Life Wellness

The Suprising Connection Between Nickel Allergy and Food

December 30, 2014
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Do you have unexplained and uncomfortable skin rashes that you suspect might be connected to your diet?  After living with uncomfortable and embarrassing rashes for months on end, I finally discovered the link between nickel allergy and food

Is your healthy diet causing skin rashes? The surprising connection between nickel allergy and foodEvery day more and more of us transition to healthier, plant-based diets, and for good reason.  Plant-based foods are a great source of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

But wherever these nutrients are found, you’ll probably find another ingredient: nickel. Since soil is rich in nickel, so are many of the foods grown in soil. 

Nickel, in and of itself, isn’t harmful.  However, in a nickel-sensitive person, too much nickel can cause problems, including an intensely-itchy rash that may appear anywhere on the body, but often appears as hand eczema.  Other symptoms include swelling, pain, nausea, insomnia, and anxiety.

Doctors are reporting an increase in nickel-related food allergies due, in part, to the growing popularity of whole, unprocessed foods. 

As nickel-sensitive people increase their intake of healthier foods, they’re eventually surpassing their body’s ability to handle all of the extra nickel they’re eating and start experiencing nickel-related problems.

As I share in my book, my first major nickel-related outbreak occurred just a couple of weeks after my husband and I watched this video, ran out and bought a juicer, and began making juices with tons of raw fruits and veggies. 

We were so excited about our new healthy habit that we probably overdid it a bit.  Little did I know, I was overloading my body with nickel from two high-nickel foods (spinach and kale) and two “trigger” foods (apples and lemons).

Of course, I’m not recommending you ditch your healthy diet due to nickel allergies. My diet is still made up of a large amount of plant-based foods. 

But now that I’m aware of the nickel allergy and food connection, I’m careful not to overdo certain high-nickel foods.  By listening to my body and paying attention to the symptoms, I’ve learned where my tolerance level lies, and I know better than to tempt fate and overeat the foods I’m sensitive to.  

The Surprising Connection Between Nickel Allergy and Food

The foods considered to be high in nickel vary according to different sources, but following is a list of those most often identified as nickel-rich:

  • Oats, whole wheat, wheat germ, wheat bran, buckwheat, brown rice;
  • Beans (green, brown, white), lentils, peas, soy, legumes (including peanuts), leeks, kale, spinach, bean sprouts;
  • Raspberries, pineapple, prunes, figs, dates, canned fruits;
  • All nuts (especially almonds), all seeds;
  • Tea, cocoa, dark chocolate, licorice, baking powder, and canned foods.

In addition, other foods can aggravate nickel allergy, even though the foods themselves don’t contain a lot of nickel.  These “trigger” foods include onions, carrots, apples, citrus fruits, beer, red wine, tuna, mackerel, and herring.  Many of these foods can be tolerated if they’re cooked, though.

If you know you’re sensitive to nickel and certain food or drinks are triggering your symptoms, a little detective work can help uncover the culprits. 

Try eliminating any suspect foods (they’re probably foods you eat often) for two or three weeks, then gradually reintroduce them, one at a time.  This will allow you to identify which high-nickel foods you can tolerate and which you’ll need to reduce or avoid.

A rash is one of the body’s ways of letting us know something’s wrong.  By paying attention to your body’s signals, becoming more aware of how your skin reacts after eating high-nickel foods, reducing or avoiding problem foods, and keeping a positive mindset, you’ll be on your way to lasting relief from the itch and annoyance of food-related nickel allergies.

If you’d like to learn more about the nickel allergy and food connection as well as several other surprising nickel allergy triggers and the methods I used to become completely rash-free, I wrote a book to help others dealing with this frustrating condition. 

It’s called Nickel Allergy: Stop the Itch! 7 Simple Steps to Lasting Relief.  I hope you’ll check it out. It’s filled with simple and specific steps you can take to free yourself from the itchy rashes, discomfort, expense, and embarrassment of nickel allergy.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions–I love to help!

 xo jane

Is your healthy diet causing skin rashes? The surprising connection between nickel allergy and food


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