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Munch on minerals for better hearing

"by " Albert Stein

The foods we consume affect our bodies in different ways. A high intake of sugary products can cause weight gain whereas a good balance of fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. A less known food group can also improve our bodily functions, more specifically, our ears.

Did you know that minerals, vitamins and antioxidants can play a big part in how well we hear?

Minerals are naturally occurring substances formed by geological processes that help to provide plant and animal life with essential nutrients. There are a recorded 4,000 different mineral types in the world, with more discovered every year*.

From June 2014 to June 2015, 42 per cent of the Australian population bought vitamins and mineral supplements in any given six month period, according to a Roy Morgan report2. Below we explore how some of the most common can make for healthier hearing and how incorporating them into your daily life is easier than you think.

Nuts and bananas are a great way to give your body important nutrients.

As we get older our potassium levels decrease and we also become more prone to age-related hearing loss. In Australia and New Zealand, people over the age of 65 are three times more likely to have some type of hearing loss than others, according to The National Foundation for the Deaf*.

Potassium is responsible for regulating the fluid in the inner ear – an important function needed to help translate electrical signals into recognisable sounds. Consuming foods rich in potassium such as potatoes, spinach, bananas and milk can assist in preventing hearing loss.

Zinc is a nutrient that can help to fight off bad bacteria and viruses and contributes in supporting the body's immune system. It works to prevent infections to the ear and recent research has also found that zinc can improve tinnitus 4. This could be beneficial for the 30 per cent of Australians living with tinnitus*.

Zinc is found in beef, pork, almonds, lentils and even dark chocolate!

Dark chocolate contains zinc which can make for healthier hearing!

Magnesium not only helps to build stronger bone and teeth but has also been linked to protecting our ears against noise induced hearing loss as it works to shelter our delicate inner hair cells from damage*.

Maintaining a diet full of magnesium rich substances is essential for healthy hearing. Enjoy eating brown rice, leafy greens, seeds, potatoes and broccoli.

Nutrient rich foods are a great way to achieve healthier hearing, but if you would like to test your cognitive abilities professionally, visit the experts at Audika. Call us on 1800 340 631 or click here to book your assessment.

*National History Mueseum, Mineral Sciences FAQs. Accessed September 2017
*Roy Morgan, Checking the health of Australia's vitamin market. Accessed September 2017
*The National Foundation for the Deaf, Age-related hearing loss. Accessed September 2017
*PubMed, The role of zinc in the treatment of tinnitus. Accessed September 2017
*Australian Hearing, Tinnitus: What it is and how to manage it. Accessed September 2017
*Research Gate, Free radical scavengers vitamins A, C, and E plus magnesium reduce noise trauma. Accessed September 2017