Nutrition, vitamins, and health are top of mind for many these days. The right foods and nutrients can give us more energy, reduce our risk of cancer, protect against heart disease, promote healthy sleep, and so much more. If you listen to the headlines, there even seems to be a perfect combination of vitamins and minerals for everything, whether you want to boost heart health, reduce anxiety, see better, run longer, or even stave off those pesky undereye circles and creases.
What about when it comes to hearing health? Is there a perfect combination to hear better and prevent hearing loss? The short answer is possibly, but the verdict is still out.
What should I eat for hearing health?
While more studies are beginning to explore direct links between vitamins, minerals, and hearing health, they are still limited and haven’t always agreed on what the best choices may be. Whether the studies were small and did not reflect larger populations or the results of animal studies did not hold true in human studies, there’s no doubt that more research, on a larger scale, is needed before concrete links can be made.
With that said, there are still some nutritious choices out there that are showing promise in reducing the risk of hearing loss and promoting healthy hearing. Consider adding these options to your plate today, even as you wait for more answers from the nutrition and hearing health experts.
- Start with an overall healthy diet. Following an overall healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in recommended amounts is a smart choice, whatever your health goals may be. Studies show that just this one step may be as important as noise exposure when it comes to hearing loss. Theories as to why a healthy diet may be so important for our hearing include reduced inflammation throughout the body and a healthier cardiovascular system, both of which have been linked to healthy hearing.
- Fill up on folate – Whether it’s the finding that skimping on folate can negatively impact blood flow to the inner ear increasing the risk of hearing loss or that folic acid supplementation can slow hearing decline, it may be a good idea to add more legumes, leafy greens, broccoli, and similar foods to your diet.
- Say yes to Vitamin A – This one isn’t just for your eyes. Some findings point to it also lowering your risk of hearing loss. Find it in orange-colored vegetables and dark leafy greens.
- Pass the Vitamin C – While some studies showed this Vitamin as beneficial, others showed that a high dosage of it could have the opposite effect. Stick with your recommended daily allowance with foods like citrus fruits, papayas, and tomatoes.
- Dish up the Vitamin E – These healthy fats can be found in a variety of nuts (some with Omega 3 fatty acids which have also been linked to healthy hearing) such as almonds and hazelnuts as well as some leafy greens and plant oils. They also showed possible benefits to hearing in this study.
The verdict may still be out on how effective these vitamins are for our hearing and preventing hearing loss, but don’t let that stop you from savoring them as part of your healthy diet.
If you have questions about hearing loss or would like to schedule a hearing evaluation, contact our office to learn more.