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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What foods to eat to increase height in children?


Are you looking for ways to help your child grow taller and healthier? If so, you might be interested in knowing what foods can boost their growth and development. While height is mostly determined by genes, nutrition is also very important for building strong bones and muscles. In this article, we will share some of the best foods that can help increase height in children and how they work.


Foods that are high in protein

Protein is a key nutrient for growth, as it helps build and repair tissues in the body. Protein also helps increase the levels of a hormone that stimulates growth in children. Some of the best foods that are high in protein are:

  • Beans: Beans are not only rich in protein, but also in iron and B vitamins, which can help prevent anemia and support tissue growth. Beans also contain fiber and other minerals that are important for overall health.

  • Chicken: Chicken is another great source of protein, as well as vitamin B12, which is essential for growth and development. Chicken also contains taurine, an amino acid that helps regulate bone formation and growth.

  • Eggs: Eggs are one of the most complete sources of protein, as they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. Eggs also provide choline, a nutrient that helps improve brain function and memory.

  • Dairy products: Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in protein and calcium, which is the main mineral that makes up bones. Calcium also helps keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis later in life. Dairy products also contain vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium and promotes bone growth.


Foods that are high in calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is vital for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and hormone secretion. Besides dairy products, some other foods that are high in calcium are:

  • Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and bok choy are good sources of calcium, as well as iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help protect against inflammation, infections, and oxidative stress that can affect growth.

  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are rich in calcium, as well as healthy fats, fiber, protein, and vitamin E. These nutrients can help prevent bone loss and support overall health.

  • Fish: Fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are not only high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but also in calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the bones. Fish also contains vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption and bone growth.


Foods that are high in vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for bone health and growth. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food and regulates the growth of bone cells. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children, a condition that causes soft and weak bones that can affect height. The best way to get vitamin D is from sunlight exposure, but some foods that can also provide vitamin D are:

  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are one of the few plant sources of vitamin D. They can produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Some types of mushrooms such as shiitake, portobello, oyster, and chanterelle have more vitamin D than others.

  • Fortified foods: Fortified foods are foods that have added nutrients that are not naturally present or are present in low amounts. Some common fortified foods that contain vitamin D are cereals, orange juice, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, and tofu.

  • Cod liver oil: Cod liver oil is a supplement that is derived from the liver of cod fish. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin D available. It also contains vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit eye health, brain health, and heart health.


Other foods

Besides protein, calcium, and vitamin D, there are some other foods that can help increase height in children by providing other nutrients that support growth. Some examples are:

  • Fruits: Fruits such as oranges, apples, bananas, berries, and kiwis are high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps boost immunity and collagen production. Collagen is a protein that forms the structure of bones and connective tissues. Fruits also contain fiber, potassium, and other phytochemicals that can improve digestion and overall health.

  • Oats: Oats are a whole grain that are high in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. They can help provide energy and keep blood sugar levels stable. Oats also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are important for growth and metabolism.

  • Yogurt: Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. Probiotics can help improve digestion, immunity, and nutrient absorption. Some studies have shown that probiotics can also increase growth in children by enhancing the production of growth hormone and IGF-1.


Summary

Height is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and health. While there is no magic food that can make a child grow taller overnight, there are some foods that can help provide the nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and development. By including these foods in a balanced and varied diet, along with regular physical activity and adequate rest, children can reach their optimal height and enjoy a better quality of life.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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