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A List of Foods That Can Help and Harm Your Hearing

Overhead view of healthy meal on dining room table and four people sharing food

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

That couldn’t be a more truthful statement. Food doesn’t just affect the appearance of our bodies it also affects the functions. Your hearing can be greatly impacted by the foods you eat. If decreasing your chances of hearing loss by eating delicious, healthy foods doesn’t sound like a win-win, I don’t know what does.

Here is a list of foods, what they contain, and how it helps your hearing:

Seafood – contains omega 3 fatty acids- this strengthens the bloods vessels in your ears sensory system.

Leafy greens — contain antioxidants and folic acid- they ward off hearing loss by preventing free radicals from damaging the tissue in your inner ears.

Citrus fruits – contain vitamins C and E – these boost your immune system and reduce the risk of ear infections.

Nuts – contain magnesium- studies show this helps prevent the most common type of hearing loss, noise induced hearing loss. Allergic to nuts? You can also find magnesium in yogurt, bananas and potatoes.

Dark Chocolate – (you read that right) – contains zinc – this helps your inner ear resist damage that results in presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. It also contains antioxidants, which reduce the number of free radicals that can damage your hearing. So double up on that dark chocolate!

Some of your favorite foods may be worsening tinnitus:

Here are some foods known to worsen tinnitus in certain people:

Foods high in cholesterol: Foods with high levels of trans or saturated fats can make tinnitus worse. Eating a more plant-based diet can provide your fat from unsaturated fats, lowering both your cholesterol and ringing in the ears.

Those raising your blood sugar: Spreading out carbohydrates throughout the day can help regulate your blood sugar levels, never allowing them to increase drastically and worsen your tinnitus symptoms.

Caffeine: Although the connection between caffeine and tinnitus is uncertain, caffeine is a stimulant that is a diuretic (meaning it causes you to urinate more). Loss of body fluids and stress are two triggers of tinnitus.

Salty foods and those containing salicylates: Items such as salty snacks, cheese and alcohol can worsen the sound in your ears – particularly those with food allergies or problems with foods containing salicylates, including tomatoes, almonds, peaches, tea or berries.

Keep a food diary to get a better idea of what foods may increase your tinnitus symptoms. Cut back on items consumed prior to the condition worsening.

For more information on tinnitus and hearing services available at Hearing Associates, contact us at 888.760.2032 or request an appointment.

If you suspect you’ve already sustained hearing loss, schedule an appointment at our main office in Mason City, or any of our other locations throughout northern Iowa.