While you may know that certain foods can support better vision, did you know hearing can be improved by changes to your diet as well?
Some experts are now saying that nutritional imbalances can be a key factor in hearing loss – and fortunately, some of that hearing loss may be reversible.
The following nutrients may improve hearing:
- Carotenoids, especially astaxanthin and vitamin A
These nutrients support hearing in a number of ways, including:
- Improving blood flow, thereby reducing cochlear damage related to a compromised vascular system
- Improving homocysteine metabolism
- Protecting against oxidative stress in the cochlea
- Preventing free radical damage
Another key finding is that folate may improve tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Folate is readily found in fish and fresh, leafy greens, as well as some beans.
Similarly, zinc can be helpful in combating sudden hearing loss, especially in instances where that hearing loss may be caused by a viral infection, for which zinc is a key treatment. It’s best to get zinc from your diet, as excess zinc (such as caused by supplements) has been shown to be harmful. Getting zinc naturally in your diet, however, can have tremendous benefits. Key zinc-rich foods include healthy proteins (such as grass-feed beef and seafood), almonds, cashews, cheddar cheese, crimini mushrooms, sea vegetables, seeds (especially pumpkin and sesame), and spinach.
Magnesium can also help fight sudden hearing loss.
Of course, the best way to fight hearing loss is to simply prevent it from happening in the first place.
Key strategies for prevention of hearing loss include the following:
- If you live in a very noisy area, you may want to consider moving. (If that’s not an option, consider adding acoustical tile to your ceiling and walls to buffer the noise.)
- Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in noisy activities
- Restrict the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour
- Take regular listening breaks when using personal audio devices
- Try a decibel meter app for your smartphone, which will flash a warning if the volume is turned up to a potentially damaging level
- Turn down the volume on personal audio devices
- Use carefully fitted noise-canceling earphones/headphones, which may allow you to listen comfortably at a lower volume
- Use sound-blocking headphones to eliminate occasional sound disturbances such as that from traffic or lawnmowers.
- Wear ear protection when using your lawnmower or leaf blower
- Wear earplugs when you visit noisy venues, and if you work in a noisy environment, be sure to wear ear protection at all times
Aside from those tips, eating a healthy, varied diet of real food can go a long way toward protecting against age-related hearing.
h/t: Dr Mercola
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