Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis: The Blog

A blog for and by people living with AS

Archive for Diet

Diet, disease activity, and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

From the study’s abstract, “The aims of this study were to investigate, firstly, the relationship between diet and disease activity and, secondly, the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms and their relationship to diet among patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).”

The study’s authors concluded that, “in a group of Swedish AS patients, no correlation between diet and disease activity could be detected. There were, however, correlations between diet and gastrointestinal pain. Gastrointestinal problems were also found to be prevalent in AS, independent of NSAID usage.”

via Press – News – 460 – Diet, disease activity, and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.


Ginger May Soothe Aching Muscles

Ginger May Soothe Aching Muscles.



ept. 20, 2010 — Ginger’s soothing properties may not be limited to the stomach. A new study shows that ginger may also be an effective pain reliever for sore muscles.

Ginger has been a favorite remedy of Chinese medicine for centuries and is often used to treat nausea and upset stomach. However, researchers say, it hasn’t been widely studied as a pain reliever until now.

Daily Ginger Supplement for Muscle Pain

The study, published in The Journal of Pain, showed a daily dose of ginger easedmuscle pain caused by exercise-induced muscle injury. In two separate experiments, researchers looked at the effects of two grams of raw or heat-treated ginger in supplement form on muscle pain caused by exercise in 74 healthy adults. The participants performed a variety of exercises designed to induce muscle pain over a period of 11 days while taking ginger supplements or a dummy pill.

“Daily consumption of raw or heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury,” write researcher Christopher D. Black, of the department of kinesiology at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and colleagues.

Raw or Heat-Treated Ginger?

The results showed that raw and heat-treated ginger reduced muscle pain by 25% and 23%, respectively.

Researchers say previous studies in animals have shown that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which might help explain its beneficial effects on muscle pain.

Although some studies have suggested that heat treatment may enhance ginger’s impact on pain, researchers say their findings show heat treatment had little effect on ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever.

Fish Oils

Fish oil is rich in Omega-3.  These fatty acids are good fats for your body.  The principal fish fats areknown as EPA and DHA.   Both of them have shown great health benefits in a wide range of ways, including the healing of arthritis. However, one thing you must know is that fish fats do not work like painkillers do.  They may help alleviate the pain of arthritis but they do not do it overnight.  It will take some time before their benefits are felt. The oil of the fish works by reducing the inflammation that an arthritic patient is suffering from.  Researches have shown that the body can convert fish fats into resolvin D2—a very powerful anti-inflammatory chemical.  With even little amount of this powerful chemical established in the body, the person may already feel substantial ease in his or her joints.  Omega-3 can definitely aid to you get back on your feet.

via Fish Oils blog.

List of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Antiinflammatory Foods


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Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods

Pro-inflammatory foods will increase inflammation, increase your pain from the inflammation and may also raise your risk for chronic disease. Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and fast foods will increase inflammation in your body. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially trans fats and saturated fats. Processed meats such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease.

Saturated fats are also found in meats, dairy products and eggs. While all of these foods are important source of minerals and vitamins, you don’t need the extra saturated fat. These foods also also contain fatty acids called arachidonic acid. While some arachidonic acid is essential for your health, too much arachidonic acid in the diet may make your inflammation worse. Be sure to choose low fat milk and cheese and lean cuts of meat, which will not promote inflammation.

Diets high in sugar have also been associated with inflammation, obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes. Eliminate high sugar foods such as sodas, soft drinks, pastries, pre-sweetened cereals and candy.

Another possible source of irritation comes from the nightshade family of plants. Whole fruits and vegetables are important to eat for their vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants, however some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant may actually make pain from inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine can trigger pain in some people. While there isn’t any formal research findings that back the claim about nightshade plants, some people believe they get relief from the symptoms of pain and inflammation.


Choose Anti-inflammatory Foods

Adding foods that reduce inflammation will improve how you feel and help to decrease your risk for chronic diseases. Here are some suggestions.

Fats and Oils

The right types of fats in your diet will impact pain and inflammation in a positive way. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They are found in cold water oily fish, walnuts, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds. Adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements from flax oil or fish oil may also help reduce inflammation, just be sure to speak with a doctor or nutritionist before taking larger, therapeutic doses of any supplement, or follow label instructions.

Olive oil is another type of oil that will reduce inflammation. In fact, olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and will help to reduce pain. Other healthy oils include rice bran oil, grape seed oil, and walnut oil.


Your body needs protein to build healthy body tissues. Good protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood, nuts, legumes and seeds. Red meats may trigger inflammation, so cut back on fatty red meats. When you do eat red meat, choose lean cuts of bison, venison and other game meats, or the lowest-fat cuts of beef, preferably grass-fed beef.

Soybeans, tofu, and soy milk are three great sources of soy proteins that may help to reduce your pain and inflammation.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Most of your carbohydrates should come from whole grains, vegetables and fruits. The bread, cereal and pasta in your diet should be mostly be 100% whole grain products. Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber, and a high fiber diet will reduce your inflammation.

Choose green leafy vegetables, green and brightly colored vegetables and lots of fresh whole fruits. You should eat at least five and preferably more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Green vegetables and whole fruits are also important as sources of dietary fiber.

Berries are also a great food choice, especially blueberries and strawberries which are packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and anti-oxidants. The pigments in brightly colored fruits, vegetables and berries contain many phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. One example is quercetin, which is found in apple and red onion skins and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Healthy Beverages

Your body needs water in the form of foods and beverages every day. The simplest and maybe best form of water is fresh drinking water. Other good fluid sources include 100% fruit juices, herbal teas, vegetable juices and low fat milk. About 20% of the water you need every day will come from the foods you eat.

Anti-inflammatory Diet Tips

Over all, when you are choosing anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce your inflammation and pain, choose fresh foods instead of heavily processed foods. Here are some tips:

  • Breakfast could be oatmeal served with fresh berries and walnuts, with a cup of soy milk.
  • Snack on whole fruits, nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables throughout the day instead of cookies and candy.
  • Eat more fish and less fatty red meat.
  • Stay away from deep fried foods and bake or stir fry your meals instead.
  • Choose green, orange, and yellow vegetables for your side dishes.
  • Drink plenty of water, fresh 100% fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas and green tea.


Use this Nutrition and Calorie Guide for Men and Women to help you determine how many calories you need each day. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to reduce your pain from inflammation.




Dr. Perricone’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Dr. Perricone’s anti-inflammatory diet is the cornerstone of the Perricone Program. The right anti-inflammatory foods and beverages will help prevent age-related diseases and degenerative conditions – both physical and mental. By following an anti-inflammatory diet, our food choices ensure that our skin will look youthful, supple and radiant, our mental states positive and upbeat, our energy levels high and our thinking clear and sharp.

The anti-inflammatory diet consists of the following components:

  •  high-quality protein, like that found in fish, shellfish, poultry and tofu;
  •  low-glycemic* carbohydrates including colorful fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, legumes such as beans and lentils;
  • healthy fats, such as those found in cold water fish (especially wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, anchovies, etc.), nuts, seeds, and olive oil
  •  8 -10 glasses of pure spring water per day.
  •  Anti-oxidant rich beverages such as green tea 

    These foods and beverages act as natural anti-inflammatories and help to maintain normal levels of insulin and blood sugar. The incomparable health and beauty benefits of Dr. Perricone’s anti-inflammatory diet are visible in just three days.

    *will not provoke a glycemic response when consumed in moderation 

    To read more on this topic, go to Dr. Perricone’s blog at

  • via Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Perricone Lifestyle

    Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    The Solution: Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    You can help keep chronic inflammation at bay by simply making some basic lifestyle changes.

    Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to stave off chronic inflammation. Basically, extra fat fuels an inflammation response in people, so too much of you, can lead to too much inflammation.

    Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, a diet loaded with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, and fiber-rich whole grains and beans, seems to reduce and prevent inflammation. Study after study link this type of Mediterranean-style diet with lower levels of C-reactive protein.

    Found in higher-fat fish like salmon, as well as canola oil, walnuts and flaxseeds, a healthy balance of omega-3s with other fats reduces production of hormone-like substances that stimulate inflammation.

    Studies also show lower levels of inflammation in those who exercise regularly. Exercising is also an excellent way to help maintain a healthy weight, another important inflammation-reducing strategy.

    Supplements like glucosamine, sulfur, and chondroitin are available for inflammation, but keep in mind they only alleviate inflammation symptoms, and don’t address the underlying causes of the inflammation, as do the soothing lifestyle changes. Supplementing your diet with a good multivitamin, however, ensures you get the right level of nutrients you need everyday. And if you’re not a fish fan, you should take a fish-oil pill that supplies 500 to 1000 mg of EPA and DHA combined.

    via Anti-Inflammatory Diet.