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Nickel Allergy Diet – When Food Becomes Your Enemy 

 April 11, 2015

By  Barbara Njuguna

I bet many of you have been wondering about the science behind the low nickel diet, also known as the nickel allergy diet. Well, I have too! I have been following Athena Allergy’s Low Nickel Diet for 4 years now, well on and off, you know how good food is. Anyway, the Low Nickel Diet is stated by most researchers that it helps rashes and eczema in your body. Well, I believe it heals much more than that. For you, one %ers who look at nickel and cringe, well, I am speaking to you. For me, I can cheat for two days, and all sorts of things happen eczema, indigestion, migraines, insomnia, throat infection, swollen lymph nodes, and more than I can remember, no wonder I am so neurotic.
 
 
Do you feel my frustration? Well, let’s go through this nickel allergy diet, and you might also think food is your enemy.
 
 
Ashimav D Sharma wrote in the Indian Journal of Dermatology that a nickel allergy might develop at any age. Once it has developed, it tends to persist life-long. {I guess all my prayers were for nothing.} Nickel is present in most of the dietary items, and the consideration of foods is a significant source of nickel exposure for the general population. Nickel in the diet of a nickel-sensitive person can provoke dermatitis. The reaction can influence the outcome of the disease and can benefit the nickel sensitive patient. There are reports of severe reactions such as erythema multiforme and vasculitis following oral challenge.
 
 

The evidence for the role of dietary nickel in provoking/aggravating eczema in a nickel allergy is as follows:

Flares of eczema and patch test sites happen upon oral nickel challenge.[5] Improvement of dermatitis on a low nickel diet.[16]
Improvement of dermatitis by oral disulfiram {alcoholic medication, who knew?}, which chelates nickel and increases its excretion.[17]
 

Food with high nickel content, irrespective of the soil content that exacerbates a person with a nickel allergy, should be minimized to stay on a low nickel diet.

Whole wheat, whole grain, rye, oat, millet, buckwheat, cocoa, chocolate, tea, gelatin, baking powder, soy products, red kidney beans. Legumes, peas, lentils, peanut, soya beans and chickpeas, dried fruits, canned foods, beverages, strong licorice, and certain vitamin supplements.

Food with high nickel content, irrespective of the soil content that exacerbates a person with a nickel allergy, should be minimized to stay on a low nickel diet.

  • Whole wheat
  • Whole grain
  • Rye
  • Oat
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Cocoa
  • Peas
  • Peanut
  • Chickpeas
  • Canned Foods
  • Strong licorice
  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Gelatin
  • Baking powder
  • Soy products
  • Red kidney beans
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Soya beans
  • Dried fruits
  • Beverages
  • Certain vitamin supplements

List of Steps

1

United Kingdom

Beer, red wine, mackerel, tuna, herring and shellfish, sunflower seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, marzipan, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, raw carrots. The mean total dietary intake of nickel is between 0.12-0.21 mg in UK [20]

4

United States

Beer, red wine, mackerel, tuna, herring and shellfish, sunflower seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, marzipan, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, raw carrots. The mean total dietary intake of nickel is 0.17 mg in US.[25]

2

Canada

Beer, red wine, mackerel, tuna, herring and shellfish, sunflower seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, marzipan, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, raw carrots The mean total dietary intake of nickel is 0.207-0.406 mg in Canada.[26]

5

Denmark

The dietary intake of nickel in Denmark is comparatively higher. It could reach over 900 μg/day, and this is due to the increase intake of oatmeal and legumes, including soybean, nuts, cocoa and chocolate.[27]

3

Finland

Beer, red wine, mackerel, tuna, herring and shellfish, sunflower seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, marzipan, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, raw carrots The mean total dietary intake of nickel is 0.13 mg in Finland,[24]


6

India

Indian diets are rich in plant food compared to the Western diet, which is rich in animal food, and therefore, it contains a considerable amount of nickel. Cereals, pulses, and vegetables constitute the main bulk of the Indian diet. Pulses comprise varieties of gram, lentils, beans, and peas, which have high nickel content. Vegetables used in Indian diets include green leaves, roots and tubers, and other vegetables. Vegetables such as spinach, onion, and garlic are prevalent and found to contain moderately high amounts of nickel. Consumption of tea throughout India; dried tea leaves used for beverages have high nickel concentration, which is about 3.9-8.2 mg/kg. [28]

The high concentration of nickel found in processed foods is called free nickel, picked up from the stainless steel used in equipment and containers. In general, cooking in stainless utensils releases a negligible amount of nickel; however, cooking acidic food in these utensils may increase the nickel content.

The nickel daily dietary requirement is 25-35 μg.[30] However, the role of nickel in biochemical functions is not clear.

Are your brain’s fried? Well, mine is wondering how I am still alive. Thanks for taking the time to read all this maybe it might help you. Why don’t you tell me if your food just became your enemy after reading this? Also figure out if you are sick or is it your allergies

Barbara Njuguna


Neurotically Nickely Challenged😫, food lover 🍱, social explorer🧘🏾‍♀️, & trying to navigate this adult life as nickel free as possible😓

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