Height is one of the most obvious physical characteristics and impacts how one is perceived by others. When puberty sets in, the pituitary gland kicks off hormonally induced growth that increases height. Most humans are still growing at age 16. Height is a product of three factors: genetics, nutrition and physical health, and hormones. Don't waste time. According to the book "The Short Child," an adolescent's growth period is relatively short, and the window for altering one's height, therefore, is rather small. Genetics, of course, cannot be altered, but dietary changes and hormonal modifications can increase one's height.
Modify your diet to maximize growth potential. Foods that most contribute to growth include carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Protein can come from both animal sources (like meats) and plant sources (like fruits and vegetables.) Carbohydrates can be obtained from cereals, breads and rices. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain foods like porridge, are healthier and score lower on the glycemic index. For essential fats, look to salmon, tuna, nuts and olive oil.
Undergo hormonal therapy. The human growth hormone, or HGH, contributes to growth, and medically elevating your levels of this hormone can increase height. However, it is not certain a doctor will prescribe hormonal treatment merely to increase height, unless there is some other serious health factor involved. Growth hormone is typically administered to those who have a natural hormonal deficiency, although children who are abnormally short and have normal hormone levels may also benefit from HGH therapy. Normally the hormone is administered daily from right before puberty until age 18.
Practice stretching exercises and yoga, which may improve your posture and give you the appearance of extra inches. The palm-tree pose, half-tree pose or seated forward bend are three yoga poses that help elongate your spine and increase height, according to Illinois Wesleyan University.
Undergo leg lengthening surgery. This surgery is an intensive procedure that involves separating the bone and implanting a metal device that extends the length of the leg. Eventually, the bone will naturally produce new bone growth to fill in the gap. The procedure can add up to 6 inches of length. As it is a solely cosmetic procedure, its use is controversial.
- Illinois Wesleyan University: Yoga
- "The Short Child"; Paul Kaplowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Jeffrey Baron, M.D.; 2006
- WebMD: What to Expect at 15 to 18 Years
- The Telegraph: Food for Growth
- Vanderbilt University: Growth Hormone
- National Institutes of Health: Leg Lengthening Surgery
- Photo Credit steel ruler image by dwags from Fotolia.com
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