Most of us have been told to eat our carrots for excellent vision. But how about foods that are healthy for ears and hearing? Did anybody ever talk to you about those? We can now tell our kids what to eat for good hearing; information that’s undoubtedly prudent for us to follow as well.

Loss of hearing can be caused by many things including noise, infections and age. The foods listed below contain vitamins and nutrients that may prevent or slow specific kinds of hearing loss.

There’s more. Dark chocolate is also good for your hearing health! Age-related hearing loss has been linked to zinc deficiencies, and zinc is an ingredient in dark chocolate. Eat some oysters on the half shell if you don’t care for dark chocolate; any foods containing zinc will help assure you aren’t deficient.

Contact with high decibel noise can stimulate the formation of harmful free radicals contributing to the demise of delicate inner ear hair cells. Minimize damage from free radicals with antioxidants and folic acid. Certain foods are especially rich in folic acid and antioxidants – among them nuts, asparagus, eggs and spinach.

The vitamin D and omega 3 fats found in some types of fish, such as trout and salmon, have been demonstrated in research studies to reduce age-related hearing loss. Some other smart choices for fish containing vitamin D and omega 3 fats include the tuna fish probably in your pantry and the anchovies that many of us hold from our pizza. Eaten twice per week, any one of these have a good chance of helping you hear better as you age.

Music artists, machinery workers, and other professionals exposed to loud noises, are at a greater risk for ear damage. Those with a profession or pastime exposing them to extreme noise, can help safeguard their hearing with bananas, potatoes, artichokes, or any sort of foods rich in the mineral magnesium. Studies have demonstrated that foods rich in magnesium help protect against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The mechanism for how the magnesium does this is not known, but the end result has been observed in animals and humans.

Today, together with the nudging to consume carrots for better eye sight, we can help our kids and grandkids defend their ears from hearing loss by incorporating simple foods we probably have in our home.

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