Hearing loss isn’t just about your ears, but can be affected by your overall health. Your lifestyle, your job, and how faithful you are with wearing hearing protection in noise all play a role in how well you’re able to hear. Even things like getting regular exercise have been linked to positive benefits in hearing. Did you know that the foods you eat are also impacting your hearing health? Nutrient-rich foods are important for your overall health as well as your hearing. Here are some of the foods you should be eating to support your hearing health.
It’s All About the Minerals
Minerals are extremely important for our health and wellbeing. For example, zinc boosts the immune system, and calcium is good for your bones. The minerals that are essential nutrients for proper health, are inorganic substances found in the ground and in the rocks of the earth. We get our minerals from the plants that absorb the minerals from the soil, and from the animals that have eaten the plants.
Potassium: One of the most important minerals for hearing health is potassium. This mineral is crucial because it’s job is to regulate fluid levels in the body and in the blood. What does that have to do with hearing health? The inner ear is filled with fluid, and that fluid is what allows us to hear. The inner ear is responsible for translating the sound waves we hear into electrical signals the brain can hear and understand. Without enough potassium, the fluid in the inner ear won’t function properly, and hearing will suffer. Foods that contain a lot of potassium include fruits like bananas, oranges, apricots, and melons. Vegetables that are a great source of potassium are lima beans, potatoes, and spinach. Yogurt and milk are also high in potassium.
Magnesium: Having healthy levels of magnesium can protect you from noise induced hearing loss, according to a study out of the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute. The magnesium could actually be reducing your chances of hearing loss by providing a shield to the delicate cells of the ear, reducing damage when you’re exposed to loud noises. To make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, eat bananas, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.
Folic Acid: Last but not least is folic acid, and people with low levels of folic acid are more prone to presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. Folic acid has been linked to blood circulation, so having healthy levels of folic acid is important for the health of the cells in your ear, keeping the cells in your ear fully oxygenated and working well to help you hear all the sounds around you. Folic Acid is found mainly in vegetables, with high levels of folic acid in leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, and collard greens. Add these greens to soups, a veggie stir-fry, or to your fruit smoothie in the morning to get an extra dose of folic acid. Another vegetable rich in folic acid is parsnips, that root vegetable that packs a lot of punch when it comes to flavor. They’re best eaten cooked and blended with potatoes, either mashed or roasted.
The Importance of a Balanced Diet
You know there are lots of way to protect your hearing, and you’re careful to wear earplugs in noise, or turn down the volume on your earbuds. More people are starting the realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, both for overall health and for hearing health. A balanced diet, full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins has a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. Let your food be a fun way to protect your hearing and maintain your hearing health both now and in the future.
If you’re struggling to hear, changing your diet will help you get healthy and protect the hearing you still have. Make healthy decisions about your nutrition, then visit us at Worth Hearing for a pair of hearing aids that will give you a reason to get up in the morning. You can get back to enjoying a life full of sounds, and maintain your hearing health with the help of our dedicated team of hearing specialists.