How tall you grow will be determined by various factors like heredity, genetics, exercise and diet during your growth years. Your height increases from birth to the end of your puberty. However there are some growth spurts and the fastest growth period for girls is from 12-18 years and for boys is from 13-20 years. So don’t worry. If you are still 16, you have at least 4 more years to grow tall if you are a boy and 2 more years if you are a girl. Diet and exercise play an important role in determining how tall you will grow. Try the following dietary and lifestyle modifications to boost your height.
- Include a variety of foods from all the food groups to complete a balanced diet. This include whole grains, cereals and cereal products, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole pulses, beans, sprouts and legumes, skimmed milk and skimmed milk products.
- When it comes to increasing your height certain nutrients need to be focused on. These include calcium, vitamin D and good quality proteins. Good source of all these nutrients include skimmed dairy products, especially yoghurt, sesame seeds, skinless poultry, fish and sea food, lean meat, sprouts, pulses, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, egg whites and sunlight. Calcium from yoghurt is better absorbed than that from milk or any other milk product. So different flavors of unsweetened yoghurt can be included in your daily diet.
- Junk foods, other unhealthy fats and sweets in any form should be avoided completely. For instance decrease your consumption of pizzas, burgers, donuts, cakes, pastries, cookies and crackers that are high in trans fats (margarine and butter), candies, chocolates, deep fried or oily foods, carbonated drinks, sweetened fruit juices, sodas and colas. These foods provide excess calories without the supply of essential nutrients needed for good health, growth and development. Although they are difficult to resist at your age you can try to avoid them as far as possible. Choose healthy options like whole fruits or fresh fruit juices instead of artificial fruit juices, colas or sodas.
- Indulging yourself in sports is good but not every sport will help. Focus instead on sports which will help to increase your height; for example indulge in vertical extension exercises like playing basket ball, volley ball, skipping or swimming. Combination of these activities will also be helpful. A simple vertical extension exercise which you can perform at home itself is standing by a wall and trying to touch the ceiling by extending your arms, spine and legs.
Avoid chewing tobacco or smoking and any kind of stress completely.