While February is known for winter’s emerging groundhogs and Valentines’ Cupid, did you know February is also central to National Eating Disorders Awareness and Screening Week? This week’s purpose to promote healthy eating and spread more awareness on eating disorders.
Your hearing is directly affected when you make changes in your eating and lifestyle habits. Minerals are inorganic nutrients that are essential for the body to survive and carry out daily function and processes, growth, and overall health. Furthermore, they are also an important factor in managing hearing health. The four minerals we’re going to talk about are potassium, folic acid, magnesium, and zinc. Let’s look at what foods can help improve and maintain healthy hearing.
Potassium regulates the amount of fluid in your blood and body tissue. Your inner ear is filled with fluid, endolymph, that monitors the balance and orientation of your body. The fluid in the inner ear translates noises into electrical impulses that the brain interprets as sounds- this is vital to hearing. Too much or too little fluid in the inner ear causes auditory problems and discomfort.
The older we get the more potassium we need. Foods that contain potassium are:
- lima beans
2. Folic Acid
Folic Acid helps your body’s ability to generate new cell growth. Research conducted has shown that individuals with low levels of folic acid are more prone to have presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. Foods with high levels of folic acid are:
Magnesium maintains normal nerve and muscle function; it helps support a healthy immune system. The University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute concluded that individuals who took magnesium along with Vitamins A, C, and E were less prone to noise-related hearing loss. Magnesium aids this outcome because it protects the hair cells. A deficiency in magnesium causes the blood vessels in the inner ear to shrink, causing irreversible hearing damage.
Foods to eat that are high in magnesium are
Zinc helps with cell growth and cell reproduction (aka healing wounds). Zinc helps with preventing ear infections. Recent research found that adequate levels of zinc are a big help in treating tinnitus in normal hearing individuals.
Out of the four minerals discussed, zinc is the only mineral that is in conflict when taking antibiotics, so consult your physician before taking supplements. Foods that are high in zinc are:
- Beans and Lentils
- Dark Chocolate
Eating right is not only good for staying healthy but also for your hearing. Regularly incorporate these foods into your diet and watch for the results.