This week is Nutrition Awareness Week which is part of March being National Nutrition Month. Who knew?
Last week I told you about a few over the counter drugs that are known to affect your hearing. Did you know that there are foods that can affect your hearing too?
According to Audicus, high levels of omega 3 fats and Vitamin D generally found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout or sardines, can have highly positive effects on hearing loss. A regular intake of antioxidants, especially in the form of folic acid commonly found in spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, liver or nuts, can reduce the risk of hearing loss by up to 20%. Magnesium, commonly found in bananas, potatoes, artichokes or broccoli, has been shown to provide additional protection against noise induced hearing loss. You can increase your inner ear’s resistance to the boon of age related hearing loss by keeping a healthy dose of Zinc which can be found in dark chocolate or oysters. Similar to antioxidants, Vitamin C/E act as hearing loss supplements that keep free radicals in check and strengthen your overall immune system, thus reducing the risk of ear infections. The source is easy to find: vegetables (e.g. oranges) and fruits (e.g. bell peppers).
According to Hearingwellnessctr.com, studies confirm that hearing loss and poor nutrition go hand and hand. An Australian study reported on in the Journal of Nutrition, has shown that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates detrimentally impacts hearing. A similar study showed that diets high in cholesterol also contribute to hearing loss normally associated with aging. Cutting out sugary and cholesterol rich foods would be a good start to a hearing fitness plan, but good hearing nutrition doesn’t only take into account what a diet includes, but also what is lacking.
And according to tinnitisjournal.com, gluten sensitivity may contribute to the pathogenesis of tinnitus, though further research is needed to determine the exact role of gluten in this condition.
What does all this mean? There’s a delicate balance of fluids in your inner ear which, like the rest of your organs, can be affected by what you eat. In general, better nutrition is good for your body… which includes your ears!
Nutrition Month Image borrowed from the Gastrointestinal Society.