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Eat more carrots for better eye sight, is probably an instruction most of us were told as kids. But, did anyone ever suggest foods healthy for your ears or hearing? Probably not. We can now teach our kids what to eat for healthy hearing and ears; information that’s undoubtedly prudent for us to follow as well.

Several factors may contribute to hearing problems, including age, noise, and infections. Vitamins and nutrients in the following foods may help prevent or impede the progression of some typical reasons for hearing loss.

The good news is that even some foods we consider treats, such as dark chocolate, are good for hearing health. Dark chocolate contains zinc, and zinc deficiencies have been associated with age-related hearing loss. If you don’t like dark chocolate, try some oysters on the half shell; any foods which contain zinc will work!

Noise exposure can induce the creation of damaging free radicals which are linked to the death of sensitive inner ear hair cells. Folic acid and antioxidants can reduce tissue damage from free radicals in the inner ear. For example, eggs, spinach, asparagus and nuts are a few foods loaded with both antioxidants and folic acid.

Amazingly, fish like trout or salmon that contains omega 3 fats and vitamin D, has been demonstrated in studies to protect against age-related hearing loss. The anchovies that top your pizza and the tuna fish probably in your cupboard are additional smart sources of fish containing vitamin D and omega 3 fats. Any of these, eaten at least two times per week, may help you hear better in your later years.

Any professionals exposed to loud noise at work, such as music artists or heavy equipment operators, are at a elevated risk for hearing damage. Those with an occupation or hobby exposing them to intense sound, can help protect their hearing with bananas, potatoes, artichokes, or any foods rich in magnesium. Foods containing magnesium help protect against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) despite the fact that it has not been established how or why it works.

Nowadays we can help our kids and grandkids minimize future hearing loss with a few basic foods we most likely have in our kitchen. Just add some of these foods to the checklist next to carrots for better vision.