Ear infections, also known as otitis media, are extremely common among children. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders states that about 75 percent of children develop at least one ear infection by the age of 3. Some foods may be beneficial in treating your child's ear infection, although you should always speak with your doctor before using this natural healing approach.
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Ear infections are one of the leading causes of doctor visits among children, reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Certain risk factors may increase your child's likelihood of developing ear infections, including cold weather, smoke exposure, a family history of ear infections, and other illnesses or health problems. Common signs and symptoms associated with ear infections include ear pain and fullness, impaired hearing in the involved ear, and vomiting and diarrhea.
An effective dietary approach in treating otitis media involves certain dietary inclusions and exclusions. According to naturopathic physician Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., author of "The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine," helpful dietary exclusions for this condition include milk and dairy products, eggs, wheat, corn, peanut butter, dried fruit, sugar, honey, and concentrated fruit juice. Consider consuming increased quantities of vitamin C-containing foods, such as kale, mustard greens, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kiwis, papayas and strawberries.
A Healing Food
Strawberries may be one of the most helpful healing foods in treating ear infections. Strawberries contain a significant amount of vitamin C and have long been used to provide powerful antioxidant protection and promote optimal health, notes nutritionist and biologist George Mateljan, author of "The World's Healthiest Foods." Raspberries are also rich in manganese, dietary fiber, iodine, potassium and folate. Strawberries that are ready for consumption possess a pleasing aroma and deep red color and are moderately soft.
Ear infections are a serious health problem that may lead to certain health complications, including a ruptured eardrum, enlarged tonsils and infection of certain skull bones. If you or your child develops the characteristic signs and symptoms of an ear infection, report to your primary care provider as soon as possible to be properly diagnosed and treated. Not all foods traditionally used in treating this health problem may be backed by extensive clinical research evidence.
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Quick Statistics
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Ear Infection: Acute
- "The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine"; Joseph Pizzorno; 2002
- "The World's Healthiest Foods"; George Mateljan; 2007