Allergic reactions to nickel are rare, but as with all allergies, there is a percentage of the population that suffers from legitimate nickel allergies. While nickel is a mineral that is recommended for daily intake, the normal recommended amount is so small that anything more could cause a negative reaction in a person who has a nickel allergy. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid nickel allergies.
Buy quality cookware. Many less-expensive lines of cookware and pots and pans are made of multiple types of metal, including nickel, and then coated with a non-stick finish. As the cookware is used and the non-stick coating wears off, there is an increased risk of exposure to any nickel content in the metal of the cookware. Purchase pots and pans that are stainless steel or copper to help eliminate the risk of nickel exposure.
Eat a variety of fresh vegetables. Nickel is found in dried beans and peas, as well as in some fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating fresh beans and peas will decrease your risk of a nickel allergy, and choosing a wide variety of fresh produce will mean that you are consuming fewer fruits and vegetables that contain nickel.
Wear sterling silver instead of gold. Most gold and gold-plated jewelry contains nickel alloys, but sterling silver jewelry does not, which means less chance of skin irritation or a rash from exposure to nickel.
Read labels. Nutrition labels on packaged foods are required by the Food and Drug Administration to list all of the ingredients that a food contains, including any that could be potentially harmful to people with certain allergies or conditions such as peanut allergies or diabetes. When checking fat grams and fiber content, look for nickel in the list of minerals to help you monitor your daily intake.
Consult a dietitian to understand the effects of the allergy and be knowledgeable of foods and minerals you need to avoid. A dietitian can identify foods containing nickel and find healthy alternatives that won't aggravate your allergy.