Eating for Ankylosing Spondylitis: Foods That Can Help Support Strong Bones

Reducing inflammation with foods high in omega-3 fatty acids

AS causes inflammation in your spine, but other areas of your body may also be affected. More research is needed, but eating foods that fight inflammation may, in theory, help reduce the severity of AS flares.

Research shows omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) are as effective as ibuprofen at reducing pain and inflammation in people with arthritis. The form of omega-3s found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna is thought to be superior to the type found in plant sources and some grass-fed animals.

Beneficial herbs and spices

Some herbs and spices contain calcium and other compounds that may support strong bones and help reduce inflammation. Even so, be cautious and talk to your doctor before using fresh herbs and spices or herbal supplements as medicine. They’re unregulated and may cause side effects or interact with prescription medications.

Consider these options:

  • Red clover is a good source of isoflavones, chemicals that act like estrogen in your body, as well as calcium. Some research has shown the isoflavones in red clover may boost bone density and prevent bone loss in menopausal women.
  • Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. According to a 2008 study, vitamin K deficiency is associated with low bone density and bone fractures.
  • Stinging nettle is high in calcium and magnesium, both of which are good for bone health. It’s also known as one of nature’s natural painkillers due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Eating a healthy diet overall

    It’s important to add foods that support bone health to your diet. Eating a wholesome diet is good for your health overall, especially if you have a chronic condition. Keep in mind that some foods that are high in calcium such as high-fat dairy products may also cause inflammation in some people. If you need help creating a healthy eating plan, consult your doctor or a registered nutritionist.

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