You have seen how hearing works and understand the various factors that can cause hearing loss, as well as some ways of protecting your ears. Now let's take a look at the basics of the Save Your Hearing Now Program. There are essentially four steps involved:
1. NUTRIENTS: Take the antioxidant supplements and other nutrients that have been proven to protect against free-radical damage and enhance mitochondrial function, as well as preserve and restore hearing and enhance overall health.
2. DIET: Design meals around healthful foods that support those supplements.
3. EXERCISE: Take part in physical activity, moderately but frequently.
4. EAR PROTECTION: Avoid noise pollution whenever possible and use earplugs or other hearing protection when you are exposed to loud noise to protect the hearing abilities you have.
Step One: Nutrients
In the pages that follow, I will introduce the Save Your Hearing Now Top Ten, an all-star team of nutrients that have been scientifically proven to play vitally important roles in hearing and in slowing the aging process. In each ease, there is an in-depth look at the relevant research, dosage details, and food sources of the nutrient. Typically, it is difficult-if not impossible-to obtain therapeutic amounts of these nutrients from food alone. But it is helpful to know which foods are high in key substances. In addition, many people find it helpful to see that foods they are not eating could be linked to hearing loss, which can be easily corrected with a dietary' change or supplements. For example, vegetarians can be deficient in vitamin B12, since its primary' food source is meat, and vitamin B12 is essential for good hearing.
The effectiveness of the Save Your Hearing Now Top Ten can be enhanced with the addition of other nutrients. Most of these supporting players are not directly associated with hearing, but their importance to overall good health is well established, and in many instances, they are necessary for the proper performance of the Top Ten. You will discover why supplements are vitally important to the success of the Save Your Hearing Now Program, even for people who make an effort to eat well. Furthermore, we will explain how and when to take supplements to maximize their effectiveness.
Step Two: Diet
If the words "healthful diet" make you flinch. I'm not surprised. There is a high "yuck" factor associated with those words in our culture, because they are synonymous with deprivation. Who wants to settle down to watch the big game with a bowl of broccoli, cabbage, and carrots when a pizza or burger and fries are so quick and easy, not to mention tasty? However, poor eating habits make it difficult to get adequate nutrition, especially for older individuals. Studies have shown, for example, that a significant number of older adults fail to get amounts and types of food to meet essential energy and nutrient needs. And other research has determined that one-third of all older adults (those above the age of sixty-five) live with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The fact is a diet that fosters good hearing is nothing more than simple moderation and the incorporation of some key nutritional staples. And I think you will find that my recommendations are simple, doable, and proven to supply the body and the auditory system in particular-with vital nutrients to fight hearing loss and many of the processes that occur with aging.
As with supplement suggestions, the dietary recommendations are based on carefully conducted nutritional studies published in professional journals. Instead of a fad diet or complicated eating plan, I am simply suggesting changes based on sound scientific evidence. There is a wide range of foods to choose from. Many are recommended because they are excellent sources of free-radical-fighting antioxidants, while others support the work of the supplements or provide additional benefits related to hearing.
Step Three: Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle is on the verge of eclipsing smoking in terms of the number of deaths it causes. If that's not enough to get you off the couch, there are three reasons why your hearing will benefit from moderate workouts. One, exercise stimulates circulation throughout the body, which is very important for a healthy auditory system, as well as for cardiovascular health. In fact, just about everything that keeps the heart healthy also helps hearing, because both systems thrive with the elements in the Save Your Hearing Now Program. Two, exercise helps with weight management, and, as we will see shortly, excess weight is linked to accelerated aging, along with a host of other health problems, most of which harm hearing. Three, people who are having problems hearing are often suffering from depression or stress.
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