Another reason to have a heart-healthy diet: It may reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss.
In an analysis of 81,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II, published in the Journal of Nutrition in June 2018, those whose eating habits most closely resembled a Mediterranean-style diet or the anti-hypertension DASH diet were about 30 percent less likely to develop moderate or severe hearing loss over a 22-year period than women who veered farthest from these diets.
Heart-healthy diets may help protect against hearing loss by curbing oxidative damage and neuro-inflammation, among other possible mechanisms, the researchers suggested.
Previous observational studies have also linked overall healthy diet—or higher fish intake, in particular—to reduced risk of hearing loss. Conversely, diets high in sugar and refined grains were associated with a higher prevalence of hearing loss in a 2010 study.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.