Some foods contain nickel for which the alarm has been triggered in Italy: it is better to know which they are to avoid allergies and infections. Nickel is a mineral found in soil and drinking water. As with other minerals, the body only needs small amounts of nickel to function regularly.
Nickel is also found in many foods, but it can pose a serious risk to those with a sensitivity to nickel or an allergy to nickel. Cases of nickel allergy have increased by 50% over the past decade. This may be due to the end of artisanal mining practices that once limited human exposure to nickel sulfide minerals in water supplies.
Additionally, manufacturers have begun to use more nickel-based alloys for food storage and cookware, as well as nickel-plated closures and hinges on home appliances. Therefore, indirectly, we are prone to absorb more nickel than we should.
What foods contain nickel?
Nickel is found in soil, water and air and is a component of cigarette smoke. About 75% of nickel intake comes from water, the rest from food and air. Foods high in nickel include:
- Black tea: 0.05mg / 100g and green tea: 0.036mg / 100g;
- chocolate: 0.4 mg / 100 g;
- coffee: 0.016 mg / 100 g;
- plus: 0.34 mg/kg;
- coconut: 0.41 mg / kg and coconut oil: 0.5 mg / kg;
- goat milk: 0.15 mg / kg;
- hazelnuts: 0.28 mg / kg and pecans: 0.4 mg / kg;
- farina d’avena: 0,26 mg/kg;
- peanuts: 3.2 mg/kg;
- soy: 0.32 mg / kg;
- bietole: 0,06 mg/100 g;
- wholemeal bread: 0.26 mg / kg.
How much nickel is there in a portion of food? As nickel varies it is not possible to calculate precise amounts in food. The only way to know the nickel content in food is to have it analyzed.
Why is nickel in food a problem? Nickel is a toxic element that can cause arthritis, asthma, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, infertility and skin problems.
What happens when you have an allergic reaction to nickel? Nickel allergy often occurs when the immune system mistakes nickel for a pathogen. In response, the body produces antibodies – called immunoglobulin E to trap and neutralize the metal. This allergic reaction causes the release of histamines, chemicals responsible for inflammation, itching and irritation.
An allergic reaction to nickel can occur in the skin, joints, lungs and digestive system. Nickel allergy is diagnosed when symptoms manifest after exposure and worsen over time. Symptoms of a nickel allergy include skin rashes and blisters, itching, joint pain, digestive problems, nosebleeds, and headaches.
How do you know if you have an allergic reaction to nickel? If you experience allergic symptoms after eating certain foods that you normally consume, it is possible that you have a nickel allergy. For those allergic to nickel, the best way to reduce exposure is to avoid foods containing nickel. Unfortunately, this can be difficult, as nickel is found in many of the foods we consume.