There are many practical ways to prevent or delay hearing loss: avoiding loud music, wearing hearing protection in noisy work environments and treating ear infections quickly. But did you know that a balanced, nutritious diet can also help keep hearing healthy?
Below, we’ve listed three nutrients that have been shown to keep hearing sharp and the foods where you can typically find them. Keep this list in mind next time you are wondering what to make for dinner!
Vitamin B9 (folate & folic-acid)
Folate is required for numerous important body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth. Findings published in the Journal of Nutrition suggest that low levels of folate are associated with a 35% higher risk of hearing loss in people over the age of 50. Another study discovered that by taking daily folic acid supplements, age-related hearing loss was significantly delayed in men and women between the ages of 50-70.
Foods that contain Vitamin B9: lentils, spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, broccoli and citrus fruits.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3s are essential for your health, so it’s important to include them in your diet. Extensive research indicates that omega-3s are integral to cognitive function and that they help prevent inflammatory diseases. A study by the University of Sydney found that consuming at least two servings of fish per week was associated with a 42% reduction in the risk of hearing loss in people over 50 years old.
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids: fish (especially salmon, anchovies and sardines), flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, cod liver oil and flaxseed oil.
Researchers have discovered that magnesium plays an essential role in hearing health. One study found that when 300 young and healthy people spent two months supplementing their diets with a daily dose of magnesium, their ears stayed sharper, despite the fact that they worked in very noisy environments. It has also been suggested that magnesium may reduce sensitivity to noise and reduce symptoms of tinnitus.
Foods that contain magnesium: spinach and other dark leafy vegetables, bananas, nuts, seeds, mackerel, avocado and dark chocolate.