Nickel is one of the trace elements that is found in the soil, water, and air. Therefore, it is found in most plant-based food and some animal-based food. People who are not sensitized to nickel usually does not develop any allergic reaction by eating food that contains nickel. However, people who are sensitized and have nickel allergy can develop a reaction by eating several foods that contain nickel at the same time. Some foods are high in nickel concentration but this can differ from one geographical area to another depending on the amount of nickel present.
Studies have found out that administration of nickel sulfate of 600-5600mg gives rise to hand eczema which is the commonest site of systemic nickel dermatitis. The reasons to believe that consumption of too much nickel-containing food can provoke or aggravate nickel allergy are:
- After oral nickel challenge flares up of eczema and/or nickel patch test.
- With a low nickel diet improvement of symptoms.
- Improvement with oral disulfiram treatment which is a nickel chelator.
What To Eat When You Have Nickel Allergy?
- Animal-based food has less nickel, therefore, eggs, poultry, and fish (except the fish mentioned-above) can be taken.
- Nickel concentration in milk is low therefore milk and its products can be consumed.
- Food prepared from polished rice, refined wheat and corn are allowed. Cereal made out of this can also be taken.
- Vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, and cucumber can be consumed. Other vegetables with high or moderate nickel should be consumed in low or moderate amounts and should not be consumed together.
- Green leaves contain lots of vitamins and minerals therefore, avoiding it you would lose the vitamins and minerals that you can get from it. The younger green leaves contain less nickel compared to older leaves so, you can consume younger leaves without much problem.
- From fruits, bananas should be consumed in moderate amounts. Apples and citrus food can be consumed 3-4 weeks per day.
- The cooking utensils which contain nickel (stainless steel) should be replaced. Stainless steel should not be used to cook acidic food as this can dissolve the nickel.
- The initial water the comes in the morning contains more nickel therefore, it should be avoided for drinking and cooking purposes. (1)
What To Avoid When You Have Nickel Allergy?
Here are some foods that contain nickel and sensitized people should avoid the combination of these foods together as that can increase the nickel concentration in the body.
Foods With High Nickel Concentrations
These foods have high nickel concentration irrespective of the soil content
- Whole wheat
- Whole grain
- Baking powder
- Soy products
- Red kidney beans
- Legumes – peas, peanut, chickpeas, lentils, and soya beans
- Canned foods – the tin contains nickel which dissociates from the can
- Dried fruits
- Strong licorice
- Vitamin supplements
Foods With A Considerable Amount Of Nickel
- Red wine
- Sunflower seeds
- Raw carrots
- Cow’s milk (1) (3)
Nickel is found in soil, water and air therefore, most of the food we consume contain high, moderate or trace amount of nickel plant-based food contains more nickel than animal-based food. Food such as whole wheat, whole grain, oat, rye, millet, buckwheat, gelatin, cocoa, baking powder, tea, soy products, red kidney beans, legumes – peas, peanut, chickpeas, lentils, and soya beans, canned foods, dried fruits, strong licorice, and vitamin supplements contains high nickel concentration. Animal-based food has less nickel, therefore, eggs, poultry, and fish (except the fish mentioned-above) can be taken. Nickel concentration in milk is low therefore milk and its products can be consumed. Food prepared from polished rice, refined wheat and corn are allowed. Cereal made out of this can also be taken. Vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, and cucumber can be taken and other vegetables with high nickel at moderate levels. Except for bananas, most other fruits are safe. Consume younger green leaves.
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- How Long Will It Take To Recover From Nickel Allergy & How Long Do The Symptoms Last?
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