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The food you eat has a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing. It makes sense that your diet affects your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. But did you know that some nutrients can even boost your hearing health? Here are some nutrients to include in your diet.
Probably one of the most well-known vitamins is vitamin C. This nutrient plays an important role in your body, particularly your immune system. Vitamin C helps your body fight a cold, flu, or other illness. It can also reduce your risk of hearing loss! A diet high in vitamin C can actually protect your ears from noise-induced hearing loss. When you’re exposed to loud noise, free radicals, or uncharged molecules, can damage the cells in the inner ear. Vitamin C can protect your cells from free radicals and reduce damage in the inner ear.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. You’ll find high concentrations of vitamin C in citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Another important vitamin is vitamin B9. This nutrient, also called folate, plays a big role in your overall health and wellbeing. It helps process food and transform what you eat into energy your body can use. Low levels of vitamin B9 can restrict blood flow and increase your risk of hearing loss.
Looking to boost your folate intake? Eat leafy green vegetables, peas, beans, and breakfast cereals fortified with folate.
Vitamins A and E
Vitamins A and E have a lot to do with your hearing health. A recent study found that healthy levels of vitamin A can reduce the risk of hearing loss by 14%, and healthy levels of vitamin E can reduce the risk of hearing loss by 47%! These vitamins also strengthen your immune system and help you maintain healthy skin.
Vitamin A is found in a number of animal products, including eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, and fish. It’s also in numerous vegetables and fruits such as spinach, kale, carrots, sweet potato, and mango. You can enjoy vitamin E in vegetable oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, collard greens, and avocados.
Vitamins aren’t the only important nutrients. Minerals also play a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. They can keep your bones healthy, improve muscle and heart health, and even help produce enzymes and hormones that keep your body healthy.
Zinc can boost your hearing health. This mineral is closely linked to immune system function. It can help prevent ear infections and help you recover faster. It can also help manage and control tinnitus.
Zinc is found in chicken, beef, pork, nuts, beans, lentils, and dark chocolate.
Along with vitamin C, Magnesium can protect your ears from free radicals. This can reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. On the other hand, low levels of magnesium can be very harmful. With too little magnesium, your blood cells shrink, and can’t deliver enough oxygen to your body and your ears.
Looking to boost your magnesium intake? Include nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, whole grains, avocados, and bananas.
Let’s take a look at one last mineral. Potassium is incredibly important for your health. It regulates fluid throughout your body, including the fluid that fills your inner ears. This fluid is part of the system that helps you hear. The inner ear cells have tiny hairs that float in this fluid. When sound waves move the fluid, the hair cells move, sending signals to the brain about the sounds around you. Potassium levels usually decrease with age, so you’ll need to monitor this mineral more as you get older.
Great sources of potassium include potatoes, squash, lentils, beans, dried fruits, spinach, bananas, and eggs.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Getting enough of the right nutrients helps you maintain your overall health and wellbeing. These nutrients can even boost your hearing health! But your diet isn’t the only factor to consider. Remember that your health, occupation, age, noise exposure, and even medication can all affect your hearing health.
Do the right thing for your ears and schedule a hearing test. Find out more about your ears and learn more ways to boost your hearing health.