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National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to try out these nutritious, hearing-healthy recipes.
March is National Nutrition Month — ready to decorate your plate with something festive and fresh? We’ve brought together some nutrient-rich recipes packed with foods that provide a solid foundation for hearing health.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Research shows those with diabetes are more likely to have a hearing loss. This recipe with sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and beans is perfect for those with diabetes or those concerned about hearing health.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (four-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked and drained white beans
- 6 cups spinach, trimmed and cut into ribbons
- Juice of 1/4 orange
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake potatoes until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Start the beans and greens 15 minutes before potatoes are done. In a wide, deep saucepan with a cover, heat olive oil over low to moderate heat. Add shallot and cook 5 minutes.
- Raise heat to moderate. Add garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add beans and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add spinach, cover pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until the spinach is soft.
- Remove rosemary, stir in orange juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise, and push on ends to open up middle. Spoon beans and greens into center.
Eggplant Avocado Burger
You might have heard about the many benefits of antioxidants, but did you know they benefit your hearing health? A recent study suggests that exposure to loud noise creates free radicals — molecules known to cause cell death — and this is what damages your inner ear’s sensory cells. Antioxidants bind to these free radicals, making them harmless. The below recipe is packed with antioxidant-rich foods like alfalfa sprouts, avocado, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes.
Ingredients (serves 4–6)
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
- Avocado, thinly sliced
- 15-oz jar sweet red peppers
- Olive oil
- Burger buns of your choosing
- Lay rounds of eggplant on a paper-towel-lined tray. Salt both sides. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Prepare alfalfa sprouts, onion, tomato, avocado, and sweet peppers for topping burger.
- Prepare your grill for high, direct heat.
- Pat eggplant slices dry, then brush with olive oil.
- Grill eggplant for 3 to 4 minutes per side with grill lid closed, until nicely browned.
- Remove from grill.
- Place on burger bun, top with deliciousness, and enjoy!
The B vitamin folate helps maintain blood flow to the inner ear, which is essential to hearing health. It’s also useful in preventing heart disease, stroke, and dementia. The beets, grapefruit, avocado, and dark, leafy greens in this recipe are a treasure trove of folate.
Ingredients (serves 12)
- 1 pound baby arugula (or baby kale)
- 4 large beets (roasted 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 375°F, or canned or packaged)
- 2 large grapefruit (peel, seed, and pith removed), diced
- 2 avocados, diced
- 6 scallions, sliced very thin
- 1 cup raspberries
- Place baby arugula in a large bowl, followed by beets, grapefruit, avocado, and scallions.
- Toss with desired dressing (we suggest something raspberry or blueberry).
- Add the raspberries as carefully as you can, trying not to break them.
- Serve chilled.