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Meals your ears will love

Contributed by , staff writer for Healthy Hearing

Did you know that what you eat affects your hearing health? It’s true! Numerous studies have shown that a healthy diet helps maintain better hearing thresholds, so we here at Healthy Hearing have planned out a day’s worth of meals for you and your ears.

Breakfast

Let’s start your day off the right way with a powerhouse smoothie. Smoothies are not only extremely high in nutrients, but they’re also tasty treats that are easy to make and easy to take on-the-go when you’re running out the door.

Suggestions for your morning smoothie:

  • Bananas: rich in magnesium and also potassium, which is essential in maintaining your body fluids, particularly the fluid in your inner ear.
  • Mango: a very flavorful way to get a dose of over 20 vitamins and minerals.
  • Kale: this trendy new superfood is unnoticeable in a smoothie, and adds a boatload of antioxidants to the mix.
  • Yogurt: contains potassium and magnesium, which has been linked to prevent noise-induced hearing loss by eliminating free radicals caused by loud noises. Free radicals are unstable atoms that are highly reactive and do damage to the body.
  • Reinforce the nutrients in your smoothie with a bowl of fortified breakfast cereal or a slice of toast to retrieve the necessary folic acid your hearing needs. Folic acids are essential in your body’s new cell growth and have been linked to sudden sensorineural hearing loss in adults.

Lunch

Keep your vitamins and minerals in mind when packing your lunch. It’s easy to fall into the fast food habit during the work week, but taking a little extra time each day to plan out your midday meal has wide-ranging benefits, including helping preserve your hearing.

Consider a spinach salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Spinach packs a lot of the aforementioned folic acid necessary for cell regeneration, as well as magnesium and vitamins A, C and K. If you need a  little extra energy, toss in dark meat chicken, which is rich in zinc. Zinc boosts the body’s immune system and can help ward off ear infections. Nuts like cashews, almonds and peanuts do this as well, so take a handful to snack on throughout the day.

Dinner

Pork and beef are also rich in zinc, so end your day with a meal centered around a nice, thick steak or tenderloin. Zinc is also found in oysters, so if you have dinner plans with friends, keep that in mind!

Most vegetables have a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals, so you’re pretty safe to pick the side of your choosing, as long as it came from Momma Nature. Broccoli and potatoes, for instance, are rich in magnesium, folic acid and potassium.

Dessert

It’s time to celebrate all the hard work you’ve done today to maintain a healthy hearing diet! We’ve whipped up a delicious chocolate treat for you to indulge in. Don’t worry, your ears will still be getting the royal treatment. Did you know one cup of dark baking chocolate can provide up to 85% of your daily recommended zinc? And if that's not enough, our delicious cupcake recipe also includes flaxseed, which is each tablespoon contains close to 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. 

Divine dark chocolate cupcakes and frosting

dark chocolate cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes can be delicious and good
for your ears!
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes and frosting

Cupcake Ingredients:

- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed, mixed with 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup vanilla coconut milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup hot water

Frosting ingredients:

- 4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, combines flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Next, add flaxseed and water mixture, vanilla coconut milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix well with a hand or stand mixer. Stir in hot water. Fill muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and spoon chocolate mixture into each cup, filling halfway. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cake is spongy and fluffy.

For the frosting, melt chocolate chips using a double boiler or in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl). Stir in cocoa, softened butter and powdered sugar. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip in boiling water until icing is thick and billowy.

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