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As children, many of us were most likely told to eat our carrots for better eye sight. Chances are that you were not given any comparable suggestions about what foods were good for your ears and hearing. We can now teach our children what to eat for healthy hearing; information that’s undoubtedly wise for us to follow as well.

Infections, age and noise are among the numerous reasons for hearing impairment. Nutrients in the foods mentioned in this article can help prevent or slow the progression of some typical causes of hearing loss.

Musicians, construction workers, and other professionals exposed to loud noises, are at elevated risk for ear damage. Foods rich in the mineral magnesium such as bananas, potatoes and artichokes may help safeguard the hearing of those with a profession or pastime subjecting them to intense sound. Studies have found that foods rich in magnesium help protect against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The mechanism for how the magnesium does this is not known, but the end result has been seen in animals and humans.

Interestingly, studies have shown that fish such as salmon and trout that contains vitamin D and omega 3 fats, may reduce the incidence of age-related hearing loss. Alternative good choices for fish containing vitamin D and omega 3 fats include the tuna most likely sitting in your cupboard and the anchovies that top your pizza. Eaten twice per week, any one of these may help you hear better in your later years.

You’ll be delighted to discover that dark chocolate is beneficial to your hearing health! Age-related hearing loss has been linked to zinc deficiencies, and zinc is a component of dark chocolate. Any foods containing zinc will do, so if you don’t care for dark chocolate, eat some oysters! instead!

Extreme noise exposure can trigger the creation of destructive free radicals which are linked to the death of sensitive inner ear hair cells. Antioxidants and folic acid can help minimize free radical damage. Certain foods are particularly abundant in folic acid and antioxidants – among them spinach, asparagus, eggs and nuts.

Now, combined with the nudging to consume carrots for good eye sight, we can help our kids and grandkids protect their ears from the dangers of hearing loss with a few basic foods we probably have in our kitchen.