We all know that drinking milk makes our teeth and bones strong, but did you know that bananas make your hearing strong? It has been known for quite a while that good diet plays a part in good hearing. In particular, potassium is important for the working of the inner ear and zinc seems to play a role in protecting us from tinnitus. An Australian campaign for better hearing has come up with a novel way to get the message across with their "Go Bananas Events" where they offer a hearing screening and a banana. So, we thought we would take a look at what foods can have a beneficial effect and protect you from hearing loss.
What foods are good for your hearing?
Potassium is definitely important for the functioning of the cochlea (inner ear). It plays an important role in converting sounds into electrical signals that the brain can use. Taking potassium supplements will not improve damaged hearing, however, it could keep your hearing healthier for longer. No matter what, eating foods containing potassium is beneficial to your overall health. Potassium-rich foods include:
- Lima beans
- Yoghurt and milk.
Taking Potassium won't cure a hearing loss, but it should keep your hearing optimal
It has been known for years that the intake of Zinc can help to reduce the severity of the impact of tinnitus on a person. However, zinc is also known to increase the inner ear’s resistance to hearing loss. Zinc-rich foods include:
- Pumpkin and squash seeds
- Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content.
Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in high amounts in fish like salmon, tuna and trout. They are well-known for fighting inflammation and preventing heart disease. However, they are also known to help the prevention of hearing loss as well. One study found that the risk of age-related hearing loss decreased in over 40 percent of people who ate 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Researchers think that omega 3 fats strengthen the blood vessels in your ear’s sensory system. Omega 3 fats can be found in:
- Cod Liver Oil
- Chia Seeds
It was found that some men over the age of sixty with a high intake of folic acid had a lower risk of hearing loss in a study undertaken by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Folic Acid is a vitamin B and its preventative effect is a little unclear. There are two possibilities, one is that the folic acid lowers homocysteine, which is thought to be a possible cause of certain types of hearing loss. The second possibility is that folic acid simply helps in increasing the blood flow to key structures in the ear. Either way, it does seem to have a beneficial effect and it does help with your overall health. Folic acid can be found in foods such as:
It’s recommended to have 300 to 400 micrograms of magnesium in your diet per day and you can do it with a supplement, however, I would like to eat my way to magnesium nirvana. But what effect does it have and why might it be important for hearing. Many studies have found that magnesium offers protection from noise-induced hearing loss. Magnesium can be found in foods such as:
- Brown rice
- Peanut butter
It has been reported in the past that red wine may also be good for your hearing. In finishing, no matter what, all of the foods detailed here will provide you benefit for your overall health. It is just a little sweeter to know that they might also help you hear better for longer.
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him
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