Sure pumpkin spice is in the air, but it’s hard to deny that chocolate season is now upon us! Bags of Halloween candy line store shelves, National Chocolate Day is October 28th and Halloween is just the start of the holidays on the horizon.
What you may not know is that indulging in this sweet, dark treat may actually help protect your hearing!
Chocolate and hearing health
Millions of Americans are now affected by hearing loss. The growing number of people of all ages and backgrounds now affected has brought hearing health to the forefront of the public health discussion. What makes it even more complicated is that hearing health and hearing loss isn’t just noise-related. It depends a great deal on our overall health.
Researchers now delve into causes and treatments and the hearing aid industry races to develop more effective choices while the average American looks for ways to prevent and manage hearing loss.
What sweeter way than with chocolate?
Beyond the noise
In the past, lifestyle choices were commonly overlooked as a way to support hearing health. As more research comes out, we’ve learned that not just reducing noise exposure, but also what you eat can play a big role in how well you hear.
Most experts recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to boost vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake for overall health. Further, this style of eating has been linked to improved cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of heart disease. Especially when paired with regular exercise.
Healthy blood flow is crucial for healthy hearing!
In recent years, dark chocolate has also been added to the list of foods that fit into a healthy lifestyle and heart-healthy diet.
The best chocolate for the job
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be a tasty way to care for your heart and in turn help protect your hearing. Opt for chocolate with 70% or more cocoa whenever possible. These darker chocolates offer higher levels of antioxidants and some sweet health benefits including:
- Dark chocolate may help reduce blood pressure, as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke, by improving blood flow.
- Cocoa has been found to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) and total cholesterol.
It’s not just heart-health dark chocolate has been linked to either:
- Dark chocolate may also help with brain function. With several studies now linking hearing loss to cognitive decline, this could be a welcome brain boost for anyone with hearing impairment.
A piece of dark chocolate each day could add up to a healthier heart, healthier brain and healthier hearing.
Ideas to indulge
If you’re ready to jump into the season with a treat that could also help protect your hearing health, try one of these ideas to indulge:
- A simple square of dark chocolate may be just the thing. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the more heart (and hearing) healthy antioxidants.
- Pair two superfoods to get more flavor and benefits by drizzling dark chocolate over raspberries, strawberries or blueberries.
- Dark chocolate covered almonds offer savory sweet crunch.
Do remember that even dark chocolate can add plenty of extra calories and sugar to your diet. A little goes a long way.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your hearing health, start by scheduling a hearing evaluation with our office. We’ll determine where your hearing stands and provide recommendations to protect it and prevent or manage hearing loss.