Thanksgiving may potentially be the biggest and most important meal of the year, but did you know some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes may help to improve your hearing health? The idea is simple—you are what you eat. The more we nourish our bodies the better our systems work across the board and the body’s ability to hear is no exception. So what are the traditional dishes that you can devour while also contributing to a better, more healthy hearing system? We have a couple of the real winners below!
Sweet Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole
The vital nutrient found in sweet potato and green bean casserole dishes is potassium. Potassium is an important nutrient for regulating fluid in the inner ear, which in turn regulates balance and tinnitus. Lacking the correct nutrients in the inner ear can cause conditions such as Meniere’s Disease, which may lead to episodes of dizziness, tinnitus and a sense of fullness in the ears. A diet rich in potassium can help prevent Meniere’s Disease from occurring. Potassium can also be found in roasted butternut squash and even turkey, so do not be afraid to load up and enjoy.
Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli
Greens like brussel sprouts and broccoli have something in common—folic acid also known as folates. There are studies that show a link between an insufficient level of folates in the body with an increased risk of age-related hearing loss. Dark, leafy greens are rich in folates so be sure to fill up your plate! Roast or steam the vegetables and enjoy with your turkey and mashed potatoes.
Wheat Rolls and Pecan Pie
Magnesium can be found in whole wheat bread as well as nuts such as pecans. Why is magnesium vital to your hearing system? It turns out the nutrient helps maintain normal nerve function, which then helps reduce chances of tinnitus. Not only do wheat rolls and pecan pie contain magnesium, but also the increasingly popular side dish Quinoa. Not only is this side dish full of magnesium, but it also has fewer carbohydrates than rice or mashed potatoes.
A Festive Bowl of Nuts
Pecan pie is not the only nut based food to enjoy on Thanksgiving day. Make sure to put out a bowl of nuts including cashews, almonds and pistachios. These nuts are high in zinc which is a mineral that has been linked to reduction in tinnitus and Presbycusis (a sensorineural hearing disorder). Since the inner ear has an extremely high concentration of zinc, maintaining a diet rich in this mineral is paramount for maintaining healthy hearing. When everybody is hungry and waiting for the big meal to begin, put out some nuts for your guests to enjoy and their ears will thank you!
Above all else, remember to enjoy the food, company, and cheer that Thanksgiving brings. Load up on nutrients and never forget to be thankful for the opportunity to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones!