While height depends largely 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 key role in healthy development while also 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, which are a type of 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 levels of 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.
Rich in protein along with a range of other essential nutrients, chicken can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
It’s particularly high in vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin that’s crucial when it comes to growing taller and maintaining your height.
It’s also loaded with taurine, an amino acid that regulates bone formation and growth.
What’s more, 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.
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 important vitamin can come with serious side effects, including stunted growth in children.
Almonds may also help foster bone health. In one small study in 14 people, consuming almonds was found to inhibit the formation of osteoclasts, which are a type of cell that breaks down bone tissue.
4. Leafy greens
Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, arugula, and cabbage, are superstars when it comes to nutrition.
While the exact 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 your height.
One study in 103 women even showed that regular intake of greens was associated with a significantly lower risk of decreased bone mass.
Yogurt is a great source of several key nutrients that are important for growth, including protein.
In fact, just 7 ounces (200 grams) of Greek yogurt pack in 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.
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 taller or maintain your height.
They also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can promote digestive health and foster the growth of good gut bacteria.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can also boost nutrient absorption to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need for growth and development.
Plus, sweet potatoes are packed with other important nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Quinoa is a highly nutritious type of seed that’s often swapped in for other grains in the diet.
It’s one of the few plant-based foods that’s considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that 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 important for bone health as well.
Eggs are truly a powerhouse of nutrition.
They’re especially rich in protein, with 6 grams packed into a single large egg.
Plus, 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 resulted in increased growth over a 6-month period.
What’s more, one study in 874 children observed that regularly eating eggs was associated with increased monthly height gains.
Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, are all brimming with important nutrients.
They’re especially high in vitamin C, which promotes cell growth and tissue repair.
Vitamin C also increases the synthesis of collagen, which is 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.
Salmon is a fatty fish that’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of heart-healthy fat that’s 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 negatively affect growth as well.
Additionally, salmon is high in protein, B vitamins, selenium, and potassium.
Milk is often considered a key component of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
It can also help support growth by supplying several nutrients that are important 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.
The bottom line
Nutrition plays a central role in promoting proper growth and development.
Filling your diet with a variety of nutritious ingredients can not only enhance overall health but also help you grow taller or maintain your height.
Therefore, it’s important to load up on wholesome, nutrient-rich foods to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.