Nutrition and Hearing

Nutrition is fundamental to health. And nutrition is also connected to hearing health; however, this connection is often overlooked. No particular food will cause or prevent hearing loss. And hearing cannot be restored by changing diet. However, recent research has shown that nutrition may increase or decrease the risk of developing hearing loss.

Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits and vegetables that contain minerals like folic acid, potassium, and zinc decreased the risk of hearing loss. Other nutrients such as magnesium have been shown to promote healthy hearing. These nutrients can be found in foods such as bananas, potatoes, black beans, almonds, cashews, dark chocolate, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus. On the other hand, malnutrition can have a negative effect on hearing. In children, anatomical development of the inner ear can be affected by poor nutrition. This deficiency can also be passed on from mother to child while pregnant or nursing.

Type II diabetes is also linked to hearing loss. Those with type II diabetes and prediabetes (elevated blood sugar levels that are not significant enough to be diagnosed as diabetes) are more likely to develop hearing loss than nondiabetics. A consequence of having diabetes is damage to the nerves and blood vessels. When the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear are damaged, hearing loss ensues.

Nutrition is key to overall health, and hearing health is no exception! Be mindful of your daily diet and supplement as needed with foods rich in the nutrients and minerals that promote healthy hearing!

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