There are many things you can do to help protect your hearing, from wearing protective ear coverings when exposed to loud noise, to working with a hearing healthcare professional to find the best hearing aid after a diagnosis of hearing loss. Did you know that a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, could also help to protect your hearing and enhance your hearing health?
More and more research is coming out surrounding the value of the right foods in your diet to help support total health as well as hearing health. A diet based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats is a great place to start. In fact, some research has found that a healthy diet and overall health may have a bigger impact on hearing health than previously thought. The right foods, in recommended amounts, can help support cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation, both important factors in hearing health.
That’s not all, though. Some research has delved even deeper and found connections between certain nutrients and hearing health. Specifically, folate is believed to play a key role in the health of our hearing. In the Blue Mountains Hearing Study, researchers found that a deficiency in folate caused homocysteine levels to increase, potentially restricting blood flow to the cochlea where sound energy is converted to electrical signals that travel to the brain and are interpreted as sound. Researchers concluded that folate deficiency could be responsible for age-related hearing loss in many cases.
What does this mean for you? Ensuring your diet is rich in folate-packed foods could be a delicious way to maintain your hearing now and for years to come. It’s even easier this time of year when seasonal choices like these, naturally high in folate, are easy to find and at their peak of flavor:
As more research is done, we are learning just how dependent hearing health is on our total health. Give your hearing the nutrition it needs with foods like these as part of your daily diet.