Hearing impairment, to varying degrees, affects a lot of us today. Aside from aging, there are a multitude of stressors and noises in our environment, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible to evade the damages to our hearing.
Besides adopting a lifestyle that decreases noise and other factors that harm your ears, there are also particular minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients you can consume that help keep your ears healthy, protecting them from hearing loss or mitigating the progression of hearing loss. Who knew eating certain foods could be so good for your ears?
Here are a couple of nutrients you would want to keep an eye out for if you want to maintain good hearing health:
Vitamin C and Vitamin E
A study conducted in 2008 discovered that vitamin C and vitamin E can prevent hearing loss for up to 80%. This is due to the fact that as antioxidants, they protect cells from free radicals and fend off damage to the cochlea’s hair cells.
Vitamin C toughens up your immune system, helping the body keep infections at bay, especially those that target the middle ear. Vitamin E, besides having the same antioxidant properties, also refreshes your blood vessels and improves blood circulation, which keeps your inner ear and its hair cells healthy.
Citrus fruits are the most common source of vitamin C, but you can also find it in guavas, strawberries, and fresh herbs, among others. Vitamin E can be found in mangoes, leafy vegetables, almonds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil. Papayas, kiwis, red bell peppers, and broccoli offer both vitamins, so it’s hitting two birds with one stone if you decide to add these items to your grocery basket.
Vitamin D and Vitamin B12
Vitamin D is known for its effects on the formation and health of your bones, so aside from strengthening the tiny bones in your middle ear, it is also vital for the rest of your body.
Although it can only be found in a few sources such as sunlight and mushrooms, vitamin D is very important in preventing hearing loss; a deficiency may result in bone loss and abnormal bone growth, ultimately leading up to deafness due to weak bones in the middle ear.
Similar to vitamin D, a deficiency in vitamin B12 will also increase the chance of hearing loss and, additionally, tinnitus. It is primarily found in animal products such as fish, but good bacteria in our intestines.
Potassium and Folate
Some vitamins and nutrients can also slow down the development of age-related hearing loss. Folate and potassium, for instance, are known to offer such protection. For potassium, you can get the mineral from bananas, melons, oranges, spinach, and apricots. Folate can usually be found in avocados, beans, lentils, and leafy vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli.
Being picky about what you eat, it seems, goes a long way with regards to hearing health. Establishing a diet that contains these nutrients, coupled with the appropriate lifestyle changes might just give you the optimal protection against the hearing impairment we are in danger of in our day to day lives.
If you would like to learn more about hearing health and the signs of hearing loss, reach out to the trusted hearing professionals at Beltone DFW. We proudly provide the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with hearing specialists that can help you through free hearing evaluations and the process of exploring your options if you are experiencing hearing loss. Give us a call today at (888) 958-8432 or schedule an appointment online to begin exploring your options.