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15 Foods High in Nickel to Avoid

Nickel is a mineral that is present in a lot of the foods we eat. This mineral may not cause any adverse effects on many people, but for those who have a nickel allergy, you may experience rashes, stomach aches, respiratory issues, and headaches.

Even if you don’t have a nickel allergy, eating an excessive amount of food that has nickel may cause you to have these reactions too. Whether you’re avoiding nickel because you have an allergy or trying to improve your health, here are 15 foods high in nickel to avoid.

1. Oats

If you’re a fan of oatmeal or oats in any other recipe, you may need to cut back if you have a nickel allergy. Even though oats and oatmeal are said to be great for our bodies, if you have a nickel allergy, they may not be a great option for you.

The recommended daily nickel intake is 25-35 micrograms or .025 to .035 mg. If you eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, you’ve already consumed around .22 mg of nickel before noon.

2. Shrimp

There’s nothing tastier than a delicious plate of shrimp scampi or a shrimp boil. You hear about people telling pregnant women to avoid fish and shellfish due to the mercury content, but shellfish, especially shrimp, are high in nickel. When you boil shrimp, the nickel content reduces, but it’s still considered a high nickel food with 3,000 mg per serving.

The good news is that most fish are relatively low in nickel, so you don’t need to cut back on all seafood.

3. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are the perfect salty snack on the go, but you may want to choose something different for those with a nickel allergy or sensitivity. These seeds are some of the highest nickel foods. For one serving of sunflower seeds, there is 356,000 mg of nickel. That sounds like a bag reaction waiting to happen.

4. Spinach

I think we’ve all been told to eat more spinach at least once in our life. This leafy green provides our bodies with essential vitamins and minerals and is generally great for our overall health. But did you know that spinach is high in nickel?

I didn’t either! Spinach has roughly 3,000 mg of nickel per serving. If you only eat a small amount of it since a serving of spinach is a lot, you may not experience any symptoms.

5. Peas

I don’t know about you, but I love peas. You can toss them into rice, have them as a side dish, you name it. But as great as these veggies are for us, they’re surprisingly high in nickel. A serving of peas has 22,000 mg of nickel. That’s way more than the recommended daily amount.

6. Pineapple

Pineapple has a high nickel content no matter how you consume it. Fresh pineapple has about 50,000 mg of nickel per serving. Canned pineapple and pineapple juice have a lower amount of nickel, but it’s still very high. Canned pineapple has 15,000 mg, and canned pineapple juice has 6,000 mg.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate is comfort food for a lot of people, but this decadent food has quite a lot of nickel. The interesting thing is that when talking about chocolate generally, people will say that dark chocolate is better for you. But, if we’re going off of nickel content, standard milk chocolate is much better.

Dark chocolate has between 268,000 and 276,000 mg, whereas milk chocolate has between 72,000 and 92,000 mg. That’s still very high, though.

Read more in our dedicated article about coffee and nickel.

8. Raspberries

Raspberries are another popular fruit that is high in nickel. A serving of raspberries has about 17,000 mg of nickel. Of some of the other foods on this list, they have a lower amount. You may be able to eat more raspberries before reacting, but your body will tell you when enough is enough.

9. Peanuts

Peanuts are a delicious snack whether roasted, boiled, or in butter form. Unfortunately, peanuts are rather high in nickel. They have a similar nickel content to oats at about .21 mg per serving. Therefore, if you’re sensitive or allergic to nickel, cutting back on peanut products will help you feel a lot better.

Read more in our overview of peanuts and their nickel content.

Foods High in Nickel to Avoid (1)
Foods High in Nickel to Avoid

10. Coconut

This tropical fruit may remind you of summer or a vacation you took to the beach when you were young, but the nickel content in coconut is higher than you probably think. A serving of coconut has 129,000 mg of nickel. If you think you can drink coconut water or milk with a nickel allergy, they have a higher nickel content than if you were to eat coconut shavings.

11. Avocado

Do you love avocado toast or avocados in general? Well, avocados are high in nickel too. In addition to all the other nutrients that avocados give our bodies, they give us a little too much nickel. A serving of avocado has about 100,000 mg of nickel.

Read more in our post: Is Avocado High in Nickel?

12. Lentils

Lentils are a popular choice for people who follow a gluten-free diet since they’re naturally gluten-free. If you’re eating lentils for this reason, but you also have a nickel allergy, this food may be doing you more harm than good. A serving of lentils has over 200,000 mg of nickel.

But, if eating lentils is crucial for your gluten-free diet, you may be able to eat these and then cut back on other high nickel foods.

13. Crab

Similar to shrimp, crab meat has a high nickel content too. A serving of crab has about 16,000 mg of nickel. If you’re really are craving shellfish, eating shrimp has a significantly less amount of nickel than crab meat.

14. Whole Grains

We always hear about how whole grains are better for our body than white bread or a diet without grains. But are whole grains better for people if they have a nickel allergy? They’re not since whole grains tend to have about 29,000 mg of nickel. This can vary, though.

15. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are another seed high in nickel. Depending on how many sesame seeds you use in a recipe, a serving can have over 80,000 mg of nickel. Maybe next time you’re making an Asian-inspired dish lay off the sesame seeds.