online — so it must be true, right? — that country western
singer Billy Currington drinks a shot of virgin olive oil
before his concerts to lubricate his vocal cords. Makes sense
to me … until you take a look at the anatomy of vocal cords.
eat and drink does not touch your vocal cords, explains
speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist
Kristie Knickerbocker in a blog sponsored by the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). When we swallow
food, it comes in contact with the tongue, soft palate and
throat as it makes its way down to our stomach. If food or
fluids actually touch our vocal cords, that means we are
aspirating (food is going into the lungs), says Knickerbocker.
And that’s not good.
a shot of olive oil is necessarily bad, says this expert.
Although it can’t directly lubricate the vocal cords, it may
provide some hydration from the inside out. Olive oil has also
been associated with a lower risk for certain cancers,
including cancer of the larynx — the organ that holds the
vocal cords. Scientists attribute this benefit to the many
antioxidant ingredients, including vitamin E, that reside
naturally in the oil of olives.
improving our singing ability, there are other reasons to
include olive oil in our diets. Most notably is its
association with a lower risk for heart disease. Olive oil’s
main ingredients are fatty acids called MUFA —
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids. MUFA’s are best known for their
cholesterol lowering abilities when consumed in place of
saturated and trans fatty acids. Substitute olive oil for some
of the butter you use, for example, and expect to see
cholesterol levels fall, especially the dangerous LDL type.
healthful as it is, olive oil is still a fat. And all fats are
packed with calories that can add extra poundage if we overdo.
If you’re watching the scale, remember that one tablespoon
of olive oil (measure it out and see how small that really is)
contains 120 to 130 calories.
everyone gaga over EVOO — Extra-Virgin Olive Oil? According
to the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), Extra-virgin oil
is made from olives that are gently pressed without extreme
heat or added chemicals, producing delicate flavors. Use it to
dress up salads and vegetables or in cooking. Virgin olive oil
is also produced without chemicals but may be a bit less
delicate in flavor. Store your oil in a cool dark place and
use it within 6 months, says the COOC.
olive oil for cooking, salad dressings and for finishing
glazes, suggest the folks at Gaea who make virgin and extra
virgin olive oils from Greece. Their Kalamata Extra Virgin
variety got my yum attention.
article in Reader’s Digest announced "Use Extra Virgin
Olive Oil and You Just Might Forget to Die." Who knows,
you might sing better, too.