Nutrients That Boost Your Hearing Health

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat” you may wonder exactly what that means. We believe it means what you put into your body reflects your mood, energy, and health. It’s important to get the proper nutrients and minerals from food to support the different functions of the body. It is an amazing process how certain vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and meat absorb nutrients and release them you’re your body. When you think of cooking a healthy meal, think of it as alchemy, in a sense. Prioritizing certain minerals and vitamins in foods can translate into support for different functions of your body’s health, and hearing is no exception. Many people would never suspect that what you eat can help support healthy structures within the ear, but it absolutely does. Here are a few key nutrients to prioritize if you are concerned about hearing health.

Understanding minerals

Many of us spend our days avoiding and removing dirt but we don’t realize what an important role, soil plays in our food and health. When plants grow, they absorb minerals and nutrients from the soil which are transferred into our bodies when we eat them. When we eat meat, we also absorb the minerals they have consumed in their lifetime. Minerals are essential nutrients the body requires for daily functioning, including a healthy flow of blood throughout the body, our muscles, and our bones. This also includes our hearing health. Here are some particularly key minerals which support hearing health.

Potassium

Potassium is responsible for maintaining a healthy ratio of fluid in your blood and body tissue. It helps also supports your nerves to function and muscles to contract as well as keeps your heartbeat stay regular. It supports hearing health by maintaining a healthy level of fluid in the inner ear.  Fluid within the cochlea sends ripples to tiny hair cells which send audio information to the brain. When we become deficient in potassium the levels of fluid become dysregulated and our hearing can easily become damaged. This is of particular importance as we age to prioritize potassium in our diet. This is because potassium levels naturally drop as we age, which is believed to be a major contributor to age-related hearing loss.

The exciting thing is when you understand what nutrients your body craves and needs you can make sure you eat healthy portions to support functions that need an extra boost. Choose potassium-rich foods such as potatoes, spinach, lima beans, tomatoes, raisins, apricots, bananas, melons, oranges, yogurt, and milk. Just imagine all the delicious food you can enjoy while supporting your hearing health.

Magnesium

One of the biggest threats to our hearing is noise. Our world is becoming louder and louder, affecting people of all ages. However, a study conducted at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute found that people pretreated with magnesium in conjunction with Vitamins A, C, and E had a greater tolerance for noise-induced hearing loss. The researchers suspect this is due to the nature of magnesium, which combats the effects of free radicals emitted during loud noises. Imagine it like a protective barrier around the tiny hair-like cells that are so important for the transfer of sound. A lack of magnesium in the inner ear can cause the blood vessels around the cells to shrink, starving them from oxygen and damaging them.

To support your hearing, especially if you find yourself around noise often, plan a magnesium-rich menu that features bananas, artichokes, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli. 

Zinc

Any time it is cold season and all the people around me start sneezing, I always take Zinc as a supplement. However, you can also get zinc from the food you eat. Zinc helps to boost the body’s immune system and aids in cells growth, important for healing wounds. Protecting your body from colds can help to avoid damaging ear infections and some doctors have found that it reduces tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which is common with hearing issues.

Many protein foods are rich in zinc, including dark-meat chicken beef, pork and, cashews, almonds, peanuts, beans, split peas, lentils, oysters, and even dark chocolate!

Addressing hearing loss

Eating a healthy diet can help support hearing health but that doesn’t mean it will heal an existing hearing loss. Hearing loss is often a permanent condition, so it is important to address it as soon as possible. Schedule a hearing exam today and learn more about how we can support you on your journey to better hearing!