Diet and recommendations for ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a pathology that causes a process of arthritis in the area of ​​the spine. It is characterized by developing inflammation and swelling between the vertebrae, generating functional disability and pain. It can be treated with drugs, although a good diet is key as well.

Keep in mind that many rheumatic and inflammatory processes can be prevented by improving lifestyle habits. Regular exercise is key, as is good rest and a balanced and varied diet.

Why is diet important in ankylosing spondylitis?

As we have mentioned, ankylosing spondylitis is a pathology that occurs with an inflammatory process and degeneration of cartilage. In all these processes, providing the appropriate amount of certain nutrients is vital to prevent the progression of symptoms.

There are some compounds, such as the fatty acids of the omega 3 series, which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory. According to a study published in Nutrition, can improve the effectiveness of arthritis treatment, reducing pain and future progression.

Likewise, it is important to include the necessary doses of calcium, since this mineral guarantees good bone and joint health, according to research published in Nutrients. In any case, calcium is not always properly assimilated at the intestinal level, so it is important to ensure a good combination of food to generate an efficient metabolism.

To know more: The effects of omega 3 on the brain

Recommended foods in ankylosing spondylitis

We are going to show you what foods can help treat and prevent ankylosing spondylitis. If you include them regularly in the diet and you suffer from the disorder, you may notice improvement in the manifestations.

Blue fish

Oily fish are characterized by their content of omega 3 fatty acids. These, as we have commented, are capable of modulating and alleviating inflammatory mechanisms, thus generating an efficient management of the problem. They are useful for preventing acute episodes of pain.

The consumption of oily fish is not only useful for ankylosing spondylitis, but it is beneficial for various aspects of the body.


Turmeric has a phytonutrient inside it, curcumin, which is also capable of exerting a positive effect when it comes to controlling inflammation in the body. According to research published in Journal of Medicinal Food, supplementation with turmeric extract it is effective in helping to treat all the processes that have to do with arthritis.

Spicy foods

One of the characteristics of spicy foods, such as chili, is the presence of a compound called capsaicin inside. Although it may not be suitable for delicate stomachs, it has the power to reduce inflammation in the body and modulate pain.

It is used topically through creams, but its intake is also recommended against ankylosing spondylitis.

Discover: Properties of capsaicin, present in hot peppers

Foods not recommended in ankylosing spondylitis

Just as there are products and nutrients that can help relieve symptoms, there are others that will have the opposite effect. This list will serve as a guide to develop a nutritional plan in this regard.


High amounts of simple sugars can exert an inflammatory effect, from the increase in blood glucose levels and, therefore, the demand for work at the pancreatic level.

The consumption of these ingredients contributes to increasing the sensation of pain and of rigidity, reason why it should be avoided as far as possible.


Sausages usually contain additives inside. Although many of these have shown levels of safety in the medium term, the truth is that they can cause an increase in inflammation. For this reason, they must be avoided, both in the regular diet of a healthy person and in the diet of those who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis.

Sausages are almost never recommended in the diet, due to the content of salt and additives.


In general, all industrial ultra-processed foods have to be eliminated from the diet. They have trans fatty acids in their composition.

These are related to a worse state of health and an increase in inflammatory mechanisms in the body. For this reason, they can increase the sensation of pain.


Alcohol intake increases liver workload, since this organ will have to take care of its metabolism to eliminate it later. This generates an increase in general inflammation, which can be counterproductive in the processes of ankylosing spondylitis and other arthritis.

Take care of your diet and habits to improve ankylosing spondylitis

As you have seen, improving dietary habits is key to preventing the progression of the disease. It is recommended to increase the consumption of fresh food, such as vegetables and fish, thus reducing the presence of ultra-processed products of industrial origin.

Likewise, avoiding alcohol and promoting the practice of physical exercise on a regular basis maintains the functionality of the body. In addition, it is optimal to rest properly at night, since at this time the damaged tissues are repaired.