Chocolate and Wine – Good for Your Ears?

Though Valentine’s Day has already passed, you may still have plenty of chocolate and wine from your loved ones to go through. Sure, you might feel guilty about indulging in these treats, but don’t feel too bad – both chocolate and wine are known to have some health benefits. In fact, did you know they may also be good for your hearing health?

A sweet way to protect your hearing

Chocolate, specifically the dark variety, has numerous antioxidants and high levels of zinc, both of which provide a boost to your immune system and fight potential infections in your body. Since ear infections can lead to hearing loss, the nutrients in dark chocolate may help protect against infections and preserve your hearing.

Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content has also been shown to be good for your heart by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. One observational study found that eating chocolate five or more times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent. Since poor heart health is linked to hearing loss, anything to improve your cardiovascular system can be helpful to your hearing health.

Cheers to your ears

If you prefer to sip some wine over eating chocolate, you may still be doing something good for your hearing. It’s long been suggested that a glass of red wine per day can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Just like chocolate, the antioxidants in red wine can help protect against cardiovascular disease, and in turn, hearing loss. But drinking red wine may actually go a step further and prevent hearing loss more directly.

A compound found in the skin of red grapes, resveratrol, has been found to protect against noise-induced hearing loss, as well as cognitive decline. A 2013 study by the Henry Ford Hospital found that rats given resveratrol and exposed to loud noises recovered their hearing more quickly, and showed a reduced amount of hearing loss and cognitive decline, compared to those not given the substance.

Moderation is key

While small indulgences in dark chocolate and red wine may be beneficial to your hearing and health, too much can be a bad thing. Chocolate is often high in sugar and fat, so eating large amounts can lead to serious health issues, and consuming too much alcohol can be dangerous for many reasons. However, in moderation, chocolate and wine can be a healthy part of your diet and good for your hearing.