Which foods are tinnitus triggers?

When you talk to people suffering from tinnitus, they will aways tell you what kind of foods worsen their tinnits and what they avoid because of it.

I had never even liked those two things before and without oberserving my diet I hadn´t noticed it either.

After hearing from more and more people that they avoid coffee, salt, sugar and alcohol I wondered if it was true. I do have tinnitus spikes but alwyas thought it was just when I was super stressed or emotionally in distress.

As you might have read, I have been working with a holistic healer and talking to her about my diet, her suggestion was to maintain a healthy diet as I am suffering from a chronic condition, it is important to keep my body healthy. It turned out that what she thought was healthy wasn´t exactly what I thought was healthy. I owe my tinnitus due to multiple ear and sinus infections. So in her opinion I need to follow a diet with anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods known to increase inflamation.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

That sounds very logical. According to that principal I would need to eat a lot of celery, ginger, beet, broccoli, blueberries, pineapple, salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, tumeric, garlic, raw honey, choconut, apple, tomatoes, leavy greens like spinach, kale, arugula or swiss chard.

I am trying to include those foods into my diet as much as I can.

Gluten and Lactose

Gluten can cause inflammation in the gut, especially if you are sensitive. As this is the case with me, I´m avoiding gluten. And it has helped my stomach to feel better, I don´t feel like carring a stone arond all the time and I am not as bloated anymore.

Same for lactose, it can act inflmmatory if sensitive, which I am. So I´m not eating it.

Immune System boosting Foods

Also I am including food known to improve the immune system like citrus fruits, yogurt, almonds, papaya, kiwi and sweet potatoes besides others.

Besides following a healthy diet with a lot of fruit and vegetables and also beans as well as pulses, complementing it with helthy fats and low in sugar. Including anti-inflamatory and immune-boosting foods . . .

Do we have to avoid things because of our tinnitus?

According to the British Tinnitus Association there is no evidence in food that worsens the tinnitus, but they say it is very individual and that you should observe it and then cut out the suspected foods and adding them one by one again while observing if something changes.

Others say to avoid foods and drinks that are known to increase bood pressure, an increased blood pressure always makes tinnitus worse. So if you want to avoid those tinnitus spikes, avoid foods that increase the blood pressure and your tinnitus will be more leveled.


For example salt has that effect, so that is why many people say that their tinnitus is louder when eating salt and products that are high in sodium. So processed foods are not good either, well I guess if you want to eat healthy processed foods are never that good.

I love salt so, that is very hard for me. It also includes chips and snacks like that . . . all which I love. So that is pretty hard for me to cut back or to cut out. But there are alternatives, make you own healthy snacks. I´ve made crunchy chickpeas recently and they are delicious.


Caffeine can also cause blood pressure to increase, so that is why you might experience a spike when drinking coffee.


I read on tinnitusformula.com that sugar might be bad, because many people who have tinnitus have a sugar metabolism disorder. If you are one of those 84% to 92%, your body produces more insulin than necessary and a diabetes diet is recommended.

Read more here:  https://www.tinnitusformula.com/library/sugar-metabolism-affects-tinnitus/

Sugar Substitudes

Aspartame seems to be toxic to the brain and inner ear, so avoiding it can help your tinnitus.

Beyond the toxicity, aspartame is known as an “excitatory neurotransmitter.” It increases electrical activity in the brain, specifically in the auditory cortex. As those with tinnitus already have an elevated level of electrical activity in the brain, more electrical activity is the last thing they need. Reducing electrical activity in the brain, by whatever means, has been proven to improve tinnitus.

Read more here: https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52544-Research-shows-a-possible-link-between-aspartame-and-tinnitus

Chinese Food – MSG

Many people say that their tinnitus is a lot worse when eating oriental food and that is due to MSG.  It basically kills neurons in your brain and causes headaches and tinnitus.

Read the experience of Amanda Box here; http://www.homecuresthatwork.com/12378/clear-up-tinnitus-with-food/


Although fats do not necessarily cause an immediate exacerbation of tinnitus symptoms, foods with saturated and trans fats contribute to poor circulation and reduce blood flow. A diet high in these unhealthy fats increases bad cholesterol and decreases good cholesterol, affecting long-term heart health and potentially heightening the severity of ringing in the ears. Foods high in trans and saturated fats include fried foods, whole milk, butter, shortening, ice cream, fatty meats like pork and beef, chicken skin and fat, snack foods and candy.

From: https://www.livestrong.com/article/211991-what-foods-cause-your-ears-to-ring/

That is why I have tried to cut out sweets, which has been pretty hard on me. But I try to focus on dark chocolate and dried fruits. It works pretty well. Also some fruits which a really sweet also help for my frequent hunger for sweets.

I still can´t say if it helps to for my tinnitus or if I have less spikes, so I decided to start an eating journal to be able to track it better. I will keep you updated on my eating journaling.

As I love many, many things on this list as not to say everything that you should avoid when you have tinnitus, some changes are pretty hard on me.

Also it does not mean that you have to completley cut out everything, it is very individual as every tinnitus is individual. So you basically have to find out what affects your tinnitus and go from there.

A generally healthy diet is always good though.

1 Comment

  1. Gail Hukle August 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    very interesting information! .

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