Children cannot wait to grow taller; they think that when they are taller they can do just about anything, whether it is riding the roller coaster or playing basketball. Parents, on the other hand, want to see their children grow up in height because it is a sign of good health. No matter what their motives, both parents and children share a common goal that is achievable through proper nutrition. Certain vitamins can help children grow taller. These vitamins are available in food and dietary supplements.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Vitamin A boosts the body’s immune system and aides in growth, vision and reproduction. Retinol and beta-carotene are the two most common sources of Vitamin A. The human liver stores retinol and beta-carotene, where it draws Vitamin A when needed.
Retinol, also known as “true” Vitamin A, comes from animal foods, such as chicken, beef, liver, eggs and fish. Fortified foods, such as cheese, cereals and dietary supplements, also have Vitamin A. Beta-carotene, is not a “true” Vitamin A because the body should convert it to retinol first before it becomes Vitamin A. Most orange and dark green plant foods, such as carrots, mangoes, squash, sweet potatoes, collard and kale, are rich in beta-carotene. Fortunately, some foods tastes yummy even to small kids, so there will be no forcing needed to get enough Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is available as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate in dietary supplements.
The B vitamins aid in growth, development and various functions of the body. They are important parts of enzyme activities, chemical reactions and body-energy production.
Vitamins B5 (pantothenic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) both play important roles in growth and development of the body. Almost all foods have Vitamin B5, while Vitamin B12 is present in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk and milk products. The American Cancer Society recommends a balanced diet with five daily servings of fruits and vegetables plus grains to provide children with all the B vitamins needed for growth.
Pantothenic acid and calcium-D-pantothenate are common forms of Vitamin B5 available as a dietary supplement. Cyanocobalamin is the form of B12 most commonly found in vitamin supplements.
A water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C is necessary for normal growth and development of the body. It is responsible for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Aside from healing wounds, Vitamin C is also important in the repairing and maintaining the bone structure, teeth and cartilages. It is also an antioxidant.
Unfortunately, the body does not produce Vitamin C on its own. In addition, the body does not store it; therefore, including Vitamin C-rich foods in your child’s diet is important if you want him to grow taller. Your child should chow down on fruits and vegetables that have Vitamin C, such as green and sweet red peppers, citrus fruits and juices (orange and grapefruit juices), strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens, spinach, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, winter squash, papaya, mango, blueberries, cranberries, pineapples, watermelon and cantaloupe.
Dietary supplements typically contain Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.
According to Colorado State University, Vitamin D (calcitrol) plays an important role in mineral metabolism and bone growth. It is also important in the absorption of calcium in the intestine.
Fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and cod, are rich in Vitamin D and so are liver, beef, eggs, milk, yogurt, margarine, cheese and mushrooms. Vitamin D-fortified orange juice and cereals are also rich in Vitamin D.
The two forms of vitamin D used in dietary supplements are ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).
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