Eat your carrots for excellent eye sight, is probably something most of us were told as kids. But how about foods that are good for ears and hearing? Did anybody ever give you advice about those? Now we can tell our kids what things to eat for healthy hearing and ears, and also smart for us to adhere to our own advice!

Loss of hearing can be caused by numerous things including infections, age and noise. Nutrients and vitamins in the foods described below may help prevent some commonplace causes of hearing loss.

Exposure to loud noise can stimulate the formation of destructive free radicals bringing about the demise of sensitive inner ear hair cells, according to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Minimize free radical damage with antioxidants and folic acid. Particular foods are especially rich in folic acid and antioxidants – among them spinach, nuts, eggs and asparagus.

You’ll be happy to hear that dark chocolate is good for your hearing health! Age-related hearing loss has been connected to zinc deficiencies, and zinc is a component of dark chocolate. Any foods containing zinc will do, so if you don’t like dark chocolate, grab some oysters! instead!

Interestingly, studies have shown that fish such as trout and salmon that contains vitamin D and omega 3 fats, prevent age-related hearing loss. Some other smart choices for fish containing vitamin D and omega 3 fats include the can of tuna most likely sitting in your pantry and the anchovies that many of us hold from our pizza. For a hearing boost in old age, consume any of these at least twice per week.

Professionals subjected to loud noise at work, for example heavy equipment operators or musicians, are at a high risk for ear damage. Artichokes, potatoes and bananas are loaded with the mineral magnesium and can help safeguard the hearing of individuals with a hobby or a profession subjecting them to extreme noises. Although the precise mechanism isn’t known, animal and human studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps safeguard against noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Now we can help our kids reduce future hearing damage with a few simple foods we most likely have in our home. Just add some of these to the checklist next to carrots for better eye sight.