Eating healthy makes you feel healthy, it’s really that simple. As one of the most important parts of a well-balanced life, a proper diet is even prescribed by doctors to help combat all types of illnesses and conditions like obesity, diabetes, depression, and a variety of other ailments. With this type of endorsement, we’re sure you don’t need us to tell you why eating healthy is a great way to be proactive about your health, but what if it could do even more? You’re in luck. A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts indicates just that, linking a healthy diet in 71,000 nurses and a 30% reduced risk of hearing loss in women.
How Diet Affects Hearing
Just as your diet can fight ailments, reduce weight, or just make you feel better overall, certain vitamins and minerals are known to help protect your hearing as well. Studies have linked low Potassium levels and hearing loss, as this super-mineral aids in the interaction between cells in your inner ear and the brain, while other nutrients such as Folic Acid and Magnesium have been linked to increased blood flow to crucial sensory cells in the ear and a reduction in premature hearing loss. These vitamins and minerals, including many more such as Vitamin C and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, are all part of a well-balanced diet that focuses on citrus fruits, leafy greens, and healthy proteins. With more and more data proving the health benefits of healthy eating, it’s clear that patients who hope to stay healthy should be mindful of what they eat. Your next dinner may just protect your hearing.
The Study’s Conclusions
Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study has discovered exciting results in the fight against hearing loss in women after looking at the eating habits of 71,000 nurses over a span of 22 years. While focusing on three particular diets, The Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), The results were astounding, finding that a healthy diet could possibly lead to a 30% reduction in hearing loss in women. Though all of these diets advocate for a particular approach to combatting specific ailments or purposes, there was a surprising twist in the study’s conclusion. Lead researcher and epidemiologist Dr. Sharon Curhan and her team found that one specific diet did not do the trick, but a balanced pattern of healthy eating did.
Vegetables and fruits, and nuts and legumes, and whole grains and healthy fats in particular olive oil, and moderate alcohol intake,” claims Curhan while also stressing the importance of balance, adding that a reduction of grains, refined sugars, red meat, and processed foods is the way to go.
With results such as Curhan’s and her team’s, the importance of a healthy diet is clear when it comes to protecting your hearing health, but don’t worry, you can still sneak a guilty pleasure snack every once in a while. Morry Kimball, RD, a sports nutritionist from Ochsner Clinic’s Elmwood Center in New Orleans, tells her clients that “anything under 100 calories won’t make or break you,” but often recommends sweet treats that incorporate healthy choices such as nuts.