As we age, the different organs of our body tend to weaken and deteriorate as well. The senses, particularly sight and hearing, are affected. In fact, these are among the top health concerns that the older population complains about.
But even as you approach your senior years, you don’t have to settle for the loss of hearing because there are many things that you can do to protect your ear health. These include staying away from harmful noises and using earplugs or earmuffs if you are exposed to loud sounds. It is also important that you rest your ears.
Aside from the things that we mentioned above, consuming foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can also help ensure good hearing. Sure, there is no miracle diet to reverse hearing loss, but providing your body with the following vitamins and minerals can certainly help you keep your sense of hearing sharp and healthy:
The fluid levels in your body decrease as you get old. Now, when this happens, the fluid levels in your inner ear may drop, too, and this could result in hearing loss. That coil-shaped part of your ear known as the cochlea needs enough fluid in order to function well. For this reason, you have to make sure that the fluid in your body tissues, as well as your blood, is regulated. Potassium can help with this.
Even the levels of potassium in your body tend to decrease as well due to old age. That is why you should increase your intake of foods that are rich in this type of mineral. You should start eating more bananas, which is a very excellent source of potassium. You can also include melons, tomatoes, raisins, lima beans, yogurt, and milk in your diet.
Magnesium fights the effects of free radicals produced when you are exposed to loud noises. It helps maintain nerve function. It also protects the hair cells in your inner ear, while improving blood flow to this part of your body. With that being said, you should indulge in magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, cashews, almonds, artichokes, potatoes, broccoli, and spinach, just to mention a few.
Zinc does not only support cell growth but also helps boost your immune system. According to studies, people who eat enough zinc are less susceptible to ear infections and other problems, such as presbycusis and tinnitus (ringing of the ears).
Examples of zinc-rich foods that you should incorporate into your diet include dark chocolate, dark-meat chicken, beef, pork, peanuts, split peas, mushrooms, kale, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and garlic.
Folic acid plays a very important role in your body especially when it comes to generating new cell growth. The truth is, this vitamin also known as folate or vitamin B9, is a form of antioxidant. It can help slow down the age-related hearing loss.
Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, asparagus, organ meats, fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds, and whole grains are all sources of folate.
Vitamin A is another type of antioxidant, and it has been shown that it can stop the excessive production of free radicals that can potentially damage the delicate cells in your ears.
What are the sources of vitamin A? Your best bet would be beef liver, liver sausage, lamb liver, cod liver oil, salmon, king mackerel, bluefin tuna, butter, and cheddar. As for vegetables, you should eat sweet potatoes, collards, turnip greens, carrots, and romaine lettuce.
We all know that vitamin C is your immune system’s best friend. It can help prevent colds, and, therefore, wards off ear infections as well. Just like vitamin A, it is also an antioxidant.
Fruits regarded as the highest sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and berries. Fresh herbs and broccoli would be a good addition to your daily diet, too.
Vitamin D is responsible for keeping your middle ear bones strong. Lack of this vitamin can wreak havoc not only on the bones in your ear but also that of the other parts of your body. Remember that you have three small bones in your middle ear, and they are very delicate. If they get soft and weak because you don’t have enough vitamin D in your body, your hearing will be adversely affected. To avoid all this, you should increase your intake of fatty fish, fortified foods, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
Omega-3s are very helpful, but they are often overlooked. You should know that these fatty acids can help you keep your ears functioning properly. The best sources are fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. You can also eat chia seeds, flax seeds, brussels sprouts, and spinach.
The eight highlighted vitamins and minerals above are scientifically proven to be quite useful in keeping your hearing sharp. Ensure that you are getting enough of these so you won’t have to worry about hearing loss as you age.