Height is largely due to genetics. Once a person reaches adulthood and stops growing, eating certain foods will not make them any taller. During years of growth and development, however, good nutrition can help a person reach their full height and support their body in growing and developing healthily.
This article will look at certain foods that may help support growth and development. It will also discuss some other factors that may play a role in healthy growth.
When a person is growing, their bones continue to grow in length until the end of puberty. Bones have growth plates called epiphyses.
As a person reaches the end of puberty, these growth plates fuse together, and the person stops growing.
Some factors that influence how tall a person will be include:
- Genetics: Genes largely determine how tall a person is. According to some research, genetics contribute about 80% to a person’s height.
- Sex: One
2017 articlenotes that females typically stop growing by the time puberty ends. Males typically reach their final height at 18 years old.
- Hormones: The body produces hormones that can affect a person’s growth.
Learn more about which factors influence a person’s height here.
Once a person reaches adulthood, they will not get any taller. However, good nutrition and overall health during growth and development in childhood and adolescence may play a part in how tall a person becomes.
Learn more about whether or not adults can grow any taller here.
Is it possible for children?
Aside from genetics, certain environmental factors can affect height. These include nutrition, exercise, sleep, and illness.
Eating a balanced diet plays an
Eggs contain many nutrients that are important in growth and development.
One large whole egg
- 24.1 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 6.24 grams (g) of protein
- 1.24 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D
- 35.7 mcg of folate
- 0.513 mcg of vitamin B12
According to some
A 2017 study in Ecuador looked at the effects of eating eggs as a young child. Children aged 6–9 months consumed one egg per day for 6 months.
Compared with the control group, the group that ate eggs showed significant improvements in linear growth and a decrease in stunted growth.
According to the
|Age||Recommended daily intake in mg|
|0–6 months||200 mg|
|7–12 months||260 mg|
|1–3 years||700 mg|
|4–8 years||1,000 mg|
|9–18 years||1,300 mg|
Dairy is a rich source of calcium. A person can find calcium in the following dairy products:
|Dairy product||Calcium content|
|Part skimmed ricotta, 4 ounces (oz)||335 mg|
|Plain, low fat yogurt, 6 oz||310 mg|
|Low fat skim milk, 8 oz||300 mg|
|Part skimmed mozzarella, 1 oz||210 mg|
|Cheddar cheese, 1 oz||205 mg|
Non-dairy sources of calcium
These non-dairy foods provide the following amounts of calcium:
|Cooked collard greens, 1 cup||266 mg|
|Cooked broccoli, 1 cup||100 mg|
|Cooked kale, 1 cup||179 mg|
|Cooked bok choi, 1 cup||160 mg|
|One whole orange||55 mg|
|Tofu, 85 g|
Products fortified with calcium, such as fortified cereals, are also good sources of this nutrient.
Vitamin E is an important vitamin for children.
According to one
Vitamin E deficiency is more common in children than adults due to the limited stores of the vitamin and the rapid rate at which children grow.
Almonds are high in vitamin E.
The Office of Dietary Supplements note that 1 oz of dry roasted almonds provides
People can eat almonds raw, roasted, or as almond butter.
Beans and legumes, or pulses, are excellent sources of nutrition. They include:
- kidney beans
- cannellini beans
- navy beans
- pinto beans
Legumes are a good source of protein. They also provide:
- B vitamins
Fish, such as tuna and salmon, provide vitamin D and calcium.
A person can consume the following fish as sources of vitamin D and calcium:
|Fish||Vitamin D content||Calcium content|
|15 mcg||220 mg|
|7.3 mcg||241 mg|
|4.8 mcg||382 mg|
Vitamin C is an important component for bone health. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which is
Many fruits are rich sources of vitamin C, including the following:
|Fruit||Vitamin C content|
|Orange, 154 g|
|Orange juice, 248 g|
|Grapefruit, 308 g|
|Grapefruit juice, 248 g|
|Kiwi, 75 g|
|Strawberry, 150 g|
|Cantaloupe melon, 156 g|
Berries may also help prevent osteopenia, which is a condition that causes the bones to become brittle due to a loss of bone mass.
Carotenoids from plant sources, such as yellow and orange vegetables, may help improve bone health, according to a
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A.
One whole sweet potato, baked in the skin, provides
According to one 2014 article, a lack of sleep can affect a child’s growth and development.
Some signs that a person is getting enough sleep include:
- falling asleep within 15–30 minutes of getting into bed
- waking up easily at a set time each morning
- feeling awake and alert throughout the day
The amount of sleep a person needs depends on their age. The
|Age||Hours of sleep|
Exercise is also an important factor in growth and development. Regular physical activity — such as climbing, running, and jumping — helps strengthen muscles and bones.
Genetics play a large part in how tall a person is. Once a person reaches adulthood and stops growing, they will not become any taller, regardless of the food they eat.
For children and teenagers, however, nutrition plays an important part in making sure that they experience healthy growth and development. Getting enough sleep and exercise are also important factors.
As an adult, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help maintain good bone health.