These two nutrients strengthen bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis. Most adults need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day, but ask your health care provider how much you require. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, kale, broccoli, and fortified cereals or juices. Vitamin D is found in some fish, and your body produces it when exposed to the sun. Your health care provider may recommend supplements.
6. Do: Ask how your medications interact with your diet.
Different medicines for AS will affect your body’s ability to absorb electrolytes and nutrients in different ways. For instance, some medicines may cause you to retain sodium, while others reduce your levels of potassium or folic acid. You may need to eat special foods or take supplements to offset these imbalances. In other cases, you’ll need to avoid certain foods that can interact with your medicines. Your health care provider or pharmacist can explain more.
7. Do: Maintain a healthy weight.
Balance the amount of calories you take in with those you burn to stay in a healthy range. Extra pounds stress your joints and bones, potentially worsening your disease. On the flip side, being underweight increases your risk for complications, from fatigue to anemia to osteoporosis. Your health care provider or nutritionist can help you find middle ground.
8. Do: Swap red meat for other options.
Most people with AS do best if they eat no more than two meals per week containing red meat. That’s because meat contains a compound called arachidonic acid. This can aggravate the inflammation that causes symptoms. Fish is a good alternative because it contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Keep fish consumption to twice a week, too. Flaxseed and walnuts are other great sources of omega-3.