Patient Blogs | Ankylosing Spondylitis
The Food-AS Connection
photo of woman cutting fruit on cutting board

As a kid during the balmy summer days, I would often meet up with a gang of friends from my neighborhood and explore our local community. 

We used to take advantage of those perfect, sunny days by jumping on our bicycles and having an entire day full of outdoor adventures! We would always ride along the dirt trails at the empty field nearby. It was so much fun!

The hot summer days often concluded with a ride to the strip mall to get some goodies from the candy store.

Our shopping list included items such as gum, Popeye candy sticks, raspberry licorice, and the highly sought-after Surprise bag for just 25 cents! I was especially fond of the Surprise bag because it held a delightful amount of sweet treats.

Those were the days! You could buy a ton of candy for just one measly dollar.

As a 10-year-old, I ate whatever my heart desired -- sometimes even two bowls of Captain Crunch cereal for breakfast! For fashion, I didn’t worry about squeezing into a particular pair of jeans; after all, who was I trying to impress?

I’ve since ditched my bike rides for going on invigorating hikes and exchanging sugary treats for more nutritious snacks.

Age has taught me that taking care of my health is paramount, which means making wiser lifestyle choices in the present moment.

Even with ankylosing spondylitis, it’s easy to fuel your body with anti-inflammatory foods. It doesn’t have to be difficult! With the right knowledge, it’s easy to understand which food choices can help manage my arthritis symptoms.

My basic motto is this: If it comes out of the ground or grows from a tree, it’s good to go!

Eating anti-inflammatory foods is important when managing ankylosing spondylitis. Fortunately, there are tons of great options that taste good and provide a delicate balance of vitamins and minerals to help keep the body functioning at its best.

Here are some anti-inflammatory food suggestions for those trying to manage joint pain:

  • Try foods packed with antioxidants. Incorporating fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, and blueberries into your diet can help decrease inflammation in the body.
  • Load up with vitamin C. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and carrots help to combat inflammation. With these superfoods on your plate, you can give yourself a boost of natural energy that’ll fuel your body for the day.
  • Fuel up with anti-inflammatory benefits. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are brimming with wholesome fats that can benefit your health.
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna can help combat inflammation.
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas are extraordinary sources of protein and dietary fiber.

Eating meals that are full of anti-inflammatory foods can help keep the inflammation down in your body while also providing plenty of nutrients to help keep you healthy and able to manage ankylosing spondylitis effectively.

It’s important to remember that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of tasty recipes out there that incorporate these anti-inflammatory foods. 

You can do a Google search for anti-inflammatory recipes or search out videos on YouTube. One of my favorite anti-inflammatory YouTube channels is Andrew Bernard|The Nard Dog Cooks.

I recently whipped up his vegan anti-inflammatory soup. This was, hands-down, one of the most mouthwatering soups I’ve ever concocted! Even better? It’s incredibly easy to make!

When managing ankylosing spondylitis, my other motto is: “Keep it simple.” This is especially true when cooking in the kitchen.

If you’re managing ankylosing spondylitis, it’s essential to be aware of any foods that your body may not tolerate. Eliminating these dietary triggers from your diet will help you manage the condition more effectively. My advice is to stay away from those specific trigger foods for the best results.

Eating colorful and nutritious food is key to maintaining an outstanding quality of life and giving you the vitality to make the most out of all your favorite activities.

You can manage inflammation through the right diet, and adding these anti-inflammatory foods will help you better manage ankylosing spondylitis. Start incorporating them into your meals today to improve your health.

If you have questions about incorporating these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, please consult with your doctor. They’ll be able to provide you with personalized advice on what foods will work best for your condition. 


Stay connected to others with ankylosing spondylitis. Join our Facebook Support Group now. 




Photo Credit: Maskot via Getty Images

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Lovaine Cohen

Lovaine Cohen

Diagnosed since 2001

Lovaine Cohen has lived with ankylosing spondylitis for over 20 years. A chronic pain coach, Lovaine helps women reduce pain with her Holistic Healing Method program and shares pain management and anxiety tips on her blog and on Instagram. Her loves include her two children in their early 20s, a rescue husky named Stella, and her husband of 28 years. Connect with Lovaine on Instagram.

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