08 July, 2011
Nutrition for Height Growth
In addition to a balanced diet for health, there are specific nutritional requirements for height growth. Height is largely determined by genetics, but to achieve maximum height growth, you have to have healthy bone structure. An essential mix of protein, vitamins and minerals can help you achieve maximum growth.
A study led by Catherine Berkey at Harvard University showed that dairy protein is especially beneficial for height growth. The research followed the growth of more than 5,000 girls and showed that their eventual adult height was linked to the amount of dairy products they ate during adolescence, with those who ate more milk and dairy protein becoming taller adults.
One of the key vitamins for height growth is vitamin C, which is an important component for bone growth, according to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. It is critical for growth and repair of not only bone but also connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, that support the skeleton. To get plenty of vitamin C, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, and avoid smoking, which depletes vitamin C levels.
Found in foods such as green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, apricots and green peppers, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, beta carotene is an essential vitamin for bone growth because it is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain normal growth and bone development. Vegetables such as carrots, squash and spinach are especially rich in vitamin A, and most milk is supplemented with it.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin D is needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Vitamin D deficiencies cause bones to become thin, brittle or misshapen. The best way to get vitamin D for height growth is from short, regular sun exposure -- being careful not to burn. However, supplements such as cod liver oil can boost your vitamin D if you live in a cloudy climate and during the winter.
A South Dakota State University study on the relationship between bone growth and exercise in children showed that children with higher calcium intake had more bone growth than those who had lower calcium levels. Your body needs calcium throughout your life to build and maintain bone levels, so make calcium-rich foods such as dairy, sardines and leafy greens like spinach, a part of your diet for height growth.
- MIXA next/MIXA/Getty Images