recommend a few more foods that will help you hear. We also work with the world’s top hearing aid manufacturers to bring you the best in hearing treatment, and we’ll have you enjoying a life full of sound in no time.