People are overly conscious about nutrition these days. We often think of nutrition as being beneficial to our physical health alone, but certain nutrients can also help improve our ability to hear.

In the United States hearing loss is the third most widespread medical problem, listed just after cardiovascular disease and arthritis. This is why it is important for all of us to take care of our hearing which can easily be done through slight adjustments in our daily food intake.

A recent study by Dr. Colleen Le Prell at the University of Michigan found that antioxidants can help decrease hearing loss due to noise. The study was successfully conducted on guinea pigs at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute and the findings were corroborated by the American Hearing Research Foundation.

The study involved drastic increased dietary intake of vitamins A, C, E and Magnesium in guinea pigs prior to being exposed to loud noises. Their hearing was tested before and after this dietary change over a period of five days. The results indicated that higher intake of the above nutrients helped prevent hearing loss due to noise by prevention of cell damage in the ears.

The above mentioned nutrients help prevent damage to the ears by decreasing the impact of free radicals which are generated due to loud noises. Free radicals tend to constrict the flow of blood to the ears, which can lead to hearing loss. The antioxidants listed above counter this harmful blood flow constriction and enable the ears to obtain a sufficient amount of blood and continue functioning properly.

Foods that are rich in the above-mentioned vitamins are citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, or other colorful fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers. Bananas are a rich source of magnesium, as are broccoli, potatoes, and artichokes.

A recent article published in the Daily Sentinel suggests that those who consume two or more servings of fish each week have a 42% decreased likelihood of developing hearing loss due to ageing. Fish have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids which can help the ears receive a more abundant supply of oxygen. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory qualities that can help fortify blood vessels in the ears, thereby preventing hearing loss. Fishes that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include sardines, salmon, as well as tuna.

Certain nutrients are known to have beneficial effects on hearing health. These nutrients include vitamins (such as A, B12, C, and E), folic acid, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Nutrients help boost hearing health by increasing blood flow to the inner ears and reducing the damage caused by free radicals. Foods rich in folic acid are green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce or collard greens, and other vegetables such as cabbage, avocado, asparagus, and fennel. Add more colorful fruits and veggies to your daily food intake to continue enjoying the world of sound for all your days to come.