We’re learning more and more about the healing benefits of plants and nutrients. Adding superfoods into our diets can help to balance and protect against a multitude of disease and illness. But if we told you that bananas were a superfood that supports hearing health would you think we were…bananas? It’s one of the more accessible and versatile fruits on the planet and incorporating this superfood into your diet is super fun and super easy.
Nutrients and minerals
There are four groups of essential nutrients: vitamins, essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, and, you guessed it, minerals. Minerals are inorganic substances found in the earth that are necessary for the human body to go through its daily functions and processes. We ingest minerals via plants that absorb them in their growing stages or by eating meat from animals that eat these mineral-rich plants. The five major minerals of the human body are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and potassium.
Bananas pack a mighty punch of potassium, one of those five essential minerals crucial to the human body’s healthy functioning. It helps to maintain normal blood pressure, working in tandem with sodium. On its own, it is an electrolyte, helping to maintain a healthy balance of fluids in the body.
This is pivotal in supporting our hearing health, because fluid in the inner ear is dependent upon an adequate supply of potassium. This inner ear is what ultimately receives sound information from the world and transfers it to the brain for processing via the auditory nerve. A theory surrounding age-related hearing loss is that lessening levels of fluid are what ultimately causes hearing loss to onset.
Sources of potassium
Besides bananas, there are a bunch of other foods rich in potassium and just bursting to be included into your ingredient rotation. Potatoes, spinach, lima beans, tomatoes, oranges, yogurt and milk are just a few of the foods you can mix into your diet to increase the intake of potassium into your system.
Bananas and potassium
And while there are other sources of potassium out there if bananas don’t hold any appeal, they are a wonderfully versatile food! They’re perfect for on the go, because they come in their own wrapper! Kids love them, especially with peanut butter, so it’s an easy superfood to sneak into the little one’s diet, setting up the habit to support lifelong healthy hearing. They’re a classic breakfast staple, perfect for adding to oatmeal or cereal.
But perhaps their greatest superpower is the way they can transform into dessert! Banana breads, muffins, cakes and pies. You’ll be able to have your sweet treat, knowing the whole while that it’s doing your body some good.
Other minerals to seek out
Besides bananas and their dose of potassium, there are other foods that benefit hearing health. Zinc is a particularly important mineral because the inner ear contains the highest concentration of this mineral in the entire body. Studies have shown a link between zinc deficiencies and tinnitus, the condition of constant ringing or buzzing in the ear. Surprisingly, oysters are the richest source of zinc out there. But, you can also get zinc into your body by eating red meat and chicken, beans and nuts.
Magnesium is another essential mineral that supports hearing health. It can be found in vegetables, nuts and seeds. It actually protects ears against noise-induced hearing loss, sheltering the delicate cells of the inner ear, those responsible for receiving sound information. If too-loud sound environments are something you must live with, perhaps as a work environment, upping the magnesium in your diet is one way to protect your hearing health.
Begin healthier hearing today
Because most hearing loss is irreversible, eating an extra banana every day will not restore normal hearing. But, you can begin to protect your current level of hearing starting today by incorporating these essential minerals mindfully into your diet.
Beyond diet, our team at Custom Hearing Solutions can help make the most of the hearing levels you are currently at by giving a quick and easy hearing test. We’ll be able to diagnose your unique hearing loss, and present next steps in intervention, introducing hearing loss solutions that perfectly suit your lifestyle.