Stock up on these nutritious foods that may also be good for your hearing.  

Some of the foods that promote hearing health are beans and leafy greens.When you think “hearing protection,” images like earplugs or noise canceling headphones may come to mind—not bananas and broccoli. But they can all make a difference! Foods that promote hearing health work by nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals. While they’re not a magical cure for hearing loss or a guarantee against hearing loss, these nutrients can help play a role in staving off damage and boosting your overall ear health.

Here are just a few foods that are good for your hearing and the nutrients that make it possible:

  1. Beans and leafy greens | Folate
  2. Avocado, dark chocolate, whole grains | Magnesium
  3. Nuts and seeds | Zinc
  4. Bananas, melons, oranges | Potassium
  5. Flaxseed, walnuts, and fish | Omega-3s
  6. Mushrooms, eggs, fortified milks and cereals | Vitamin D
  7. B12-supplemented foods

Learn more about these foods that promote hearing health below.

Beans and leafy greens | Folate
Folate—and its synthetic sibling folic acid—is most commonly associated with prenatal vitamins, since it’s an important nutrient during pregnancy. However, the perks of folate don’t stop at birth! High folate intake is associated with a decreased risk of age-related hearing loss. Up your intake with top folate sources like spinach, kale, Romaine lettuce, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and more.

Avocado, dark chocolate, whole grains | Magnesium
Magnesium is known for its neuroprotective effects, including its ability to help prevent or even treat hearing loss, especially when the damage is noise-induced. Its protective effects include preventing free radical damage and improving blood flow. You may be happy to know which foods deliver a high dose of magnesium, too, because they give you the perfect reason to add extra guac to your burrito and have that square of delectable dark chocolate for dessert!

Nuts and seeds |Zinc
Zinc is useful for prevention and possible treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (sudden, unexplained hearing loss). Since zinc has immune-boosting properties, it can help prevent issues like ear infections, which may play a role in hearing loss. Make a zinc-rich trail mix by loading it up with healthy ingredients like peanuts, cashews, and almonds, and pumpkin, sesame, and hemp seeds.

Bananas, oranges, potatoes | Potassium
Potassium regulates fluid in the body, and inner-ear fluids are crucial for hearing health. These fluids are rich in potassium, which is why it’s vital to get enough in your diet. Fortunately, it’s a pleasure to do so, since enjoying a sweet fruit salad or baked potato (regular or sweet) will help get you there.

Flaxseed, walnuts, and fish |Omega 3s
Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet could prevent or delay the onset of age-related hearing loss. Fish oil is the most famous source, but if seafood isn’t your thing, plant sources include walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and more.

Mushrooms, eggs, fortified milks and cereals | Vitamin D
Your ear is full of delicate bones, and vitamin D is necessary to keep them – and other bones in your body – healthy. You can get it along with your omega-3s in fish form, or from other dietary sources including egg yolks and mushrooms. However, since vitamin D doesn’t occur naturally in many foods, fortified options are usually your best bet: look for enriched breakfast cereals and cow, soy, almond, or oat milks.

B12-supplemented foods
If you suffer from chronic tinnitus, vitamin B12 might help. Like Vitamin D, this last nutrient is mostly gained from supplementation, since it comes from bacteria. Dairy and meat farmers give B12 supplements to their livestock, so animal products contain the highest amount. You can also go straight to the source and take a supplement yourself from the vitamin aisle or look for it in fortified breakfast cereals and milks.

Load up your plate with these delicious foods that are good for your hearing—and share them with those you care about. As always, before making any changes to your diet, talk to your doctor to make sure the changes are ok for you. For more articles on hearing loss, head to our blog.

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