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Better food. Better Hearing. Better living.
American Jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald once sang…
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…”
And we couldn’t agree more! The weather is warm, nights are long and the food aplenty. With summer right around the corner, it’s time to dig out your favorite recipe and plan a barbecue or small get-together with family, friends and neighbors. It’s also important to support your loved ones with hearing loss and make the proper accommodations ahead of time to make summer gatherings more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone.
Whether you plan to make savory dishes or sweet, you’ll be happy to know that the summer foods you enjoy all season long have many health benefits, too. Simple and healthy ingredients like watermelon, artichokes and dark chocolate can all be used in tasty summer dishes that are sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters. And best of all? They contain essential vitamins and minerals that promote better ear and hearing health for you and your loved ones.
How can summer foods help my hearing?
Nutrients like potassium, magnesium and zinc can all be found in some of your favorite summer ingredients and contribute to better hearing health. Although these seasonal foods can help give your hearing a boost, they shouldn’t act as a replacement for managing your hearing loss or replace regular visits to your hearing care provider. They do offer a tasty place to start though!
Take watermelon for example. This summer favorite not only makes a tasty and juicy snack but offers fourteen percent of your daily value for potassium! In a study conducted on the Korean adult population, those who had a high potassium-rich diet were less associated with hearing loss. “The results of this study suggest that high potassium intake levels were associated with a lower prevalence of hearing loss and lower hearing thresholds…” See how potassium and other nutrients like magnesium and zinc can help your hearing health.
- Potassium can help decrease blood pressure and prevent injury to the cochlea by expanding blood vessels for optimal blood flow. Include potassium-rich foods like watermelon, bananas and avocado in your summer recipes this year.
- Magnesium has been shown to increase susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss and lessen tinnitus in patients. Summer foods that are rich in magnesium include dark chocolate, legumes and leafy greens. Try to incorporate these ingredients in a summer treat or healthy summer salad!
- Zinc can boost your immune system and help prevent ear infections by protecting against germs. Dark chocolate and oysters contain zinc and can make a great addition to summer dishes like barbecued oysters or chocolate-covered frozen bananas to beat the heat!
Learn more about different foods that boost hearing here.
Summer recipes for better hearing health
- 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
- 2 T lime juice
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 seedless watermelon, cubed
- 3 baby cucumbers, seeded and cubed
- 1 C crumbled feta cheese
- ½ C mint leaves, sliced thinly
Take out a bowl and mix the red onion with the lime juice and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil after. Then toss the watermelon, baby cucumbers and feta together in a separate bowl. Pour the red onion mixture over the watermelon mixture and sprinkle mint leaves over the salad.
Choose from a variety of refreshing salads to share with family and friends this summer on Allrecipes.
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 1 T ground espelette pepper or ½ t cayenne pepper and ¼ t paprika
- ¼ t finely shredded lemon zest
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- ¼ t garlic powder
- 1/8 t kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 lemon, halved
- 4 large artichokes
- ¼ t kosher salt
- ¼ t black pepper
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh rosemary (optional)
For the mayonnaise mixture, whisk together mayonnaise, espelette pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Cover or seal mixture and place it into the fridge until ready to use. Bring a pot to boil with salt. Add garlic cloves and lemon halves after squeezing juice into the same pot. Add artichokes and bring water to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a cutting board to cool.
Cut artichokes in half lengthwise, scoop out some of the inner leaves from around each heart and season with remaining salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Then place artichokes on grill flat side up and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown – slightly charred. Serve with mayonnaise mixture.
See more summer recipes you can take to the grill at Better Homes & Gardens.
- 4 medium firm but ripe bananas
- 8 wooden craft sticks
- 3 T finely chopped and lightly salted nuts
- 6 oz dark chocolate (60-70% dark)
Peel and cut each banana in half crosswise. Insert craft sticks into each and place on a tray. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 3 hours until frozen. Place your crushed nuts in a shallow dish while you melt your chocolate on top of the boiler over slightly simmering water – low heat and stirring often. Then pour the chocolate into a tall glass and dip each frozen banana into it. Immediately roll into the nuts and place on a tray lined with wax paper. Serve and enjoy immediately or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Get inspired with more healthy summer desserts on Food Network.
Make this summer your best one yet with tasty and nutrient-packed foods. Not only are these summer foods perfect to share with friends and family, but they can boost your hearing health, too! What dish are you excited to try first?