I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that healthy eating is important. After all, a healthy diet has been linked to numerous health benefits – including maintaining a healthy weight and preventing numerous serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. However, did you know that a healthy diet can also protect your hearing health?
In fact, in a study that followed 71,000 women over 22 years, it was found that eating a healthy diet reduced the risk of hearing loss by 30 percent. In this study, no particular diet was recommended or followed. Instead, researchers focused on a generally healthy diet with a balance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, with limited amounts of processed foods, refined sugars, processed meats, alcohol, and fruit juices.
While you might focus on eating a healthy diet for several reasons, your hearing health is an important one to keep in mind. After all, hearing loss involves more than the obvious consequences of not being able to hear sounds as well. Hearing loss has also been connected to several other health conditions, including dementia, depression, and falls. While treatments and devices like hearing aids are available for hearing loss, it is best to avoid it in the first place.
So, to avoid hearing loss and lower your risk for the associated conditions, it is imperative to maintain a healthy diet. Here are a few simple tips for eating a healthier diet:
- Choose whole grains. Whether you’re eating pasta or bread, choose whole grain instead of white. Whole grains have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reducing your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
- Stay hydrated with water. While you may be tempted to reach for coffee or soda first, water is the key to staying hydrated and healthy. If you crave flavor but need to drink more water, try adding some fruit to your water for a light-infused flavor.
- Eat fruits instead of drinking them. Fruit juices are often filled with added sugars, which your body doesn’t need. Even if you drink real fruit juices, they aren’t as healthy as eating whole fruits. Fruits contain fiber and other nutrients that aren’t included in fruit juices. So instead of grabbing an apple juice, grab an apple!
- Choose lean proteins. While variety is great, it’s best to stick to lean meats and proteins. This can be as simple as switching a beef burger for a turkey one or choosing grilled chicken over steak. Fish is another great healthy protein choice that is full of health benefits.
- Cook and eat at home. The ease of takeout or the social aspect of dining out can be attractive, but you’re more likely to make healthy food choices if you cook your own food at home. Plus, you’ll be fully aware of everything that goes into your meals, so you can avoid added sugars, fats, and preservatives. Cooking at home is also more economical than dining out.
With these easy building blocks, you’re ready to start eating healthier this summer – and into the future. For more information about healthy eating and how it can help you maintain good hearing health, please contact our audiology practice today.