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Food to Boost Hearing

Sometimes, our hearing is often something we take for granted.  We don’t treat it the same way we do as other parts of our body.  We eat healthy for our heart, we exercise for our body, we read and do puzzles for our mind.  If you think about it, our ears go through a lot during day to day activities.  We hear loud noises at sports events, we listen to our music loudly in cars or on headphones and other kinds of exposure.  Unfortunately, when our hearing starts to go bad, it’s irreversible.

Luckily, our hearing health is directly associated with what we eat. As one study showed, eating the right nutrient-dense foods, and avoiding the harmful ones, you can not only help protect against hearing loss, but potentially reverse the causes of hearing problems.Below are some of the best kinds of food

Folate
The link between folate, otherwise known as vitamin B-9, and hearing loss has long been established in the scientific community. Studies have shown that folate levels were significantly lower in patients with sensorineural hearing loss than those with no hearing disability.  Make sure you’re getting enough folate in your diet, or continue supplementing. Food is best, as it’s harder to overdose on folate from them. These include spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, liver and nuts.

Vitamin B-12
Continuing the B-vitamin family for hearing loss protection is vitamin B12, which has received just as much attention as folate in research.  It’s thought that both folate and B12 deficiencies cause homocysteine levels in the body to elevate, which in turn restricts blood flow to the cochlea – the part of the ear that converts sound vibrations into electrical signals that then travel to the brain. Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods like meat, fish, eggs, milk, and dairy products. If you’re vegetarian, consider taking vitamin B12 supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids

OMega-3 fatty acids are a great addition to your diet.  Omega-3’s are great for virtually everything, your heart, your mind, your blood, and of course, your ears. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include pastured eggs, flaxseed, walnuts and grass-fed beef and lamb. But of course, you can’t beat a good serving of wild-caught salmon or sardines!

Vitamins A and E
A 2011 study set out to examine the link between dietary and supplement intakes of antioxidants, and the prevalence of hearing loss. Out of all the antioxidants the researchers measured over the course of five years, vitamins A and E were the clear winners in terms of hearing health. Those with the highest intake of dietary vitamin A had a whopping 47 percent reduced risk of hearing loss, while those who ate the most vitamin E-rich foods had a still-respectable 14 percent lower likelihood of hearing loss.

Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, sunflower seeds, butternut squash and olive oil. Vitamin A-rich foods include beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli, eggs and grass-fed butter.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is definitely one of the most popular and versatile vitamins around. Studies in guinea pigs show that higher dietary intake of vitamin C protects the auditory brainstem from damage due to excessive noise, while studies in humans have found that vitamin C supplementation can improve symptoms of sudden sensorineural hearing loss by reducing the level of reactive oxygen metabolites produced in the inner ear.  vitamin C is easy to find.  Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens.

Nick Eugenis
Nick Eugenis is the Digital Content Specialist at Beltone. Nick supports the digital marketing efforts of Beltone along with providing assistance to various Beltone locations throughout North America. He spends his free time with his wife, daughter, son and Shiba Inu named “Hachi”.

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