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Nickel and chocolate. Why preparing it well is important
There are many reasons why scientists study the relationship between cocoa and nickel. In this respect, we’re facing changes thanks to the evolution of science and research; as our understanding of nickel grows and evolves.
Many people are still convinced that there are inherently bad foods. Innovations in modern immunology helped understand that there is no such thing as bad food, rather, the excessive consumption of a food item makes it unhealthy for those who eat it.
I’ve written about it in an article on LifeGate, but there are many other reasons why scientists investigate the relationship between cocoa and nickel.
Cocoa is often considered a potential enemy because it contains nickel but today the role of this element in food and human health has radically been revised and it’s known that there are other reasons why people react to nickel. These include the presence of other heavy metals in food, the soil where it was cultivated, the way it has been cultivated and the presence of some types of fat in chocolate.
New research has shown the role of nickel in human health and the reasons why this substance sometimes provokes reactions, so today chocolate and nickel together aren’t considered completely bad.
Our body naturally contains nickel (every molecule of hemoglobin contains some nickel). This substance in food is healthy (for example for those who suffer from anaemia) but can also cause itchiness in case of contact dermatitis or dhysidrosis. Moreover, scientists discovered that in many cases the excessive consumption of foods containing nickel (including tomatoes and spinach) triggers systemic and general allergic reactions producing the symptoms classified as SNAS or Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome. So far, we’ve only given bad news. But clinic experience reveals that although hazelnuts, almonds and tomatoes are very rich in nickel, consuming them isn’t dangerous as soon as people start to clear out their system from them. A very good piece of news.
Nickel in food
We should separately consider the presence of nickel in food and the substance’s potential negative effects, which depend on many other factors. The amount of nickel contained in a food item (spinach, pear, cocoa or tomato) depends on the characteristics of the vegetable. The presence of nickel salts in the pollen from which fruits develop is known to have intense natural anti-parasitic properties. A plant could protect itself from parasites or harmful insects through the amount of nickel its fruits contain.
A few myths to dispel
Reactions to nickel are individual. This highlights that they depend on other factors than the amount of nickel in a food item.
So, food is not harmful when it contains nickel, it is harmful when it contains too much nickel or when this metal is combined with other substances that trigger reactions to nickel.
Reactions mainly depend on the following factors:
– toasting (of dried fruits)
– nickel interaction with oil and fat
– combination of nickel and hydrogenated vegetable fats
– cultivation and irrigation methods
When the habit of choosing high quality food will spread, when it will be clear that producing high quality chocolate has a positive effect on our society and is way better than producing chocolate with potentially toxic fats, then nickel will be acceptable and poor quality fats won’t.
To achieve this revolution, in light of the most recent immunology innovations, we should take into account:
- The cultivation methods;
- The respect of soil pH;
- The choice of suitable oils to prepare chocolate;
- The conservation of the natural antioxidants contained in cocoa.
This will also lead to reduced amounts of nickel in food which will have lower odds of triggering allergic reactions in allergy-sensitive individuals, provoking a reduced clinical reactivity such as that provoked by organic walnuts and almonds.
In this respect, we’re facing changes thanks to the evolution of science and research; as our understanding of nickel grows and evolves.
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