Foods to eat to grow taller during and after puberty
There are different factors affecting growth and development during the entire life cycle. All these factors could be categorized in two main groups: Genetic and environmental factors.
Nutrition is one of environmental factors. In collaboration with other environmental factors such as climate, altitude, migration and urbanization, nutrition influences on retardation or acceleration of hereditary potentials of individuals (Mlyńska, 2002).
Growing taller and nutrition are closely correlated. The process of cell division and their development requires an adequate supply of energy, amino acids, water, lipids, vitamins and minerals.
With food, people receive about 50 essential nutrients for growth. For instance, the addition of vegetables, fruit and cow milk to Chinese diets improved the child growth in the past decade in China (Chang S. at al., 2007).
Can Milk make you grow Taller?
Milk consumption is associated with increased growth in height. It contains several essential nutrients, protein and calcium. Look at Africa as an example;
An average sub saharan african male stands between 5’5″ and 5’8″ depending on the country. But look at all the cattle raring tribes in the region ; The watutsi in Rwanda, Ankole in Uganda, Dinka in Sudan, and Masai Men In Kenya are among the tallest in their respective countries.
Roberts and Bainbridge reported the average height of 182.6 cm (5 ft 11.9 in) in a sample of 52 Dinka Ageir.
Yet many other cattle men just like the Masai stand over 6’5″. The shortage of any essential nutrient will result in growth retardation.
A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that each daily cup of non-cow’s milk consumed was associated with 0.4 centimeters (0.15 inches) lower height than average for a child’s age.
“We found that children who are consuming non-cow’s milk like rice, almond and soy milk tended to be a little bit shorter than children who consumed cow’s milk,” said Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the study’s chief author and a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Milk contains calories, protein, and calcium, among other nutrients, and bioactive components such as insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), all of which may facilitate bone growth.
Another study indicated that adult height was positively associated with milk consumption at ages 5-12 and 13-17.
Inadequate amounts of food or too low caloric food is the primary cause for growth failure, especially when the growth velocity is high.
Foods That Help you Grow taller during and After Puberty
According to Donald K Layman of The American Journal of Clinical nutrition, various protein sources may exhibit different effects on bone metabolism.
Some, but not all, studies have found that meat ( including poultry and fish ) as a protein source is associated with higher serum levels of IGF-1 , which is in turn associated with increased bone mineralization and fewer fractures. Soy foods have been linked with lower levels of IGF-1.
In addition to that, in a 3 year clinical study of 342 healthy men and women 65 years of age and older, those who consumed the most protein and were supplemented with calcium experienced the greatest improvement in bone mass density, and most of the protein consumed was animal protein .
Low protein intake impairs both the production and action of IGF-I (Insulin-like growth factor-I).
IGF-I is an essential factor for bone longitudinal growth, as it stimulates proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes in the epiphyseal plate, and also for bone formation. It can be considered as a key factor in the adjustments of calcium-phosphate metabolism required for normal skeletal development and bone mineralization during growth.
Best sources of animal protein: Chicken and turkey, pork, Beef, eggs, Fish and sea food, diary (milk, cheese etc).
Best Fruits : Avocados (2g/100g), Guavas (2.6g/ 100g) , Blackberries (1.4g/ 100g), Bananas (1.1g/ 100g), Jackfruit (1.7g/ 100g), Passion Fruit (2.2g/ 100g), Apricots(1.4/ 100g) Kumquats (1.9g/ 100g).
Best Vegetables: Sprouted Beans including soy , Peas & Lentils ( 13.1g/ 100g) Lima Beans (6.8g/ 100g)
Green peas (5.4g), Cooked Succotash (Corn And Limas- 5.1g) Kale (4.3g) Broccoli (2.8g)
white cooked mushrooms ( 3.6g) Cauliflower (1.9g) Edible-Podded Peas (3.5g)
Vitamin D is important for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus by the body. It’s essential for the formation and health of bones, teeth and cartilage.
Peak bone mass is usually achieved by age 30; therefore, physical activity and obtaining the recommended doses of calcium and vitamin D in adolescence and young adulthood will ensure peak bone mas.
There are two forms – D2 is found in some foods and D3 is produced within the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Dietary vitamin D2 is found naturally in egg yolk, mackerel, cod and halibut liver oils, salmon and sardines.
Vitamin D is also added to some foods. In the UK, margarine has to be fortified with vitamin D by law. In the US milk is fortified with vitamin D.
This is an essential component in the body’s normal blood-clotting process and plays an important role in maintaining bone health. Most vitamin K is produced by micro-organisms in the intestine, and is stored in the liver.
Dietary vitamin K is largely obtained from green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage, and some vegetable oils including soybean and rapeseed.
Minerals that Help You Grow Taller
Can Calcium Help You Grow Taller ?
Calcium is very important when it comes to bone architecture and is required for deposition of bone mineral throughout life. 99% of the calcium in the body is stored in bones and teeth.
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Tinned salmon and sardines with bones, some leafy green vegetables like broccoli, Kale, and calcium-fortified foods.
Zinc is a micro mineral needed in the diet on a daily basis, but only in very small amounts (50 milligrams or less). When the effect of zinc supplementation on growth velocity was assessed, it was established that zinc supplementation increases growth velocity over a 12-month period.
Zinc plays a role when it comes to hormonal mediation by participating in
a) Growth Hormone synthesis and secretion.
b) the action of Growth Hormone on liver somatomedin-C production
c) somatomedin-C activation in bone cartilage.
In addition to these multiple functions, zinc also interacts with other hormones some how related to bone growth such as testosterone, thyroid hormones, insulin, and vitamin D3
Oysters, Beef , Pork, Baked beans, Chicken, diary products, pumpkin seeds.
Best Fruts: Dried Apricots, Dried Peaches, Prunes, Avocados, Blackberries, bananas, Figs, Raspberries, Dates.
Best Vegetables: Cooked Cabbage, Palm Hearts, Lemon Grass, Green Peas, Cashews, Mushrooms, Spinach.
Carbohydrates and Fats
According to Ron Zernicke director of the U-M Bone & Joint Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Center, Current research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, may actually improve bone mass density and increase calcium absorption.
Fruits and vegetables contain non digestible carbohydrates, like inulin-type fructans, that cannot be digested by the small intestine. Hence, as they move toward the large intestine and begin to be processed, they produce organic acids that enhance the disbursement of calcium throughout the body.
Carbohydrates are also the main power source of our bodies. They are stores of small, simple carbs that are split up and enter our bodies as sugar.
Carbohydrates are found in many foods. However, diets high in refined sugar have been studied extensively and shown to affect bone growth and mechanical strength. Drinking carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks is associated with significant decrease in bone mineral density.
You should stay away from foods with excessive sugar and simple carbs like pasters, pastries and refined grains.
Rather, opt for healthier ones like earth’s Best Certified Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal, earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal , fruits, vegetables and other whole grain foods. Like Maize and whole wheat/ bread.
Further reading about nutrition and other necessities for growth – Grow taller After Puberty Exercise routine hand book.
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