What Foods Make You Grow Taller? All You Need to Know
It’s no secret that nutrition plays an important role in supporting human growth and development, so it follows that a frequently asked question is ‘what foods make you grow taller?’
This article explores how diet plays a pivotal part in determining and sustaining our height.
We are fortunate to live in an era in which most good foods are available year round. Below I have listed the essential nutrient rich foods that will help you grow taller and/or maintain your height.
Can Food Influence Height?
There’s no magic recipe for growing taller. Two essential elements for optimizing our height potential during the growth years are following a good diet and maintaining correct posture. There are those who want a quick fix and ask about foods that increase height rapidly, but like most things in life it takes time to achieve our goals!
What Determines Height?
Height is mainly influenced by genetics and up to the time we reach our maximum height (usually 18-20 years), it is possible to encourage growth by focusing on a healthy lifestyle and exploring ranges of food to help a child grow taller. Even when we have finally stopped growing, in order to maintain our given height it is still important to include foods in our diet that are known to be beneficial in aiding growth.
The same foods also help the body maintain healthy strong bones and joints, which support good posture. During growth periods, you should be aware of which foods can help you reach your optimum height; these will also promote good health and wellbeing. I have outlined in this article some of the most important and essential foods and nutrients required to achieve this outcome.
Essential Components for Growth
Protein Rich Foods
Few nutrients are as important as protein and they are the main building blocks of the body. Eating enough protein is essential for bone health. A real bonus is that protein is present in a variety of foods; therefore it can easily accommodate most dietary preferences.
Calcium Rich Foods
Our bones are where the most calcium is stored within the body. Feeding the bones can help them to grow faster and stronger, and aid skeletal development. A calcium deficiency can lead to stunted growth or lower bone mass, but this can be easily avoided as calcium is readily available in many foods in your local supermarket.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
- Magnesium - aids bone growth and energy production
- Vitamin D - helps the body to absorb calcium
- Phosphorous - maintaining and repairing tissues and cells
Research indicates that a balanced intake of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D helps to promote bone growth. They are the essential building blocks for strong bones, working harmoniously alongside each other.
Foods For Growth
Investigating what foods make you grow taller involves understanding the various nutrients and micronutrients that play a vital role in healthy development for our muscles, tissues, joints and bones.
Below are some foods that contain various vitamins and minerals that can aid healthy development, playing a key role in bone health, central to growth.
There are so many varieties of beans to choose from. Tinned, dried, fresh, all are rich in essential body-building protein. Extremely nutritious, beans are high in B vitamins, iron, fiber, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are required for tissue growth and protection against anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia may contribute to delayed growth in children. Beans rich in protein include soybeans, white beans, red kidney beans, black beans, lentils, pinto beans, haricot beans, butter beans, and many more.
Eggs are packed with protein and contain vitamins and minerals essential for growth and all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Their vitamin D content helps the body to absorb calcium. There are 6 grams of protein found in a single large egg. Easy to use, versatile, and relatively cheap, eggs are a superb addition to the diet
Milk is loaded with protein and is universally enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. It contains a variety of important nutrients including vitamins B2 and B12. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for normal growth and development of bones and bone health, and is extremely versatile.
Recent research undertaken by The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, emphasizes the importance of cows milk in children's diets to provide vital nutrients needed for optimal growth.
All milk types, such as full cream, semi, skimmed and UHT contains the same nutrients. However, it should be noted that some people have dairy allergies and alternatives are used, such as rice or soymilk, which are generally fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
Yogurt is rich in protein and packed with nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, which assist growth. It provides almost every nutrient your body needs and is high in calcium, B vitamins and trace minerals. Greek yogurt is particularly rich in protein. Yogurt helps support the immune system, especially those that contain probiotics (known as ‘friendly’ bacteria), which also support gut health.
Beef is rich in protein, zinc and also B12, a water-soluble vitamin crucial to growing taller and important for body growth and maintenance. Pork is an excellent source of high-quality protein, rich in vitamin B12 and contains all nine essential amino acids, all vital nutrients that assist muscle growth and maintenance. Lamb is not only rich in high-quality protein but is also an outstanding source of many vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
Rich in protein and other essential nutrients, chicken contains around 20 grams in a 3-ounce serving. Particularly high in B12 and also contains Taurine, an amino acid that regulates bone formation and growth. Chicken is an excellent source of nutrients that aid growth.
Salmon is a fatty fish high in protein and other nutrients including vitamin D. Along with other fish such as tuna, trout, sardines, and mackerel, salmon is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which are crucial to growth and development. Omega 3 acids are heart-healthy fats and should not be confused with other fats.
Nuts pack many vitamins and minerals necessary for growing taller. They are also an excellent source of fiber and protein, particularly almonds, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil, and peanuts. The nutrients in nuts are highly beneficial for good health and include vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, which are great antioxidants.
Quinoa is a complete protein rich in magnesium, a necessary part of bone tissue that can increase bone density. Quinoa is an extremely healthy seed, containing all the nine essential acids that your body needs, which means it is considered a complete protein. It is versatile and can be used in place of other seeds if preferred.
Other Nutritious Foods
Leafy greens generally contain concentrated amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium. They are also high in vitamin K, which can increase bone density to support growth, preserve bone mass and help maintain your height. Leafy greens rich in protein include spinach, kale and cabbage, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and watercress.
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and healthy. They are a great source of fiber, which encourages the growth of good gut bacteria. This is important because a healthy gut aids nutrient absorption thus ensuring that the body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs for growth. Sweet potatoes are particularly rich in vitamin A, which helps enhance bone health.
Berries and Fruit
Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries are full of important nutrients. They are particularly rich in vitamin C, which promotes tissue repair and cell growth and also helps increase collagen, which is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for about one-third of its protein composition.
Collagen an essential component to help build bones, muscles, tendons, skin and ligaments, and improving bone density could help you grow taller and/or maintain your height.
Fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C, found in delicious fruits such as guavas, kiwi, oranges, lemons, cantaloupes, mangos, pineapple, and grapefruit and there are so many others to choose from, something to suit everyone’s taste!
So, in conclusion, I have attempted to answer the initial question ‘what foods make you grow taller?’ We have established that good nutrition is key to promoting proper growth and development. A well-balanced healthy diet can help you maximize and maintain your height.
We lead busy lives and all eat ready meals at times, but surprisingly, if you take a little time out to plan home-cooked meals in advance, it can often work out cheaper, easier and is more satisfying. You will also be providing your body with wholesome food, giving you the best chance to either increase and/or maintain your height.
A balanced diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function correctly. As a general guide, most of your daily calories should come from lean proteins; fresh (or frozen is ok) vegetables; whole grains; nuts; fresh fruit. And remember, the odd treat is allowed as a reward for all your hard work!