Did you know chocolate is good for your ears ? Feel the need to justify your chocolate habit? Well, as long as your habit involves chocolate of the darker variety (at least 70 percent cocoa), I can help. Amongst its many benefits, dark chocolate contains zinc and magnesium, essential trace elements studies show could help protect against age related hearing loss, as well as the hearing damage that arises as a result of sustained exposure to damaging noise levels. Granted, chocolate isn’t a cure-all, especially as it’s probably not possible to get your entire recommended daily intake without blowing out your waistline, but it certainly won’t hurt! Zinc is so important to our hearing. Tissues and organs especially higher in an essential trace element, as those required for our senses (our ears and eyes), may suffer structural and functional impairment from its deficiency. In one study, a third of patients marginally deficient in zinc and given supplementation showed improvement in tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss. As with all vitamins and minerals, getting your zinc from natural sources is preferable to supplementing as it allows your body to more easily process and expel excess levels. That said, a higher dosage of zinc may be prescribed by your doctor if you are found to be deficient. Some studies have found a tendency towards lower zinc content in test subjects 60 years and over. It’s believed that this increased deficiency is caused by a combination of incorrect dietary choices and impaired absorption due to the low stomach acid, or ‘gastric achlorhydria’, associated with ageing.
One of the most fun parts of Easter? An abundance of choccie treats that also keep your hearing healthy. Yes, you heard correctly, chocolate, in particular dark chocolate, contains zinc and magnesium which have been proven to help protect ears from age-related hearing loss and noise-related damage. Chocolate also boosts the immune system to keep infections away. … and seafood!
Another good food source of zinc is a Good Friday favourite, the seafood platter. It’s also rich in Omega-3, which has been proven to reduce the risk of hearing loss in women. Studies show that women who consume at least two portions of fish per week had a 20% lower risk of developing hearing loss, than those who rarely consumed seafood.