It’s no secret that I’m a big lover of good nutrition to combat health conditions – when you have an IBD, you quickly learn the importance of good gut health. Proper nutrition is essential for general health, and poor nutrition can easily lead to a number of health issues. Yet many people are not aware of the relationship between diet and hearing loss. Diet has a big effect on hearing health, so it’s crucial to consider your diet, especially as you age and become more susceptible to hearing loss.
While a healthy diet cannot treat such difficulties, it can protect you and reduce the risk of developing them. If an ear infection worsens, visiting an audiologist will help to provide a solution.. An audiologist will give advice on how to take care of your ears and let you know whether you need hearing aids or ear wax removal by a doctor. Hopefully following some guidance on foods and vitamins though will prevent it from getting that far!
1. Potassium: It is thought that a decrease in fluid levels in the inner ear might lead to hearing loss, however, having adequate potassium can help balance fluid levels in the body.
2. Magnesium: When exposed to loud noises, magnesium can aid in sustaining nerve function and protecting the hair cells in the inner ear. Magnesium can also enhance blood flow, and a lack of it can lead to oxygen deficiency.
3. Zinc: Zinc, which is thought to aid in cell development, can also help enhance the immune system, preventing ear infections. Zinc consumption has also been associated with a decreased risk of acquiring tinnitus and presbycusis.
4. Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes forgotten, yet having enough of them in your diet can help keep your ears operating well as you age. Omega-3 fatty acids can help delay or prevent age-related impairment.
5. Folate: Circulation is important for the health of your ears, and folate can help enhance circulation in the body. Getting enough folate in your diet is important because proper circulation helps maintain the inner ear’s hair cells.
Foods That Improve Hearing
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Fortified chickpeas
- Whole grains
- Pumpkin seeds
Foods To Avoid For Hearing Health
Just as there are diets that can improve hearing, there are also those that can harm it. When eaten in large amounts, these foods can cause inflammation and damage to the inner ear’s delicate structures.
- Processed foods: Snack foods and packaged meals are convenient, but often loaded with sugar and salt. Excessive consumption of these meals can lead to inflammation, which can damage the organs.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine can also harm your hearing health. Alcohol can affect blood flow, while caffeine can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and potentially worsen existing impairment. It’s best to consume these beverages in moderation.
- High-mercury fish: Food like swordfish and tuna can be high in mercury, and unfortunately, mercury can damage the nerves in the inner ear.
- Fried and fatty foods: It’s difficult to resist crispy chicken or deep-fried snacks. However, this diet can also contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
As with most functions in the body, so much can be improved or harmed depending on what we consume. I’ve learned so much about nutrition, how to improve my own health and advocate for myself when I need medical intervention but food is definitely king!
Post in collaboration.