Unlike an instrument that you pick up and play (a guitar, flute, etc.)… your body is your instrument.
And so, as much as singers often don’t want to hear this… it matters what you put in your body. Your voice is directly impacted by the food that you fuel with. Not indirectly, and not just a little bit. Directly. And in a big, big way.
Dairy, alcohol, soda, fried foods, sugar, refined carbs (you know… those yummy pastries and donuts served for every worship team snack ever), and pretty much all processed foods—these are the main culprits you want to stay away from (they cause inflammation, which spells huge trouble for our tiny vocal cords!).
Bottom line—feed your voice the wrong stuff, and your voice will complain. Fatigue. Mucus. Pitchy notes. Tension.
Feed your voice the right stuff, and, well… no more complaints! Here are 7 things to fuel with that will make your voice very, very happy.
One of the best things for your voice—so many antioxidants and vitamins! Little-known-fact: eat 8-10 strawberries and you get more vitamin C than an orange! (Just make sure to buy organic—these little guys almost always make the “dirty dozen” list for pesticides.)
It’s 92% water… and your voice loves water! Plus, it’s got tons of other nutrients—vitamins A, B and C, lycopene, antioxidants; you name it, it’s probably got it. (And make sure it’s ripe—the redder the better!)
And kale, collards, Swiss chard… go for all the leafy greens! Spinach is extremely nutrient rich—high in magnesium, potassium and vitamin A, which keeps our mucous membranes healthy (ie our voice!).
You know, the thing that gets left on the veggie platter… well, good—you eat it! Full of vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and electrolytes—which means a less fatigued, more hydrated voice! Try a take on a classic childhood snack—raw, unsweetened almond butter celery boats!
One of the most powerful medicinal foods. Rich in Omega 3’s, they help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol—a tablespoon or two a day will help improve your digestive health… which, because the larynx sits at the top of the trachea, directly beside the opening to the esophagus, matters to us as singers! Better digestive health = a healthier voice! (Take note: better to eat flaxseeds ground rather than whole—your body can get more nutrients out of it.)
You’ll stink, and that’s ok. It’s a powerful natural antibiotic and infection fighter—so down those cloves!
Good carbs will give you energy! Choose sweet potatoes over rice or pasta, which have way less nutrients and tend to turn to sugar in the body.
Ditch the junk. Pile in the nutrients. Especially for the few days leading up to when you’ll be singing! See how many of these foods you can pack into your Saturday menu!
Oooh love this list and nutrition talk! Have you seen the fermented garlic “trend” going around? (garlic covered with raw honey and left to ferment for a few weeks?) I believe it’s shelf stable after that. I’m going to try it this winter!
Thanks for the list of delicious foods!
Oh my word! To be honest that sounds TERRIBLE to me… but I’m sure it’s SO good for the voice and the body as a whole!!
Out of all the fruit, I wouldn’t have guessed strawberries…so simple and one of my favorites! After reading this I am going to see where I can sneak more flax into my diet because thats really easy!
Haha for sure!
Thanks for the list! Who knew strawberries are so beneficial to our voice! From now on, I am going to eat them with a bigger passion. I love all the superfoods. I mix flaxseeds in my smoothies – I crush them inside the blending machine, I heard they release the nutrients only when they are chewed, not just swallowed. Anyway, they have got a lovely mild taste.
Yes, you are very right—flaxseeds are way more nutritious when they are broken down!
Thank you for this! So helpful! I loved what you said up front, “Your voice is directly impacted by the food that you fuel with.” YES!! SO true! Our food impacts us in so many ways. I have been having most of these things in my diet, but will need to add flaxseed. I have it, I just never use it cause I don’t really know what to do with it. I will definitely look into ideas! Thank you!
Yeah, I love adding ground flax to my oatmeal in the morning!
Flaxseeds!? Who knew!? I’ve learned something new!
What is your favorite way to eat them?
I eat them ground up in my oatmeal every morning! They’re more efficiently digested when ground up, so that’s the best way to have them.
Nice! I’ll have to give that a try, thanks!