If you are anything like me, you are getting up there in age and really starting to think about how you can protect your hearing as you age. If you are not older and are still under 30 years old, you can still protect your hearing while you are still young so that you do not have to worry about it as much when you are older.
Protect Your Hearing with a Good Diet
The ear is the hearing organ in the human body and it is also involved in maintaining the balance of the body. This organ consists of three parts (outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear), each with its own unique role in how you protect your hearing.
The ear has its own cleaning mechanism, with all the internal dirt accumulating in the various parts of the ear coming out through the ear canal. This is known as wax. However, over time, wax can cause hearing problems, and general wear and tear can mean that your ears are becoming damaged which may mean you need to look at a hearing test and possible hearing aids.
It is known that there is a connection between diet & hearing loss although it isn’t widely spoken about. An iron deficiency can increase your risk of hearing loss, as can a lack of vitamin D and Zinc in the body. Interesting to know and something to be aware of.
It all starts with looking at the foods you are eating and what you may need to keep in your kitchen!
Eat plenty of dietary fiber with every meal. Whole grains, especially oats and whole rice, legumes, nuts, and seeds are good sources of dietary fiber, as well as fresh or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables. Dietary fiber improves blood circulation throughout the body, including the ears.
Also, foods that contain dietary fiber should be chewed well. The chewing action prevents the accumulation of wax in the ear canals. Because hypothyroidism can cause hearing loss, so eat seaweed, like kelp seaweed to help. These algae are rich in iodine, a mineral necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. You can combine seaweed in soups, especially miso soups, or add them to stir-fried whole rice or stir-fried tofu.
Foods to avoid
If you suffer from recurrent ear infections or accumulation of earwax, you may have an allergy/sensitivity to certain foods. Even if you are not sensitive to milk or dairy products, avoid consuming them while you are suffering from inflammation or accumulation of wax. Dairy products encourage the accumulation of phlegm, which in turn, may encourage the development of inflammation or excess wax in the ears.
If you suffer from chronic hearing problems, be careful not to eat foods that contain saturated fats, especially beef, and fried foods. Saturated fats contribute to the formation of wax in the ears and slow down the blood flow to the inner part of the ear. Avoiding saturated fats during and between meals may also help cure atherosclerosis, a disease that can cause hearing loss.
Now that you are more aware of this, you can research further into the benefits and the problems that may arise from your diet alone. Maintaining a good diet is beneficial for all areas of health, not just hearing, but it can contribute to better ear health overall. Be sure to encourage those you love to also take care to protect your hearing. It is a beautiful gift, after all.