It’s Nutrition and Hydration Week and we’d like to highlight the ways you can improve your hearing health and keep your body healthy, with vitamins and minerals playing an important role. Calcium will strengthen your bones, iron helps make red blood cells, and some minerals, like those listed below, are vital for keeping your hearing health protected.
- Potassium – Potassium can regulate the fluid in your inner ear. As we get older, these levels tend to drop which can contribute to presbycusis, i.e. age-related hearing loss. Potassium can be found in potatoes, apricots, lima beans, spinach, raisins, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, melons, low-fat milk and yoghurt.
- Folic Acid – Folic acid helps keep your body generate healthy red blood cells, contributing to the overall health of the hair cells in your ears. Folic acid can be found in liver, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and fortified breakfast cereal.
- Magnesium – Research has shown that those people treated with magnesium alongside vitamins A, C, and E were protected when exposed to high levels of noise. It’s believed that magnesium acted as a barrier to hair cells in the inner ear when exposed to loud noises. Exposure to excessively loud noise can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or noise-induced hearing loss. Lack of magnesium has been shown to shrink the blood vessels in the inner ear, depriving it of oxygen. Magnesium can be found in broccoli, potatoes, spinach, bananas and artichokes.
- Zinc – Zinc increases cell growth and helps heal wounds. As such, it could potentially help ward off ear infections. But check with your GP or medical professional before taking this mineral as a supplement as it may interact with antibiotics and diuretics. Zinc can be found in dark-meat chicken, beef, pork, cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, peanuts, split peas, beans, oysters, lentils and even dark chocolate.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – We’ve all heard about the anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties of Omega 3s, but research has found that they could reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss. Omega 3s can also help with brain function, sending signals between your brain and ears much more effectively. Omega 3s can be found in krill oil, flaxseed oil, salmon, sardines and soybean oil.
If you a balanced diet, your could get the essential minerals needed to keep your body and hearing healthy, but always check with a medical professional before taking minerals in the form of supplements.
If you are concerned about your hearing in any way, book a free hearing test today. And since 80% of people with tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss, we also have an online tinnitus test which which could give you an indication of whether you're experiencing tinnitus symptoms.