As the popular saying goes, “you are what you eat”. It is important to care for our bodies both inside and out, but did you know that your diet can affect your hearing? In this article, we tell you which foods can help to boost your hearing health.
What kind of diet is good for our auditory system?
According to Dr. Joe McDermott, audiologist and author of a study on diet and hearing health published in The Daily Sentinel, a balanced diet that is rich in certain vitamins and nutrients can delay or even prevent hearing loss.
A lack of vitamins in our diet can lead to more frequent ear infections, both in adults and children, and in the long term, more serious ear conditions and illnesses.
In fact, the McDermott study shows that people who consume two or more servings a week of fish rich in Omega-3 are 42% less likely to suffer age-related hearing loss than those who do not consume fish on a regular basis.
Vitamins and nutrients that boost our hearing health
- Foods that are rich in fatty acids such as Omega-3 have anti-inflammatory properties that help to strengthen the blood vessels in the inner ear. These include oily fish, such as salmon, tuna or sardines; canola oil; walnuts; or food items that have been enriched with Omega-3, such as certain brands of milk or eggs.
- Folic acid (one of the B vitamins) helps our bodies to generate red blood cells and is highly recommended for boosting hearing health. Sources include whole grains and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils.
- Vitamin C not only helps to strengthen our immune system against colds, but also protects our ears against infection. Fruits such as kiwi, oranges, tomatoes and strawberries, and vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of this nutrient.
- Vitamin A is beneficial to inner ear health as it helps our body to form and maintain soft tissue and bones. It can be readily found in leafy greens such as spinach and Romaine lettuce, and in vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers and pumpkin or squash.
- Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect that helps protect the cells in our body against damage and increases our white blood cell count. We highly recommend including the following foods in your diet in order to protect yourself against age-related hearing loss: Swiss chard, avocado and nuts, including walnuts and almonds.
- Food items that are rich in zinc strengthen our body’s defences and protect our ears by delaying hearing loss. These include cherries, dark chocolate, oysters, crab and brown rice.
- Sources of magnesium are also useful in preventing noise-related hearing issues, and include whole grains, nuts and seeds and legumes such as chickpeas and kidney beans.
While none of the foods above will cure any type of hearing loss or impairment, maintaining a healthy, varied diet and following a series of tips for caring for your hearing can help to strengthen our auditory system. However, if you notice a sudden loss of hearing, it is important that you consult a medical specialist urgently.
We would love to hear which are your favourite foods to boost hearing health. Leave us a comment below!