We’ve all heard how certain foods can affect the way we think, feel and look. But what about the way we hear?
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who regularly ate fish were found to have a lower risk of developing age-related hearing loss than women who didn’t. More specifically, women who ate two or more servings of fish a week lowered their risk of hearing loss by 20 percent!
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most beneficial nutrients we can eat, and fish are full of them. In fact, omega-3s have been known to cut your risk for depression, heart disease and now hearing loss. Interestingly, the study showed no bias towards a particular type of fish; everything from tuna, salmon and catfish were shown to have the same effect. Grilled, blackened, fried, charred—any way you cook it, the benefits are the same.
(*Note that this study was only conducted among a nurses’ health study, with over 65,000 women participants, but the effects should be the same with men.)
Antioxidants and Hearing Loss: One More Reason to Eat Your Veggies
In another study also published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high levels of antioxidants (including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene) and magnesium were also associated with lowering your risk of hearing loss. It seems that when coupled with magnesium, antioxidants have an amplifying effect at both protecting your hearing and improving your overall health.
Foods like oranges, grapefruit, green vegetables like broccoli and spinach and whole grains are all packed with antioxidants, so it’s important to incorporate these foods into your diet.
Make It a Priority to Have Your Hearing Checked
In addition to eating the right foods, it’s important to have your hearing checked every few years. If you’re over 65 you should have your hearing checked annually.
Hearing loss is becoming more and more common, especially among teens, with studies now showing a 30% increase in hearing loss among adolescents. But while some forms of hearing loss may be avoidable, others aren’t. The average person waits seven years after realizing they have hearing loss before seeking help. While hearing loss* may not be fatal, it can lead to a number of health-related issues when left unchecked, including depression, social isolation and even dementia.
So what’s the moral of this story? Eat more fish, eat more greens, and take better care of your ears.
* This article was sponsored by Miracle-Ear, image via Shutterstock.