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Food & diet

Healthy eating is also good for your hearing

October 2, 2018

Once again, nutrition is central to the health of all organs, even those we would tend to consider unrelated to the importance of healthy eating. The latest research has revealed that a balanced diet is even helpful in preventing harmful effects on hearing. The study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in the Journal of Nutrition stated that “it is interesting to note that those on a general healthy diet have a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss. We talked about it with Dr. Elisabetta Macorsini, biologist and nutritionist at Humanitas.


A balanced diet reduces the risk of hearing loss

Eating well contributes to a general state of good health and can also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss. This was explained by research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in the Journal of Nutrition. The study involved more than 70,000 women for 22 years. In the end, it was found that those who followed diets such as the Mediterranean or anti-hypertensive diet had a lower risk of about 30% of moderate or worse hearing loss than those who did not follow these kinds of guidelines at the table.



The results published in the Journal of Nutrition are not the first to create a correlation between diet and ear health. Other studies have already pointed to the role of diet in preventing deafness in the past. One of these was presented at a Congress of the American Academy of Otolaryngology of the Head and Neck Surgery foundation. According to the research, in men folic acid (found in green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes, cereals, some types of fruit), is used to preserve good hearing.


The opinion of Humanitas

“It is well known that a diet based on the Mediterranean diet is of great help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative and cancer – added Dr. Macorsini -. Let us not forget that in 2010 the Mediterranean diet was recognized by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Numerous studies have shown that a lifestyle based on the Mediterranean diet is of great help in the prevention of various diseases (cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, cancer, diabetes, obesity, digestive disorders) proving to be a valuable ally of both our health and our longevity. A healthy and balanced diet is essential for all aspects that affect our health, even hearing can be affected by what we eat and its functionality could also improve based on the foods that we introduce into our diet.


Which foods help prevent hearing problems?

Folic acid (vitamin B9) has a protective and preventive effect. The study by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation found that taking vitamin B9 reduces the increase in deafness in patients who already had a certain hearing loss and further studies have shown the ability of folic acid to prevent and decrease hearing loss in elderly patients.

At this point it is clear that a diet rich in folates helps to prevent and improve hearing disorders. According to the indications of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, folates are contained both in food of vegetable origin and in food of animal origin such as liver and offal (500 mcg/100 g) and eggs.

(50 mcg/100 g).

Foods of vegetable origin with a high folate content are vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers – folate content: 300-100 mcg/100g), fruits (oranges, lemons, kiwis, strawberries, dried fruit), legumes (beans, chickpeas). We can therefore say that a diet rich in folates helps prevention and could improve hearing disorders, but also vitamin E (seeds and nuts), vitamin B6 (whole grains, bananas and sweet potatoes), vitamin B12 (foods of animal origin), zinc (nuts and wheat-based foods), magnesium (leafy vegetables and wheat) help to “keep in shape” the hearing. The right combination of foods, typical of a balanced diet, is the optimal choice to safeguard this important sense.

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