Singers and professional speakers must care for their voices, much like athletes care for their bodies. The vocal cords are surprisingly small, about the size of a dime in a woman and the size of a nickel in the average man. To keep them healthy, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders recommends that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins A, E and C.
Vitamin A has an important role in vocal health as well as general health because it promotes good respiratory health and helps the body to fight off infections. Fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, collard greens, spinach, squash, apricots and romaine lettuce. Consuming at least two servings a day of most of these fruits or vegetables will bring you close to your recommended daily allowance of 900 micrograms of vitamin A for men or 700 micrograms for women.
Vitamin C aids in the body's ability to form and maintain collagen and other tissues, and it may play a role in respiratory health by improving asthma, which is important for maintaining a healthy voice and lung capacity. Fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C include oranges, red peppers, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit and tomatoes. These fruits and vegetables vary in their vitamin C content, but just 1/2 cup of red peppers contains 116 mg of vitamin C, more than the recommended daily allowance of 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
Vitamin E supports the function of cells in the lungs and brain, and healthy lungs are important for maintaining your voice. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, and fruits such as avocados and mangoes, are good sources of vitamin E. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E for men and women is 15 mg, which would be difficult to maintain through servings of fruits and vegetables alone. Nuts, seeds and oils are the best sources of vitamin E.
The best way to maintain a healthy voice is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. If you are taking a multivitamin, you should not need to take additional vitamin A or E supplements. Overdosing on vitamin A or E can have serious consequences for your health because these vitamins are fat soluble and stay in your system longer than vitamin C, which is water soluble. Therefore, the National Institutes of Health recommends avoiding excessive intake of vitamins A and E. Consult your physician before you take any supplements for vitamins A or E beyond a basic multivitamin.