Getting Started , Part 1

If you have been diagnosed with or suspect you have 
Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome (SNAS), it is important to understand that it is connected with, or is a consequence of Allergic Contact Dermatitis - and one of the most effective treatments is to implement a low-nickel diet.  
Systemic reactions to nickel can be closely connected with the naturally occurring presence of the element - nickel in our foods, or to the presence of added nickel through preparation, manufacturing, packaging and cooking methods. 
The low nickel diet can significantly reduce the following symptoms of nickel allergy or intolerance - dermatitis, hives, eczema, rashes and i(often extreme) itching.  Other symptoms include headaches, migraines, asthma, IBS, colitis, joint swelling and pain, tinnitus and more.  These symptoms often occur with a number of other conditions, so SNAS is often difficult to diagnose as a result.

In order to achieve symptom reduction, it is important to avoid certain foods.  The low-nikel diet recommendations fall under 3 general categories:
·                Foods that naturally contain Nickel : beans, peas, nuts seeds chocolate, and more;
·                Foods that do not contain nickel, but that come into contact with certain processing and baking procedures : flour milling, acids (tomato products, lemon, citrus) cooked in stainless steel cookware, canned food;
·                Foods that absorb the Nickel from soil in which they are grown (dark leafy greens, root vegetables),or the waters in which they are caught or bred: the tap water that comes in contact with nickel in the plumbing pathways and pipes.
It's easier to start with the top nickel-loaded foods - and to eliminate them right away.  And consider that most other foods will be relatively safe in a balanced diet.
Many foods (including many that are normally considered very healthy otherwise) contain traces of nickel,that contribute to, or trigger reactions for those of us who are allergic or highly intolerant, while causing no such reactions to otherwise healthy individuals.  The top nickel-loaded foods include:
1.            Chocolate and cocoa powder: these are the foods with the highest concentration of absolute Nickel, caused by the long refining processes and constant contact with steel machinery. Cocoa powder has a nickel concentration of 9.8 ug per gram!
2.            Cashews : despite their purported health benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, these nuts are among the highest in Nickel and therefore must be eliminated
3.            Beans and legumes , especially lentils
4.            Green leafy vegetables :  such as spinach, lettuce, kale and certain cabbages should be avoided.
5.            Whole wheat flour and whole grains have a high concentration of Nickel
6.            Peanuts, almonds and walnuts and seeds : flax seeds, sunflower seeds
7.            Soy : including tofu, soy sauce and soy beans
8.            Shellfish : shrimp, oysters, clams
9.            Meat and canned fish , like “tinned beef or pork” or canned tuna, salmon, herrings etc.
10.        All canned products : green peas, chickpeas, legumes in general, fruit, peeled
Other foods to avoid or reduce with a lower concentration of nickel:
Raw tomatoes, onions, carrots, beer, red wine, eggs, asparagus, parsley, peppers, potatoes, yeast.
These foods can be eaten sparingly, but it is suggested to avoid in the early stages of the low nickel diet.
In addition to the foods to avoid, some important suggestions:

DAILY HABITS - What to include:
·                Eat foods rich in Iron -  to counteract the absorption of nickel;
·                Take Vitamin C  - also counteracts nickel absorption
·                Use cookware suitable for those suffering from allergies to heavy metals:  ceramic, glass, carbon steel, cast iron.  For stainless steel,  the 18/10 acronyms, 18/8 and 18/0  on the pans reflect the ratio of nickel alloy in the material.  Stainless steel it is an alloy composed of iron, chromium, nickel and other metals. The first number indicates the percentage of chromium present in the alloy, the second shows the percentage of nickel. If you are allergic to the latter material, it is therefore necessary to choose pots and pans in stainless steel 18/0, ie totally free of nickel.
·                do not use aluminum foil in the kitchen
·                drink a lot of water

This should all help get you started on the low-nickel way of life, and you are encouraged to keep exploring and learning more.


No comments: