Common sense tells us that what we eat affects our health. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can make us feel great and give us an energy boost. But did you know that what you eat affects your ears as well? Some nutrients can boost your hearing health. Here’s what you can eat to look after your hearing health.
Vitamins A and E
Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients you can give your body. These essential nutrients are responsible for hundreds of tasks in your body, from helping you heal, boosting your immune system, and giving you more energy.
Vitamins A and E can even help prevent damage in your ears and lower your risk of hearing loss. A 2011 study looked at how these essential nutrients work in the body. They found that people with higher vitamin A levels had a 47% reduced risk of developing hearing loss. Vitamin E also reduced the risk of hearing loss by 14%.
Adding extra sources of these vitamins to your diet can really boost your hearing health. Find vitamin A in sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, beef, and eggs. Great sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, avocados, and squash.
Folate or vitamin B-9 is another essential nutrient. This vitamin is critical for healthy functioning since it’s needed to keep your red blood cells oxygenated and healthy. One study reported that people with sensorineural hearing loss were more likely to have low vitamin B-9 levels.
You can increase vitamin B-9 in your diet with foods like green leafy veggies, broccoli, asparagus, beans, and nuts.
Vitamin B-12 is also vital for your body to be healthy. This vitamin aids in the production of red blood cells, and helps maintain blood flow. In fact, low B-12 levels can make it harder for blood to travel to your ears. This may cause cell damage and can lead to hearing loss.
You can get additional B-12 in your diet with foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs.
No list of essential vitamins would be complete without vitamin C. This nutrient is incredibly important for your overall health and wellbeing. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can boost the immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure. When it comes to your hearing health, vitamin C acts as a protector. When you’re exposed to loud noise your ears may be damaged by free radicals. Vitamin C can protect your ears and reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
Vitamin C is in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, grapes, citrus fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and dark greens, and dates.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats your body needs. This nutrient gives you sustained energy and reduces inflammation. It’s used in many functions throughout the body, including in the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system. A recent study examined the role of omega-3s and your ears and discovered that those with high levels of these fatty acids were 42% less likely to develop age-related hearing loss.
You’ll find omega-3 fatty acids in sardines, other fish, beef, eggs, and nuts.
Let’s take a moment to talk about minerals. Along with vitamins, minerals are essential nutrients your body needs for numerous functions throughout your body. Potassium is responsible for regulating fluid in the body. This includes your blood and the fluid in your inner ears. High levels of potassium will keep your ears healthy.
Potassium is in a number of fruits and veggies, including bananas, grapefruit, oranges, cucumbers, leafy greens, and potatoes.
Another important mineral is magnesium. One function of this mineral is working together with vitamin C to protect your ears from free radicals, and reduce your risk of hearing loss due to noise.
You can add more sources of magnesium to your diet by eating legumes, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and dairy products.
Prioritizing Your Hearing Health
Now is the perfect time to prioritize your hearing health. Along with eating a diet full of essential nutrients, we recommend booking a hearing test. Together we’ll learn more about your hearing health and we can suggest other ways you can maintain your hearing health.