The Dish on Healthy Hearing

Most people know that a good diet can play a vital role in our overall health and well-being. When it comes to our hearing, many are surprised to learn that certain foods help protect against hearing loss.

Omega-3 Fats and Vitamin D

Omega-3 fats and Vitamin D — found in tuna, salmon, and trout — strengthen the blood vessels in our ears’ sensory system. Research has shown that adults who eat fish twice a week can reduce age-related hearing loss by 42%.

Magnesium

Magnesium aids in maintaining normal nerve function, which is vital in relaying hearing information from our cochlea (or organ of hearing) to the brain. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, potatoes, nuts, bananas, and avocados.

Potassium

As we age, our body’s potassium levels tend to decrease. The inner ear, in particular, is affected by this decline in potassium. Melons, apricots, bananas, and oranges — all foods rich in potassium — play a large role in how cells interact in the inner ear.

Zinc

Zinc is a cofactor, or a helper molecule, that helps in many of the body’s chemical reactions. Zinc can be found in abundance in shellfish, yogurt, milk, and red meat. Research has shown that daily zinc intake may help to improve symptoms of tinnitus.     So when preparing to barbecue this summer, try to incorporate these important vitamins and minerals into your favorite meals. You’ll be doing your hearing a favor!