While height depends mainly on genetics, getting enough nutrients in your diet is absolutely essential to ensuring proper growth and development.
Although you can’t grow taller once you’ve reached your maximum height, certain foods can help you maintain your height by keeping your bones, joints, and body healthy and strong.
Protein, for instance, plays a crucial role in healthy development while promoting tissue repair and immune function.
Other micronutrients like calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus are involved in bone health, which is central to growth.
Meanwhile, other research shows that probiotics, beneficial bacteria often found in fermented foods, could also increase growth in children.
Here are 11 foods that can help make you taller or maintain your height.
Beans are incredibly nutritious and an especially good source of protein.
Protein has been shown to increase insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), an important hormone that regulates growth in children.
Beans are also high in iron and B vitamins, which can help protect against anemia, a condition characterized by a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body.
Not only is iron required for tissue growth, but iron deficiency anemia may also contribute to delayed growth in children.
Furthermore, beans are rich in several other nutrients, such as fiber, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
Summary: Beans are high in protein and iron, which can protect against anemia and promote proper growth.
Rich in protein and a range of other essential nutrients, chicken can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
It’s exceptionally high in vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin crucial to growing and maintaining height.
It’s also loaded with taurine, an amino acid that regulates bone formation and growth.
Moreover, chicken is loaded with protein, containing around 20 grams in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving.
Although the precise nutritional profile can vary a bit based on the cut and cooking method, chicken is also a good source of niacin, selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
Summary: Chicken is an excellent source of many nutrients for growth, such as protein, vitamin B12, and taurine.
Almonds are jam-packed with many of the vitamins and minerals necessary for growing taller.
Besides bringing a host of healthy fats to the table, they’re high in fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
Plus, almonds are rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that doubles as an antioxidant.
A deficiency in this vital vitamin can have serious side effects, including stunted growth in children.
Almonds may also help foster bone health. In one small study of 14 people, consuming almonds was found to inhibit the formation of osteoclasts, a type of cell that breaks down bone tissue.
Summary: Almonds are high in vitamin E and have been shown to inhibit the formation of osteoclasts, a type of cell that breaks down bone tissue.
4. Leafy greens
Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, arugula, and cabbage, are superstars regarding nutrition.
While the amount of nutrients fluctuates between different types, leafy greens generally offer a concentrated amount of vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
They’re also rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that can increase bone density to support enhanced growth and help maintain height.
One study in 103 women showed that regular greens intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of decreased bone mass.
Summary: Leafy greens are high in vitamin K, which supports bone health. One study found that regular intake of greens could preserve bone mass.
Yogurt is an excellent source of several vital nutrients for growth, including protein.
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Just 7 ounces (200 grams) of Greek yogurt contains nearly 20 grams of protein.
Certain types also contain probiotics, which are a type of beneficial bacteria that can help support gut health.
In addition to improving immune function and decreasing inflammation, some research shows that probiotics can help increase growth in children.
Yogurt is likewise an excellent source of several nutrients involved in bone metabolism, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Summary: Yogurt is high in protein and calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Some types may also contain probiotics, which may help improve growth.
6. Sweet potatoes
Besides being vibrant and versatile, sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy.
They’re especially rich in vitamin A, which can improve bone health and help you grow or maintain your height.
They also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, promoting digestive health and fostering good gut bacteria growth.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can also boost nutrient absorption to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need for growth and development.
Plus, sweet potatoes are packed with other essential nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Summary: Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which helps enhance bone health. They’re likewise high in fiber to promote digestive health and nutrient absorption.
Quinoa is a highly nutritious type of seed often swapped for other grains in the diet.
It’s one of the few plant-based foods that’s considered a complete protein, which contains all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs.
Quinoa is also an excellent source of magnesium, a necessary component of bone tissue that can increase bone mineral density.
Furthermore, each serving of quinoa contains a hearty dose of manganese, folate, and phosphorus — all of which are also important for bone health.
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Summary: Quinoa is a complete protein and rich in magnesium, which can increase bone mineral density.
Eggs are indeed a powerhouse of nutrition.
They’re especially rich in protein, with 6 grams packed into a single large egg.
They contain a wealth of other vitamins and minerals necessary for growth, including vitamin D, which can increase calcium absorption to help maintain skeletal health.
One small study found that giving children with low vitamin D levels a vitamin D supplement increased growth over a 6-month period.
Moreover, one study of 874 children observed that regularly eating eggs was associated with increased monthly height gains.
Summary: Eggs are rich in protein, vitamin D, and several other essential micronutrients. Studies show that regular egg intake could be associated with increases in height.
Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, are all brimming with essential nutrients.
They’re exceptionally high in vitamin C, which promotes cell growth and tissue repair.
Vitamin C also increases the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant protein in your body.
Studies show that collagen can increase bone density and improve bone health, which could help you grow taller or maintain your height.
Berries also offer a range of other vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin K, and manganese.
Summary: Berries are high in vitamin C, which promotes cell growth, supports tissue repair and increases collagen production.
Salmon is a fatty fish that’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of heart-healthy fat crucial to growth and development.
Some research also suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could be involved in bone health and may promote bone turnover to maximize growth.
Plus, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids could be linked to an increased risk of sleep problems in children, which can also negatively affect growth.
Additionally, salmon contains protein, B vitamins, selenium, and potassium.
Summary: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve sleep and bone turnover to increase growth.
Milk is often considered a vital component of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
It can also help support growth by supplying several vital nutrients for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Additionally, milk is rich in protein, with nearly 8 grams of the nutrient in a single 1-cup (244-ml) serving.
Not only that, but research shows that cow’s milk can stimulate increased growth in children and may help support weight gain and muscle building.
However, milk should be avoided if there’s an allergy or intolerance.
Summary: Milk contains a good amount of protein in each serving and several micronutrients that can support bone health to increase or maintain growth.
Nutrition plays a central role in promoting proper growth and development.
Filling your diet with various nutritious ingredients can enhance overall health and help you grow taller or maintain your height.
Therefore, consuming wholesome, nutrient-rich foods is essential to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.