Worried About Losing Your Hearing? These 8 Vitamins and Minerals Can Help.
Workers in some industries or professions are at a higher risk of hearing damage due to noise levels than others, for example, those working with machinery, in the music industry or those exposed to loud noises at work. However, including certain foods in your diet can benefit you with vitamins and minerals that can help to protect your hearing.
Magnesium is believed to overcome the effects of free radicals produced through loud noises. It is almost like a protective barrier for the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Magnesium helps with the regulation of blood vessels in the inner ear; a deficiency can cause the vessels to shrink reducing the amount of essential oxygen available. Research has shown that pre-treating people with magnesium and vitamins A, C and E protect them from noise-related hearing loss. Sources of magnesium include roasted nuts, whole wheat, bananas, artichokes, spinach, broccoli and tomatoes.
This regulates fluid levels in blood and tissues. As we age the levels of fluid in the inner ear naturally decline; the fluid and inner ear are where noises heard are translated into electrical impulses interpreted by the brain as sounds. The maintenance of the fluid at the correct levels relies on a rich supply of potassium. A deficit of potassium can cause a drop in the fluid levels and age-related hearing problems. Sources include potatoes, bananas, lima beans, yoghurt, milk and tomatoes.
Zinc can help to reduce the risk of colds and ear infections that can affect hearing health. It is also involved with cell growth, wound healing and boosting the immune system. Foods rich in zinc include beef, chicken, pork, lentils, oysters, dark chocolate, almonds and beans.
This is essential for new cell growth. Low levels of folic acid have been linked to age-related hearing loss. Foods with folate include spinach, broccoli, asparagus, liver and beans.
This can help to fight off colds and infections and is believed to help in preventing damage to the delicate hairs in the cochlea. Sources include blackcurrants, citrus fruit, dark leafy green vegetables and rosehips.
Bone loss and abnormal bone growth in the middle ear bones can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency leading to hearing loss and even deafness. Vitamin D is also involved in good bone health. Sources include sunshine, fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese and liver.
The hair cells in the inner ear need good circulation for their optimal health, and vitamin E improves circulation and is also an antioxidant. Sources include unrefined corn oil, sunflower seeds, salmon, tuna and eggs.
A deficiency of vitamin B-12 has been shown to increase the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and also tinnitus. Sources include meat, liver, fish, eggs, cheese and spirulina.