We often hear of arthritis as a bad condition often suffered by the elderly. However, there are other worse conditions stemming from it that we rarely recognize. One of these is ankylosing spondylitis.
This is a type of arthritis where the bones of the spine suffer long-term inflammation. This sometimes extends to the portion of the spine joined by the pelvis, while at other times the shoulders and hips are also affected.
The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are far-reaching. Sometimes they can also affect the eyes and the bowel movement. Intermittent back pain is a staple, coupled with the progressive loss of flexibility on the joints.
It is believed that ankylosing spondylitis is caused by genetic factors, but its exact roots remain a mystery. On top of medical treatments, though, symptoms can be managed by ensuring proper diet. Note that with this, you also have to ask your doctor how your planned diet can impact the effectivity of any medicines you are taking as of the moment.
Just like regular arthritis, certain foods can trigger changes in the intensity of AS symptoms. Some foods are inflammatory by nature, while others directly relieve inflammation. Ensuring your diet has more of the latter than the first will also help you live a higher quality of life despite AS.
Food & Nutrition Diet (Meal Plan) for Ankylosing Spondylitis
#1 Recommended Breakfast Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a bone condition, so bone-improving food should be at the top of the list of any AS patient. This means you have to start off your mornings with milk. Some types of fish, such as anchovies, also contain a high amount of calcium.
Aside from calcium, whole grain foods are also great for AS. Just be careful with the grains you take, and introduce them to your diet one at a time. There are some grains that can trigger further inflammation depending on one’s genetics, so stop your most recent diet addition if you feel AS biting back.
Try to minimize processed foods, as these can increase your weight and further cause strain to your bones (on top of the other lifestyle issues these may cause).
#2 Recommended Lunch Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Eating omega-3 rich foods has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of AS. Omega-3 is abundantly found in fish, such as tuna and salmon. It can also be found in other healthy foods such as soy and walnuts.
When frying food, try to use healthy oils like soybean oil, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.
Meat is generally good for AS patients,.as long as they are white or lean meat. Red meat, on the other hand, contains a specific acid that aggravates the inflammation.
#3 Recommended Dinner Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis
A well-balanced and light dinner is always best. Make sure to include a lot of fruits and vegetables to your regimen, so you could get more nutrition. There are no unwanted fruits and veggies for AS, which gives you a huge set of options when cooking up that dinner side-dish or salad.
#4 Recommended Snacks for Ankylosing Spondylitis
If you’re into salad, you can make a high-calcium snack from ingredients such as fortified cheese and dark greens like kale. So long as your body does not have any adverse reaction to whole grains and other gluten-containing products, you can also snack on corn, cereals, oatmeals, flaxseed, and similar products.
#5 Recommended Drinks for Ankylosing Spondylitis
As mentioned earlier, high-calcium drinks such as milk are well-recommended for those with AS. If you are training to improve your constitution, the usual dose of protein shakes won’t hurt. Just don’t overdo the latter (and your training) because you don’t want to gain more muscles than your bones could support.
#6 Recommended Herbs for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Therapy and traditional treatment can keep AS at bay, but herbs can also do wonders. Several Ayurvedic herbs have been shown to help reduce the symptoms, by acting on different areas. For example, Asthi Shrinkhala is a type of herb that helps in the bone constitution. Moringa is another such remedy, which also helps other portions of the body.
Turmeric is widely known for its ability to manage inflammation due to its active curcumin content. On the other hand, certain herbs (among them Vitex negundo and Boswellia serrata) help improve joint health and relieve pain further.
#7 Recommended Fruits for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Bananas are useful for AS due to a different reason. One of the common treatments for AS is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs, when taken over the long term, can thin the digestive lining and cause other issues. Bananas (along with yogurt and other live-culture food) can help restore your intestinal flora, ensuring a healthy gut and the efficient absorption of minerals.
Fruits of any kind can also be used as healthy snack alternatives, allowing you to stay full without the guilt (and pain). Go easy on the sweet fruits, however, as too much of them can cause in sugar accumulation, therefore leading to possible weight gain.
#8 Recommended Vitamins for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Vitamin D is the most important vitamin for AS patients, as it benefits bone formation. This can only be absorbed through direct (and safe) sun exposure, so it’s perfect in combination with mild physical activity that can further help you maintain a healthy weight.
People with AS also tend to have low levels of Vitamin B6, so getting it from fish, healthy meat, whole grains, and peanuts is also important. Of course, Vitamin C is essential to help your immune system cope with any incoming diseases. This last one has also been shown to help in creating connective tissues for the spine.
#9 Recommended Minerals for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Calcium is the most important mineral here, as it helps build the bones.
#10 Discouraged Food for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Alcohol is a big no-no for those suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, since it tends to disrupt bone formation therefore further weakening the body. It also tends to promote weight gain, which can be harmful.
Like any other condition, make sure you take in fats, sugar, and salt in moderation. These have the tendency to create other lifestyle issues (especially when AS impedes you from having a very active lifestyle).
Despite being a fairly mysterious disease, ankylosing spondylitis can be very easily managed. The key here is to maintain a healthy weight and optimum nutrition, and the body will follow.
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