As children, many of us were probably told to eat our carrots for good eyesight. But how about foods that are healthy for hearing and ears? Did anyone ever talk to you about those? Kids now can be taught what foods to eat for healthy hearing; sensible advice that we should really all stick to.

Noise, age and infections are some of the numerous reasons for hearing impairment. The following foods include nutrients that may slow or prevent specific kinds of hearing loss.

Exposure to high decibel noise can trigger the formation of damaging free radicals contributing to the demise of sensitive inner ear hair cells. Help protect against free radical damage with antioxidants and folic acid. Foods rich in folic acid and antioxidants include eggs, asparagus, nuts and spinach.

Even some foods we consider sweets, such as dark chocolate, are good for hearing health. Dark chocolate contains zinc, and zinc deficiencies have been connected to age-related hearing loss. If you don't like dark chocolate, grab some oysters; any foods which contain zinc will work!

Surprisingly, fish like trout or salmon which contains vitamin D and omega 3 fats, has been shown in research studies to reduce age-related hearing problems. Alternative smart choices for fish containing vitamin D and omega 3 fats include the tuna most likely sitting in your pantry and the anchovies that many of us hold from our pizza. For hearing help in your later years, consume any of these twice per week.

Workers subjected to loud noises, for example musicians or heavy equipment operators, are at a very high risk for ear damage. Artichokes, potatoes and bananas are loaded with magnesium and may help safeguard the hearing of those with a hobby or an occupation subjecting them to extreme noises. Foods rich in magnesium help safeguard against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) despite the fact that the mechanism is not known.

Now, along with the urging to eat carrots for better vision, we can help our kids and grandkids defend their ears from the dangers of hearing loss with a few simple foods we most likely have in our home's kitchen.

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