Nickel is a metal present almost everywhere: in the ground, in the air, in water. It is largely used for the production of stainless steel from which derive therefrom miscellaneous equipment, pans and doors etc. Nickel is present also in the colourants for glass objects, in hair dyes and cosmetics. Many foods contain nickel, and because some are particularly rich and also because it is transmitted from the containers in which they are stored.

The content of nickel in plants is four times higher than that of animal products and is strongly influenced by the concentrations of the metal in the soil, it varies from place to place with an increase of the concentration in spring and autumn.

Nickel is the most frequent cause of allergy to metals; It produces allergic dermatitis through contact. The hands are the areas most commonly affected for the systemic nickel dermatititis.

The allergy to Nickel manisfests itself in different ways:

  • Some people contract dermatitis even after brief contact with objects containing nickel, while others develop the allergy only after many years of contact.
  • Some people develop eczema, often many years after the primary sensitisation. May be due to the continuous contact with detergents, coins and other objects that contain nickel.

For those who are allergic to nickel it becomes complicated even to eat, hence lets take a look at the general recommendations:


In order to avoid nutritional deficiencies, It is important to evaluate with your doctor the tolerability of the individual and the actual need to eliminate from the diet foods listed below. For the re-introduction of the food ask for support from a specialist. 

Foods rich in nickel

  • Cocoa and chocolate
  • Soybeans
  • Oat flour, corn flour, whole wheat flour
  • Walnuts, almonds
  • Fresh vegetables and dry
  • Rhubarb, onions, Spinach, asparagus, tomatoes
  • Margarine
  • Pears
  • Baking powder/yeast
  • Licorice
  • Canned Food
  • Beverages containing nickel (check the label)
  • Supplements containing nickel (check the label)
  • Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel
  • Seafood


  • Cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, carrots
  • Refined rice, white flour
  • Jam
  • Wine, beer
  • Coffee
  • Fresh fruit (excluding pears)
  • Sour fods in general because they may lead to the dissociation of nickel from the utensils and can increase the content of nickel of food.


  • Meat and poultry (best cuts) in the leanest parts and deprived of visible fat.
  • Eggs
  • Fish, fresh or frozen except those previously mentioned.
  • Fresh and aged cheeses such as Grana Padano.
  • Milk and its derivatives (ricotta cheese, yogurt).
  • Vegetables. With the exception of those previously mentioned
  • Cereals. With the exception of those mentioned above. Potatoes are permitted and represent a valid alternative to the starter
  • Extra virgin olive oil (raw) in the right amount for seasoning food.
  • Water, at least 2 litres of liquids per day (preferably mineral/still water)


  • An accumulation of nickel in the water pipes may occur during the night; therefore the first water that comes out from a tap in the morning should neither be drunk nor used for cooking.

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