Our Hearing Is Affected By Our Nutrition
Nutrition is important for health, yet we rarely hear about the relationship between nutrition and hearing. There is a link between diet and hearing.
There is no specific diet that can cause or prevent hearing loss. Dietary changes will not reverse hearing loss.
However, new research indicates that certain dietary habits may either lessen or increase the likelihood of having hearing loss.
A 22-year research diet
The hearing health of over 70,000 women was examined for 22 years on varied diets in a study undertaken at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Among the diets tested were the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010).
These diets emphasize fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish, chicken, and low-fat dairy. All three recommend limiting sodium (salt) and LDL cholesterol-containing diets, as well as avoiding refined and red meats, processed meats, and sugary drinks.
Women who ate diets similar to AHEI-2010, DASH, and AMED lowered their risk of hearing loss by at least 30%, with DASH and AMED having the greatest benefit. The researchers discovered that eating foods high in minerals including folic acid, potassium, and zinc reduced the risk of hearing loss.
Other research suggests that some meals are linked to better hearing health. Potassium, a mineral found in bananas, potatoes, and black beans, is required for the efficient functioning of the inner ear, which converts sounds into signals that the brain understands.
Regular ingestion, according to Sherif F. Tadros, M.D., of the International Center for Hearing and Speech Research, in a research published by Europe PubMed Central, may help you preserve your current hearing.
Zinc, which is found in almonds, cashews, and dark chocolate, may be an effective treatment for tinnitus, which is the hearing of ringing or buzzing without the presence of an external sound source, according to George E. Shambaugh Jr, M.D. of the Shambaugh Hearing and Allergy Institute.
Magnesium functions as a barrier to protect inner ear hair cells by counteracting free radicals created by loud sounds.
Folic acid has also been shown to delay the onset of hearing loss. Folic acid breaks down homocysteine (an amino acid) and balances blood flow since it suppresses it.
Folic acid from the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to Jane Durga, Ph.D., is crucial since the inner ear relies on regular blood flow. Foods high in folic acid include spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.
The Negative Effects of Malnutrition
Malnutrition, on the other hand, is harmful to the human body. In a study of 2,193 adults aged 16 to 23, Susan D. Emmett, M.D., and colleagues discovered that malnutrition impaired children’s physical growth and slowed inner ear development.
As young adults, malnourished children were twice as likely as their well-nourished peers to develop hearing loss.
The research also states that stunting frequently occurs before birth. A pregnant or breastfeeding woman who is malnourished is more likely to pass on her deficits to her child.
In prenatal malnutrition-related poor development of the inner ear contributes to a higher risk of hearing loss than in vivo malnutrition.
Diabetes is linked
According to a National Institutes of Health-funded study led by Niigata University professor Dr. Chika Horikawa, people with type II diabetes are also more likely than non-diabetics to develop hearing loss.
People with prediabetes, or higher blood glucose levels but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, are also at a 30% increased risk. The authors of the study attribute the higher risk to damage to nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear caused by long-term type II diabetes.
When consuming meals that help to hear, keep an eye on your minerals.
Minerals are necessary for optimum health and physiological function. Calcium aids in the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Zinc is a mineral that is essential for immune system maintenance.
You may be surprised to learn that certain minerals are necessary for hearing protection.
What are minerals, exactly?
You may help your body by eating foods rich in minerals and vitamins.
Protect your hearing.
A mineral is an inorganic component that occurs naturally in soils, rocks, and water. They are nutrients that the body requires in order to exist and perform daily operations and functions.
Minerals are obtained from plants, which absorb them from the earth, and meat from animals that graze on plants.
There are various important minerals, but just a few are required for maintaining normal hearing.
Potassium regulates the quantity of fluid in your blood and biological tissues. Because of the fluid in the inner ear, this is critical for your hearing health. A lot of potassium is required to turn the noises we hear into electrical impulses that the brain interprets as sound.
Potassium levels naturally decline as we age, contributing to presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss.
A key hormone, aldosterone, is primarily responsible for maintaining potassium levels, and studies have linked an age-related decline in aldosterol levels to hearing loss.
Although no direct link has been established to support the use of potassium supplements to improve hearing, eating potassium-rich foods is beneficial to overall health.
Foods high in potassium include:
Tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, lima beans, raisins, apricots, bananas, melons, oranges, yogurt, and milk are all examples of healthy foods. Bring a fruit salad with citrus fruits and melons to a spring picnic for a fantastic potassium-rich side dish.
The Kresge Hearing Research Institute at the University of Michigan discovered that pretreatment with magnesium (together with vitamins A, C, and E) protected people from noise-induced hearing loss.
Scientists believe this is due to magnesium’s ability to shield the delicate hair cells in the inner ear from the effects of free radicals created by loud noises.
Furthermore, a lack of magnesium in the inner ear causes blood vessels to tighten, depriving the ear of vital oxygen.
Magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables include bananas, artichokes, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Fresh artichokes are at their peak in the spring. Cook in boiling water for 20-30 minutes and serve with warm butter or a cold dill yogurt dip. Plus, the yogurt dip is high in potassium!
Vitamin C and zinc support cell growth and repair, as well as the immune system. As a result, it may be useful in preventing cold pathogens and even bothersome ear infections.
It may also help alleviate tinnitus in people with normal hearing, according to some research. Zinc, on the other hand, may interact with medicines and diuretics, so ask your doctor before taking supplements.
Zinc is abundant in beef, pig, dark meat chicken, cashews, almonds, peanuts, beans, split peas, lentils, oysters, and dark chocolate.
Try making granola bars to get your zinc. The major ingredients include nuts and dark chocolate, as well as rolled oats, popped quinoa, raisins, dried cranberries, and coconut flakes. Binders like honey and nut butter work well.
Recipes like this one from Love and Zest can be found online. Once you’ve mastered the process, you can experiment with different recipes.
Nutrition has a substantial impact on hearing, despite the fact that it is rarely acknowledged. Only including a few foods into your normal diet and paying attention to the nutrients lacking in your diet can have a significant impact on your hearing.
Our bodies usually get enough minerals for hearing health if we consume a well-balanced diet that is low in processed foods and high in vitamins from natural sources. Consult your doctor before using any supplements.
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