“You are what you eat” the old saying goes. And this might be truer than you think. What you eat affects your entire body. Your diet plays a role in your heart health, your energy levels, and your immune system. Your diet can also affect your ears. A new study shows how a heart-healthy diet supports better hearing.
Looking at Diet and Hearing
A recent study published by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston linked diet and hearing health. They collected data from over 3,000 women, and asked them questions about their diet and what foods they ate. The researchers also measured their hearing abilities.
Three years later they had the women do a second hearing test, and they made a shocking discovery. They found that the women with healthy diets, who ate lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins, had better hearing. In fact, women who stuck to a healthy diet were 25% less likely to have hearing loss than women who didn’t have a healthy diet!
What is a Healthy Diet?
The women in this study followed several healthy diets. These diets included the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, and the 2010 Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010) diet. These diets are all heart-healthy diets, and they share a few important features. These diets focus on:
Following any of these three diets showed improvements in heart health. The women following these diets also had a significantly lower risk of hearing loss!
How Does Diet Affect Your Hearing?
A heart-healthy diet can support hearing health. Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body and to all your extremities, including your ears. A heart-healthy diet improves heart health, reducing conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes that can damage your arteries and veins.
When the heart is healthy, it can easily pump blood to your ears, giving the cells in your ears a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients. This improves the health of these cells, and can prevent damage to the cells in your ear.
Eating an unhealthy diet can make it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body. The ears may not get the oxygen and nutrients they need. They are more easily damaged, and these cells can even die from lack of oxygen. That’s why what you eat is so important for your overall health as well as for your ears.
Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Ears
A heart-healthy diet also gives you the vitamins and minerals you need for healthy ears. For example, many fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants will protect the cells in your ears from free radicals that can damage cells.
If you’re eating a mix of fruits and vegetables, you’re probably getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Just make sure you’re getting enough folic acid, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamins for healthy hearing include vitamins A, C, and E.
Other Ways to Support Better Hearing
One of the best ways to support better hearing is through routine hearing tests. We offer comprehensive hearing tests so you can find out exactly what sounds you can’t hear. During the hearing test, all you need to do is listen to a series of sounds, and tell us when you’ve heard a sound. We’ll also ask you a few questions about your lifestyle and your hearing needs so we can suggest the hearing aids that will help you hear.
If you have a hearing loss, the best way to support better hearing is by wearing quality hearing aids. We have all styles of hearing aids, including Behind-the-Ear, Receiver-in-Canal, In-the-Ear, and In-the-Canal devices. Once you’ve found the hearing aids you love, we’ll calibrate them to your exact hearing needs so you can get back to doing all the things you love.