It is important to understand that what we choose to put in our bodies plays a huge role in our complete mental and physical health. A healthy diet reduces our risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. The minerals in certain foods are important for our overall health and proper body function. Therefore, it is no surprise that the minerals we prioritize in our diet also can keep us hearing healthy.
What are minerals?
Minerals are inorganic substances found in soils and rocks. These minerals are transferred into the plants that grow in this earth and when we eat these plants or animals, which ingest these plants the properties of these minerals, these minerals are transferred to our bodies. Minerals are essential for providing our bodies with the nutrients that we need to support our health and to complete bodily processes and functions. There are so many important minerals our body relies upon, but the following minerals help support healthy hearing.
Foods rich in potassium include spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, melons, oranges, and in dairy products like milk and yogurt. The important role that potassium supports is the regulation of fluid in your blood and body tissue. This is essential in your ability to hear as the inner ear relies on a rich supply of potassium to ensure the amount of fluid in your inner ear is balanced, so it can send sound properly to the brain to be processed.
Foods rich in magnesium include broccoli bananas, artichokes, potatoes and spinach. This nutrient is essential for hearing health, as it is believed that lack of magnesium in the inner ear can cause blood vessels to shrink. This can make it difficult for oxygen to maintain the health of the blood in the inner ear. Research conducted at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute has found that magnesium also combats the effects of free radicals emitted during loud noises, creating a protective barrier for the fragile cells of the inner ear.
Foods rich in folic acid include, liver, spinach, broccoli asparagus and fortified breakfast cereals. Folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new cells. In particular, red blood cell formation is dependent upon adequate levels of this vitamin. Low levels of folic acid can cause anemia. The inner ear is very sensitive to changes in blood supply, so it’s possible that the lack of oxygen in the blood of people with anemia may affect the inner ear.
Foods rich in zinc are mostly proteins, including meats like beef pork oysters and dark meat chicken. It can also be found as a vegetable protein in lentils, split peas, beans and cacao beans, which are used to make dark chocolate. Zinc is an important mineral for fighting off illness by supporting the immune system by aiding in accelerated cell growth and faster healing from wounds. When you are able to avoid illnesses like the flu or the common cold you have a greater chance of also avoiding the development of ear infections, which can make it temporarily difficult to hear.
Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 Fats are found in fish like salmon, sardines and krill. They are also common in vegetarian options like flaxseed and soybean oil. This mineral, known for its anti-inflammatory properties is essential for heart and brain health. It helps to lower blood pressure, slow the development of plaque in the arteries and reduces the likelihood of heart attack and stroke. Now researchers are finding that Omega 3 fats can also help in reducing your risk of age related hearing loss. The Blue Mountains Hearing Study in Australia found in 2004 that Omega 3 fats could reduce the risk of age related hearing loss by over 40 per cent.
Feast For Your Ears
When you eat a balanced diet free of preservatives and processed foods you can help maintain your complete health including the health of your ears. If you are dealing with hearing loss contact us to schedule a hearing test. We can help you find the best solution for your hearing needs. In the meantime, prioritize eating healthy and bon appétit!