Thanksgiving recipes for hearing health
It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year — Thanksgiving! It’s the time when where we’re extra thankful and grateful for the people and things we have around us. Whether or not you have hearing loss, it’s good to stay keen next Thursday when planning your menu; what ingredients will you be using? And how will they benefit you?
We all know that turkey and it’s tryptophan qualities will be sending us off to snooze-ville sooner than we can say, “Gobble, gobble, gobble.” But what about the ingredients comprising the rest of the meal? What do they do for us? And can we make them work for us?
The answer is yes, of course. Just ask Christopher Spankovich, Au.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., CCC-A and research assistant professor at the University of Florida.
“When you talk about what you eat, there are direct and indirect effects to your hearing health,” Spankovich said. “Eating healthy just makes our body work better and makes everything more healthy. Our ears are part of our body – that’s something we actually do have to remember – and they’ll be healthier, too.”
Now we’re not suggesting you stay away from the gravy come Thanksgiving day (We know we’ll be riding the gravy train — choo choo!), but consider the recipes below, chock full of ingredients that have nutrients and vitamins that can help strengthen hearing health, like Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B and folic acid when you’re putting together your Thanksgiving meal this year.
Your turkey is already full of zinc —which studies have shown that those who experience sensorineural hearing loss, one of the types of hearing loss, may actually find beneficial — so here are some side recipes to cover the other nutrients and vitamins:
French bread chard stuffing
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
- 1 loaf French bread, torn into rough pieces and dried out
- 2 heads chard, chopped (stems and leaves)
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 pound mild sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 leek, chopped
- ¼ cup craisins
- 2-4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
In large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Cook sausage. Remove from pan but leave drippings. In drippings cook chard, leek, garlic and apple until fully cooked. In large bowl mix sausage and cooked vegetables with torn bread, craisins and enough stock until fully moistened. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
Note: 1 serving of chard is responsible for 38 percent of your magnesium. Deficiencies in magnesium have been found to lead to higher susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss, so eat this stuffing right up! Bonus: Apples are also a good source of vitamin B-6!
Smoky deviled eggs, two ways
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 24 deviled eggs
- 1 dozen eggs
- 6 strips bacon
- 1/8 pound smoked salmon
- ¼ - ½ cup mayonnaise (to preference)
- ¼ - ½ cup Dijon mustard (to preference)
- 1 sprig fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Boil eggs for 10 minutes, let cool then peel. Cut in half and spoon out yolks into bowl. Fry bacon to preferred crisp. Let cool, then chop. Into yolk bowl add mayonnaise, mustard, paprika and chopped chives. Divide in half into two bowls. In one bowl add bacon and into other add smoked salmon. Spoon into egg whites. Serve.
Note: Treat your family to two types of deviled eggs that give them the smoky flavors of salmon and bacon as well as the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of age related hearing loss, some studies show. Egg yolks are also high in vitamin D, which a lack of may be linked to tinnitus.
Brussels sprouts with hemp seeds and pepitas
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup pepitas
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl add vinegar, honey, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and lemon. Whisk in oil to complete a dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Place cut Brussels sprouts in 13”x 9” baking pan. Add pepitas dressing and coat evenly. Bake for 35 minutes. Add pepitas and hemp seeds, stir and place back into oven for 10 more minutes. Stir and serve.
Note: Pepitas are just a fancy term for pumpkin seeds, which are another good source of magnesium, providing 42 percent of your recommended daily amount! Brussels sprouts are high in folic acid. Studies have also linked low levels of folic acid to cases of tinnitus. Hemp seeds are a super food, especially rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.