Voice and Nutrition
THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION TO OUR VOICE
The importance of nutrition in our body is fundamental to our health and our voice.
Vocal production has a very special role in our body and a consequent energy expenditure, hence the need for a good fuel and preferably of the best quality. Nowadays there are several nutritional approaches that can lead to better or smaller results, depending on our body and our intention when choosing a certain nutritional line. In my opinion there is not really a right or wrong approach, but one that can meet the specific needs of each person so that they feel healthy, balanced and happy.
After several researches on this subject everything leads to believe that the best friends of our voice are the apple and the water, but is it really so???
I do not think it's just that, so here are some tips:
The choice of the nutritional products we feed on is fundamental. Prefer biological products with fewer toxins (not always the best financial choice), but you can also opt for small grocery stores with vegetable garden products or local markets. Be very careful with the oils you use for cooking, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil are the best. The less hydrogenated and industrially synthesized the better. Avoid eating processed food, "fast food" and trans fats. Ideally we should create a good balance between fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
My preference in fats goes to olive oil, coconut oil and avocado, in vegetables I prefer the darker ones like broccoli, spinach and brussel sprouts and then lettuce, tomato (I love ox heart) turnip and carrot. In the 'top' of the fruits the avocado, rich in Omega 3 and fruits with little sugar (red fruits). Fish, meat and eggs the most possible Bio or home made productions. As for fish, I choose sprat, mackerel and salmon (preferably sea), they are the richest in Omega 3. In carbohydrates, I am quite moderate, I give primacy to buckwheat, arrowroot, coconut and almond flour, rice wild and quinoa mass avoiding to the maximum the gluten. As for seeds my preference goes to walnut, Brazil nut, pistachio, almond, hazelnut, Chia seeds, sesame, linseed and Goji. I like turmeric and ginger because of its taste and antioxidant properties.
As for dairy products and their derivatives, several studies report them as the cause of a greater production of mucous and consequent clearing. The best for our gastrointestinal health are the fermented ones, such as Yoghurt and Kefir with probiotic properties, though they are not always the most suitable for those suffering from acidity. In this case I advise more moderation. As for fried food always opt for oils of the best quality as previously mentioned.
Seasoning can cause a greater gastro-esophageal reflux and aggression of the gastric mucous membrane, in this case I suggest some moderation and compensation with aromatic herbs like oregano, chives, coriander, parsley and rosemary.
A supplemental boost is also very important, I recommend fish oil rich in omega 3 and CoQ10 both for cardiovascular health.
Hydration is the key! 1.5 to 2.0 L of water per day.
Dehydration causes accumulation of secretion, increased viscosity and reduced mobility of the mucosal wave. With good hydration there is less friction, greater flexibility and greater quality of vocal fold vibration. The consumption of alcoholic beverages with their anesthetic effect may be reflected in a greater form of vocal abuse and impairment of vocal folds. Soda, sugary or the so called "Light" products, besides causing weight gain, are extremely harmful to our body. When we ingest sugar, it turns into glucose which in turn produces insulin, with increased effort to the liver and metabolism.
As for coffee and caffeine or teas with teina, I recommend moderation, as they cause a greater dehydration, increase acidity as a result of reflux and irritation of the mucous membrane. As for teas, choose preferably natural teas without tea-bags.
A special caveat for women in the period of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
Because of hormonal alteration they can present more swollen vocal chords and therefore produce a deeper and hoarser voice, and sometimes even dysphonia. In these cases I advise people to be extremely careful with their nutrition in order to create a greater endocrine compensation.
Seek out a nutritionist or specialist doctor
Control your weight
Get regular and moderate exercise
Moderate your stress avoiding multitasking situations
Take direct sunlight
Sing regularly on your own or with friends
Translated by Isabel Borges