6 Top Vitamins and Foods That Support Hearing Health
Did you know that there is more to hearing health than commonly understood? It isn’t enough to wear noise-cancelling headphones, lower your volume, or wear protective items at work. Even if you take all of these necessary precautions, diet, too, is directly correlated to hearing health. This article will explore the 6 top vitamins and foods that support hearing health.
What vitamins and foods support hearing health?
Never underestimate the effects of healthy eating when it comes to your hearing. What enters into your body has a direct effect on your well-being in all areas. In addition to noise-cancelling headphones, wearing earplugs, and reducing volume levels, for example, what we eat is equally essential.
Omega-3 fatty acids are frequently overlooked when it comes to hearing health. This fatty acid assists in keeping the ears functioning correctly as you age. A diet rich in this nutrient can prevent or delay age-related hearing loss. It also helps brain function, sending signals between the ears and the brain more effectively.
While research is unclear whether Omega-3 fatty acid supplements indeed improve hearing, one study concluded that people with the highest levels were 16% less likely to have hearing challenges.
Omega-3 is found in:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Fortified eggs
- Hemp seeds
- Fortified milk
- Brussel sprouts
2. Folic Acid/vitamin B9
Many women associate increasing folic acid with pregnancy, and with countering menopausal symptoms. However, folic acid also assists the body with creating new cell growth and raises circulation. Increased circulation improves blood flow to the hair cells in the inner ear, thereby improving age-related hearing loss, balance issues, and tinnitus.
Folic acid deficiencies are responsible for high-frequency hearing loss, mainly from consuming free radicals. Antioxidants (such as vitamin B12, omega-3, folic acid, and vitamin A) are essential to your diet, as they fight damaging free radicals.
Folic acid is found in:
- Bok choy
- Turnip greens
- Beans (garbanzo beans and lentils)
3. Vitamin B12
Regrettably, vegans and vegetarians are at an increased risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is essential if you suffer from balance disorders or tinnitus. A vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency can impair your hearing by up to 39%. Yet, increasing your consumption of this vitamin can protect your ears by 20%.
Findings from Natural Medicine Journal found that 50% of tinnitus patients had a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, after they received vitamin B12 injections, they showed an improvement.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 are:
Consuming zinc boosts your immune system and improves sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). It is responsible for increasing healing and generating cell growth. If you are prone to ear infections, zinc is instrumental in preventing them. Additionally, some evidence suggests that zinc is good at treating tinnitus in those with normal hearing.
However, suppose you are on antibiotics or diuretics. In that case, you will want to consult a doctor before taking zinc, as it may interfere with the medication.
Zinc can be found in protein-rich foods like:
- Grass-fed beef
- Tahini (ground sesame seeds)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
Magnesium is responsible for the regulation of cell membrane permeability, energy consumption/production, and neuromuscular excitation. In the inner ear, it changes sensory hair cell membrane permeability. A magnesium deficiency causes hair cells to give off energy, leading to cell death.
Deficiencies can also cause a loss of muscle tone and reduce blood flow to your cochlea. In this state, stress caused by noise exposure puts high demands on cell energy stores and, in cases of deficiency, can cause more significant hair cell damage, thus leading to hearing loss.
A study by the University of Western Ontario concluded that magnesium allows the inner ear to maintain normal cell energy levels. It also increases microcirculation in the inner ear and better blood flow to the cochlea.
Fruits and vegetables provide the best source of magnesium and can be found in:
A diet rich in potassium regulates body tissue and fluids in the blood. As we age, fluids in the inner ear decrease, contributing to presbycusis or hearing loss. Potassium benefits hearing since your inner ear fluid depends on this nutrient.
It is especially essential to the areas of the ear that translate noise heard into electrical impulses into our brain and then into sound.
You can receive the appropriate amount of potassium by consuming:
- Lima beans
- Low-fat milk
One other food that guards against hearing loss is garlic. Garlic increases the blood flow from your heart to your inner ears. It is another food that reduces ear inflammation.
Ultimately, healthy eating helps maintain hearing health. To guard against hearing loss, ensure that you consume enough nutrients containing antioxidants. These reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, which can also lead to hearing loss.
What to Do if You Suspect Hearing Loss
If you think you are suffering from hearing loss, contact Hearing Solutions to book an appointment. By being proactive about changes in hearing, you can decrease your chances of permanent hearing damage or ensure that things don’t get worse.
Hearing tests provide an accurate evaluation of the cause of hearing loss, and your healthcare professional can discuss solutions that fit your lifestyle. When it comes to managing potential hearing loss, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Even if you’re doing everything you can to protect your hearing, hearing loss can still occur from a number of factors.
If you notice you’ve been straining to hear during conversations, asking people to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on your television more and more, all of these might be signs of hearing loss.
“5 Foods for Better Hearing.” (2022, May 18). Retrieved from https://nulifehearing.com/5-foods-for-better-hearing/.
“Five Foods to Boost Your Hearing Health.” (2016, March). Retrieved from https://campaignforbetterhearing.ca/2016/03/five-foods-to-boost-your-hearing-health/.
“Foods that Improve Hearing: Eat Your Way to Healthier Ears.” (2020, November 20). Retrieved from https://thenewyorkhearingcenter.com/2020/11/foods-that-improve-hearing/#:~:tex
“Nutrition and Hearing: Top Foods to Consume and Avoid.” (2017, March 15). Retrieved from https://www.hearinghealthassoc.com/hearing-health-associates-va-blog/nutrition-and-hearing-top-foods-to-consume-and-avoid.
Hoffmann, Chris Lin. (2021, October 17). “7 Foods for Better Hearing.” Hoffmann Audiology, https://hoffmannaudiology.co