A healthy diet is essential for normal growth and development. To grow as tall as possible, you need the right nutrients for your body to make new cells and build strong bones. Many kinds of vegetables supply nutrients for your body to grow taller, and they are most effective when you eat them as part of an overall balanced diet.
Your diet needs to provide enough calories, protein and vitamins and minerals for normal growth, but it is important to keep your expectations for growth realistic. You may be shorter than your peers because you have short parents and do not have the genetic potential to be as tall as you would like, or you may simply need to wait patiently for your growth spurt because you are a late bloomer. Talk to your parents or doctor if you are concerned about your height.
Dark Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens can help you grow taller because of their bone nutrients. They provide calcium, which is a primary component of your bone mineral, as well as magnesium and potassium, which are also part of the mineral in strong bones, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. They are rich sources of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting but may also support bone growth and strengthening.
Beans and Peas
You need protein from the diet so that your body can make new cells for growth, and beans are an excellent plant-based source. You get about 6 to 9 g protein in 1/2 cup of cooked split peas, yellow peas or beans, such as lima, black, pinto, garbanzo and kidney beans. They are excellent sources of potassium, and they can help prevent a zinc deficiency, which is a cause of growth impairment, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center.
You need to get enough calories from your diet so that your body has energy to grow, and starchy vegetables may help. Starch is a kind of carbohydrate with 4 calories per gram, and potatoes, beets, winter squash and sweet potatoes are all high in starch. Folic acid is an essential vitamin for the growth of new cells because it allows your body to make new genetic material, or DNA, and it is in turnips, beets and other root vegetables, according to the University of Maryland.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010; January 2010
- University of Maryland; Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid); Steven Ehrlich; May 2009
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Zinc; Jane Higdon; December 2003
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Potassium; Jane Higdon; February 2004
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Vitamin K; Jane Higdon; May 2004