Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the health of senses. Other than eyesight, it seems like the rest are just a given: they are likely to falter with age no matter what you do. But contrary to what you might think, there are lifestyle factors—outside of listening to music too loud—that can impact hearing.
And perhaps surprisingly, diet is one of them.
Research has indicated that there is a link between a healthy diet and hearing quality in advanced age. Those who eat a diet that closely resembles the Mediterranean or DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet are less likely to experience moderate or severe hearing loss. So, it sounds like a healthy diet may do more than protect your heart and reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition used the Nurse’s Health Study 2, which featured over 70,000 women and followed them for 22 years, It found that participants who ate the Mediterranean or DASH-style diets had a roughly 30 percent lower risk of hearing loss compared to those who’s diets did not resemble it. The further removed, the more the chance for hearing loss went up.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in diverse, nutrient-dense foods associated with a host of benefits for overall health. Common food groups include olive oil, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and moderate alcohol. The DASH is fairly similar, high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
Good hearing is part of a healthy future and a central component of a high-quality life. It appears that eating to protect it will likely also benefit your heart, brain, and more, so if listening to your favorite people and songs aren’t enough, maybe that will provide some motivation!