When it comes to wanting to grow tall, many often get told to exercise or simply drink their milk and eat their vegetables. While this advice isn’t entirely wrong, there is definitely more to it than just drinking a ton of dairy and eating all your broccoli. A healthy diet is important for many reasons beyond getting taller.
Eating a healthy diet consisting of major food groups will help you keep your weight within healthy ranges in relation to height and muscle mass. Healthy eating also boosts your insulin sensitivity, your nervous system, helps your bones grow, muscle tissue repair, and ensure your body is functioning with the right amount of nutrition.
To grow taller you will need to eat a lot, but remember not everyone is genetically designed to be tall. For pre-teens and teenagers alike looking to improve their odds, it is very important that you eat well. This means breakfast, lunch, dinner and even small snacks depending on the level of activity. If you are a young adult trying to get at least an inch in before you finish growing, following a healthy diet will help you a little bit in the height department too.
However, don’t let the lack of a few inches stop you from pursuing a healthy lifestyle, your body and mind will thank you for it as you age.
Growing Strong With the Help of Your Basic Food Groups
As you may already know there is a basic food pyramid or portion plate that helps people determine which foods should be eaten. Main types of beverages that are good for you are green, black and fruit teas, herbal teas, water, low sugar fruit juices, and dairy.
Your diet should cover all of the following basic food groups (first being the highest priority, last being the least priority):
- Vegetables, berries, and fruits
- Whole grain cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, and porridges
- Milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, and kefir
- Meat, poultry, eggs, beans and legumes, nuts, nut milk, nut butter, seeds, and fish
- Healthy fats (saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats), spreads, and oils
Foods that you will need to limit or avoid altogether:
- Unhealthy trans-fats, artificial sugars, high amounts of cane sugar, high amounts of salt, unhealthy preservatives, highly processed foods, chemically smoked meats, energy drinks, sugary sodas, etc.
Things to completely avoid
- Alcohol, tobacco, recreational and illegal drugs/substances, excessive use of stimulants, steroids (unless prescribed by a medical professional), and any untested supplements that claim to help with height.
Getting to Know the Human Growth Hormone, Sex Hormones, and Thyroid
When it comes to growing tall it is often all about a few hormones and how much you have of each. Depending on your gender you will have different levels of estrogen and testosterone. Thyroid and human growth hormone are also crucial for growing bodies. So what are each of these hormones, and how do they impact one’s ability to grow tall?
When you eat a healthy diet, exercise and get a good night’s sleep, you allow your body to produce a few basic types of hormones. The more you do these three major things, the more chances you have of growing taller even with genetics as a factor.
Human growth hormone
this is the main hormone responsible for most of your growth. It occurs throughout childhood and stops around your 20s for most cases, there are rare cases of individuals growing into their 30s. This hormone is produced in the pituitary gland of the brain. Depending on your lifestyle, diet, exercise, sleep, genetics, and other environmental factors, will all determine how much of this growth hormone you will get.
Those who go through puberty early often stop growing sooner compared to those who have puberty on schedule.
Sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone)
These are the major hormones that occur during puberty and throughout life. These hormones often occur in cycles. Testosterone (the male hormone) is what helps males grow taller. Females have a smaller amount of testosterone which can help them grow tall too. Estrogen, however, does the opposite of testosterone and restricts growth making females shorter than their male counterparts on average.
The other lesser-known organ of the body is your thyroid. It is responsible for interacting with the pituitary, hypothalamus, and peripheral tissues within the body. The main hormones produced are TRH and TSH. TRH is a thyrotropin-releasing hormone. TSH is thyrotropin. Both are necessary for a wide variety of body functions outside of growth hormone production and metabolism.
Medical conditions that can impact height
When it comes to height, not everyone has genetics or environments on their side. There are many different medical conditions that can impact your height. Some can make you extremely tall such as pituitary tumors, Marfan syndrome and Klinefelter’s syndrome are a few. Other conditions can make you short such as Turner syndrome and achondroplasia.
Any deficiencies with either thyroid or growth hormone will easily be seen in a growing person’s height and overall health. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are medical conditions that can happen at any age due to diet, genetics, environment, cancer, etc.
Childhood illnesses can also impact growth. This is primarily due to the fact that the body is using its resources to combat disease instead of using it for growth. Minimizing the amount of disease during childhood helps many individuals grow into tall healthy adults.
If you or anyone you know shows symptoms or signs of these sorts of conditions make sure you contact a medical provider for further testing, addressing concerns, and medical advice.
Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, Fats: The Building Blocks of Your Body
While you may already know the importance of calcium for growing bones, there are still many other vitamins and minerals that are just as important. For instance, your body needs adequate amounts of vitamins C and D to properly absorb calcium and iron. By eating the right food combinations you ensure optimal absorption of nutrients from your food.
Major minerals and vitamins that are important for growth are:
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (vitamin F)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin K
Outside of vitamins and minerals is the other important helpers: protein and fats. Protein is the building block of muscle and other tissues. Fats are where the body stores excess vitamins and minerals outside of bones and teeth. Making sure you meet all of your body’s nutritional needs is important when trying to achieve a tall figure.