The most common causes of hearing loss are advancing age and exposure to excessive noise levels. But did you know that poor nutrition can also contribute to hearing loss? We review the link below.
What the Research Shows
A review of studies published in the journal Nutrients in 2019 claimed, “The incidence of [hearing loss] was increased with the lack of single micro-nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron and iodine.” The authors also noted, “Higher carbohydrate, fat, and cholesterol intake, or lower protein intake, by individuals corresponded to poorer hearing status.”
How Poor Nutrition Affects Hearing Ability
Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for the function of a healthy ear. We provide some examples below:
- Vitamin A deficiency can increase your risk of developing a middle ear infection.
- Vitamin B deficiency is associated with an increased risk of deafness.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency increases your risk of noise-induced hearing loss, age-associated hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone loss as well as cause abnormal bone growth in the middle ear.
- Low protein intake can impact auditory capacity.
- Shortage of iron and iodine can also increase risk of hearing loss.
How You Can Boost Your Hearing Ability
You should eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to boost your hearing and your overall health. You can find the following foods at your local grocery store:
- Potassium-rich foods (bananas, spinach, potatoes, yogurt and black beans) help the function of the sensory cells in the inner ear that convert soundwaves into electrical energy that is interpreted by the brain.
- Magnesium-rich foods (bananas, broccoli, almonds and brown rice) help reduce the number of free radicals that damage these sensory cells.
- Zinc-rich foods (almonds, nuts, chicken and dark chocolate) can reduce the severity of tinnitus.
- Omega 3 fats (fish, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds and canola oil) strengthen the blood vessels in the ears.
- Foods with high amounts of folic acid (dark green, leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, whole grains and seafood) help regulate the blood flow to the inner ears.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Certified Hearing Aid & Audiology Associates today.