Many things determine your height — particularly by your genetics, nutrition as child, and your overall health. Once the body stops growing after a certain point (18 years old for women and 24 years old for men); your height will remain the same from thereon. So we’ll break it to you right off the bat, there’s no magic pills or contraption that will help you grow taller when you’re well into your mid-20s. That said, there are many things you can do to avoid stunting your growth before it’s too late.
How to Avoid Stunting Your Growth
There is a limit on what you can do to grow taller but for teens, certain types of foods actually contribute to stunted growth. Ideally, you want to start early to prevent any developmental problems.
Contrary to the popular notion that coffee stunts growth, it doesn’t. There is no scientific basis to back this claim. However, since coffee contains caffeine, it could cause sleep disruptions in children. Sleep is instrumental in child growth. Ideally, children and teens need at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep for maximum height development. So coffee should be off limits if you or your kids want to grow taller in the future.
Smoking not only causes cancer and a long list of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, it could also affect height development, especially on teens. Young people who smoke or teens exposed to second-hand smoke may have inadvertently stunted their growth. In fact, individuals who smoked or were exposed to second-hand smoke at an early age tend to be shorter than those who did not smoke or were not exposed to second-hand smoke.
Avoid Using Steroids
Steroids are common treatment for children and teens suffering from respiratory ailments like asthma. However, this compound could actually cause developmental problems in kids. Steroids decrease breast size in women, lowers sperm count in men, and elevates blood pressure. Taking steroids will cause a lot of heart and bone problems especially on teens. In one study, teens who were taking steroids as kids were half an inch shorter than those who never took steroids at all during their youth.
Proper Nutrition to Reach Your Full Height
Eating your way to taller height — is there such a thing? You bet. Proper nutrition is instrumental to reaching your full height. The right combination of vitamins and minerals will help develop bones, make them stronger, and give the body the energy it needs throughout the day. You could grow taller by boosting your diet with:
Calcium not only prevents the onset of osteoporosis, it also promotes better bone growth! Boost your calcium intake by eating your greens and consuming more dairy products like organic cheese and milk!
Just like calcium, vitamin D aids in muscle and bone growth. If you’re vitamin D deficient, you won’t achieve your full height. You can get your daily allowance of vitamin D by simply going out and spending enough time under the sun. But don’t go out after 10AM or you’ll burn your skin! Also, you can take fish oil supplements and add more mushrooms and oily fish to your diet to get more vitamin D.
Zinc is by far the easiest to get because most foods—including eggs, chocolates, fruits and vegetables—contain this compound. Zinc deficiency in kids is linked to retarded growth. Boost your zinc intake by taking supplements too!