The impact of diet on your hearing

Author thumbnail Charlotte Jones  |  Published 06 July 2023  | Updated 16 May 2024  | 6 mins read

Fruits and vegetables on a table.

How can your diet impact your hearing health?

Naturally, your diet can affect your overall health. And amongst other things, health factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar intake impact your hearing. So a diet which takes these factors into consideration is important for your hearing health too. 

Blood pressure

Did you know that, as well as increasing the risk for many cardiovascular conditions, high blood pressure has also been linked to hearing loss? 

Worryingly, high blood pressure has next to no symptoms meaning approximately one in four people in the UK have the condition unknowingly. However, it can actually be quite simple to decrease your risk for high blood pressure. 

For example, lowering your sodium intake and drinking less alcohol (following the recommended NHS guidelines) can be hugely beneficial. Simply try not to add salt to your food, and check the label of your alcoholic beverages to keep your alcohol units in check. Speak to your GP before making any changes to your diet.

A couple walking their dog through the woods.

Stress: Stress is proven to increase blood pressure, so make sure you regularly take the time to relax, unwind and do things you enjoy. Whether that’s curling up with your favourite book, going on a nice walk, or spending time with your pet. 

Exercise: Exercise is a great way to lower your blood pressure, but that doesn’t have to mean going on a run or sweating at the gym. Exercise can be anything that gets your body moving – walking, yoga, tai chi, swimming, dancing, golf or even gardening are brilliant options. 

Green vegetables and a green apple.


Recent research has shown that those with high cholesterol are more likely to experience hearing impairment in their lifetime. It’s because high cholesterol can reduce blood circulation to the inner ear – causing long-term damage.

But luckily, it has also been proven that the effects can be reversed if you manage to lower your cholesterol levels. This can be done by simple diet changes such as

  • Cutting down on dairy products and red meat
  • Increasing intake of vegetables
  • Opting for fish and white meat, such as chicken
  • Choosing lower-fat dairy products where available

Another invaluable way to lower your cholesterol is to stop smoking – and this will support lower blood pressure too! If you need help stopping smoking, check out available support from the NHS here.


If you suffer from diabetes, you’re also twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss. That’s because persistently high blood glucose levels decrease the flow of oxygen to your ears – causing nerve damage. 

Thankfully, diabetes can be controlled with medication and diet, but the best thing to save your health and hearing it to prevent it entirely. Diabetes can be inherited, so get regular checks from your GP if you think you are at a higher risk. 

If you do get a diabetes diagnosis, the best dietary advice is to avoid processed carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, as well as artificially sweetened foods such as chocolates, cakes and candies.

The link between nutrition and tinnitus

You may have heard about the magnesium tinnitus link, with some going as far as to say that “magnesium cured my tinnitus”! And while magnesium has shown to be beneficial for ear nutrition, there is currently no concrete evidence that suggests certain foods can improve or worsen tinnitus. 

However, we do know that maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can be crucial – not only for our general well-being, but also for our hearing health – which in turn will have a positive impact on any tinnitus symptoms. 

On the other hand there’s also very little evidence to suggest that foods can have a negative impact on tinnitus. But as always, moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle – and it’s particularly important to moderate your intake of things like sodium (salt), caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. 

What are the key nutrients for good hearing health?

Food for thought? How about food for hearing? Discover some of the best foods for hearing loss prevention below …

Omega 3

  • Found in nuts and oily fish, having a diet rich in omega 3 has been found to prevent hearing loss. Incorporating two portions of fish or nuts into your diet twice a week will work wonders for your overall health as well as your hearing.


  • Haven’t been eating your greens? A deficiency in B-vitamins has been proven to increase the risk of high frequency hearing loss. So make sure to add some broccoli, spinach and kale, as well as citrus fruits and a good variety of dairy products to your diet.
  • Vitamin C, found famously in oranges, can strengthen your immune system and reduces illnesses such as ear infections. You can also get vitamin C from carrots, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries. 
Almonds and bananas.


  • Potassium is important for the way the ear converts sound into signals for the brain to interpret. Get yours in a banana a day!
  • Concerned by ringing in your ears? Zinc, found in almonds, has been known to help tinnitus symptoms, and might give you the relief you’re after. 
  • Almonds are also a great source of Magnesium – a mineral believed to protect the inner ear hair cells.
  • Have you heard that folic acid can slow the onset of hearing loss? Include leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and asparagus in your diet to get enough of this essential nutrient. 


  • Antioxidants are used by our ears to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. You’ll find antioxidants in forest fruits like raspberries, blueberries and blackcurrants.

Please note: Do not make any changes to your diet before consulting a relevant medical professional or your GP. 

Lifestyle factors and overall hearing wellness

The benefits of taking care of your overall health with a varied diet and regular exercise are well known. Living longer, carrying less weight and lowering your risk of developing health conditions are all positive outcomes of practising healthful self-care – as well as helping to maintain good hearing quality for years to come, allowing you to enjoy your life at full volume!

Want to find out more about your hearing health? Book a free hearing assessment

You can book your free hearing assessment over the phone on 0800 52 00 546, online, or by visiting your local practice