Your parents weren’t lying to you as children – you really should drink your milk and eat your veggies.
As it turns out, your parents know a thing or two about foods that can stunt your growth. Subconsciously they wanted their children to grow up to be big and strong, so as kids we were taught that being tall and slender is the ideal.
In different cultures it is customary to have different diets, and you may have noticed how some nations have a taller average height. In Asia, for example, the people are generally shorter, while in Europe they are known for being tall and slender.
We all love our carbs, but unfortunately they haven’t been given the best reputation when it comes to nutrition. We grow bigger and taller when we are fed proper nutrients, and simple carbohydrates such as white bread, rice, and pasta are all foods that are lacking in proper nutrition. A diet high in carbohydrates can have a stunting effect on your growth.
These simple carbohydrates provide quick energy for your body’s cells. If you consume large amounts of carbohydrates, they will quickly convert into glucose, and if the glucose has nowhere to go it gets stored in your body as fat.
Another important aspect of your “grow taller” diet is focusing on where your food ranks on the GI index. Foods high on the GI index, like rice and potatoes, will spike your insulin levels and inhibit the ability of growth hormones in your body.
Studies say that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine. What you may not have known is that sugar is also said to have a stunting effect on your growth.
A diet high in sugary substances, such as candy, chocolate, and cookies, has an indirect effect on your ability to grow taller. It is especially important to focus on children, as they have a tendency to gravitate towards these sugary snacks. When the tummy is full on candy and chocolate, there is no room left for foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and a balanced mix of whole grains, lean protein, and dairy products. These nutritionally dense foods are needed for proper growth.
Say goodbye to McDonalds if you’re trying to become tall and more importantly, lean. But don’t act surprised – these processed foods are full of mood altering chemicals, additives, preservatives, and various other ingredients that are all known to have a stunting effect on growth.
It can be hard to give up these foods. They’re cheap, convenient, and most importantly, tasty. But they have been chemically altered to make us reach for more. Prepackaged food, such as chips, noodles, and ready-to-eat meals are laden in sodium, leading to water retention and weight gain. They are enhanced with mood altering chemicals that turn on the pleasure centers in our brain. We become addicted, and in turn, forget about keeping a balanced diet.
A balanced diet is what gives our bodies the ability to grow taller, but a diet full of junk food is sure to stunt your growth.
Let’s not forget about drinks – completely devoid of nutrients, soda is possibly one of the worst offenders when it comes to foods that can stunt your growth. This sugary beverage is available in many forms – from 7up to Coca Cola to Fanta – and oftentimes we reach for them as a substitute for water or vitamin and mineral-rich juices and milk.
When you guzzle that sugar-filled beverage, your stomach temporarily inflates with carbonation and acidity, potentially damaging any vitamins or minerals you may have consumed earlier in the day. It also leaves you feeling full, and when you do become hungry, your brain will have you reaching for another nutritionally devoid snack. It’s a vicious cycle – drink soda, crave sugar, and repeat. In that pattern, you have no time for a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals and lean protein, which are all known to enhance growth and keep your body running smoothly.
The verdict is still out on whether or not soy products inhibit growth, but one thing is for sure – unfermented soy products contain phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of calcium.
Calcium, found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, is one of the main contributors of strong, healthy bones. Mom always said to drink your milk, and she had good reason. Our bodies are constantly removing small amounts of calcium from our bodies and replacing it with new calcium, so by consuming unfermented soy products such as tofu and soymilk, our bones may become brittle and weak.
Brittle bones are not able to grow, and therefore we come to the conclusion that unfermented soy products will stunt your growth.