Foods containing nickel

Updated April 17, 2017

Nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis, according to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Although this allergy is most often associated with the nickel content in jewellery, watchbands and eyeglass frames, it can also be intensified by certain foods. Restricting these foods may reduce the symptoms.


Green, brown and white beans are high in nickel, as are kale, leeks, lentils, lettuce, spinach, peas and sprouts made from beans and lucerne.


The fruits with the highest amounts of nickel are figs, pineapples, prunes and raspberries.


A high content of nickel is found in buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, wheat bran and other fibre products including muesli. Fibre tablets and multigrain breads also have high amounts of nickel.


Most meats, poultry and fish are fine for consumption in regard to nickel content. Shellfish like prawns and mussels, however, contain high amounts of nickel.


While most beverages pose no problems for those with a nickel allergy, chocolate drinks, cocoa drinks and tea from drink dispensers might induce symptoms for some sufferers and need to be restricted.


High amounts of nickel can be found in food items that include almonds, linseed, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and large amounts of baking powder. Sweets that contain chocolate, marzipan, nuts and strong liquorice may also have a high nickel content.


Though the following foods and beverages might not contain a lot of nickel, they can aggravate a nickel allergy in some people: beer, wine (especially red), herring, mackerel, tuna, tomatoes, onions, carrots and citrus fruits. The vegetables and fruits mentioned here usually can be tolerated when cooked.

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About the Author

Donna G. Morton lives in Atlanta and has been writing for more than 27 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from East Tennessee State University and spent 15 years in radio and corporate advertising, winning 10 Excellence in Advertising Awards for creative writing.