Getty-185539304-canned fish-digicomphotoThat gives us a new outlook on this epidemic of hearing loss. And also a way to prevent it.
Hearing loss doesn't start when you get old, though. It happens earlier than you might think.

Take a look at the chart to the right. You can start to experience hearing loss at any age. In fact, 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 already have high frequency hearing loss.1
Fortunately, by adding a few important foods to what you eat, you can stop the decline in your ability to hear.

1. The first thing you'll want to do is get enough omega-3.
The Blue Mountain Hearing Study followed almost 3,000 people for eight years. It found that people with the highest weekly intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a 42 percent lower risk for developing age-related hearing loss.

You should try to get around 3 grams of omega-3 every day if you're healthy.
Cold-water, high-fat fish like mackerel, wild salmon, lake trout and herring are good sources. Also, you can eat plenty of raw nuts and seeds. Walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds are some of my favorites.
Two other great sources of omega-3 are cod liver oil and Sacha Inchi oil. You get almost 7 grams of omega-3 in each tablespoon of Sacha inchi, and nearly a gram with each teaspoon of cod liver oil.

2. An important set of nutrients for your ears are the B vitamins.
In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people with hearing loss had 38 percent lower levels of vitamin B12, and 31 percent lower levels of folate (vitamin B9).3
Foods with folate include leafy green vegetables, beans and sunflower seeds. The only natural source of vitamin B12 is animal meat. Calf's liver has the most, followed by sardines, snapper and venison (deer meat).
If you're currently in good health, I recommend you get at least 800 mcg per day of folate and 100 mcg of B12 every day.

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3. One of the symptoms of manganese deficiency is hearing loss.
Parsley, nuts and black tea are good plant sources. Another excellent food with lots of manganese is the sweet potato. I recommend you get 10 mg of manganese every day.

4. You'll also want to avoid statin drugs and NSAID pain relievers.
A brand new study published a few weeks ago found that people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs did significantly worse on hearing tests than people who were not taking them.4
Also, avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers because they have been shown to increase the risk of hearing loss. They also are a fairly common cause of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Not only is tinnitus aggravating and nerve-racking, but it decreases your ability to hear other things because of the background noise.

5. Selenium is a mineral and antioxidant, which has a protective effect against hearing loss.
A study from Taiwan showed that selenium protects your ears from toxicity in the environment. The more selenium you have, the better your hearing is.
You should get at least 55 mcg of selenium a day. Some good ways to get selenium are by eating organ meats, garlic and fish.
Or you can eat one Brazil nut.
Brazil nuts grow in the Brazilian jungle where the soil is rich in selenium. A single Brazil nut eaten right out of the shell gives you 100 mcg of selenium. That's more than what you'll find in most selenium supplements.

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