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Why Eating Nuts Upsets Your Stomach

So you went on a health kick and started eating more nuts…

You pack pecans as a mid-morning snack, you slather almond butter on apple slices, and you top your salads with chopped walnuts.

You did all of this to be healthier, but instead of feeling better, you feel bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable after eating. What’s the deal?

Now you’re left wondering why eating nuts upsets your stomach so much.

I know how you feel. The same thing happened to me. Not only did eating nuts upset my stomach, but my mouth and throat would get itchy after eating certain nuts, like walnuts or pecans. Many people get serious digestive issues from eating nuts and assume they must eliminate them from their diet.

Barring the possibility of food sensitivities or allergies (in which case, you DO want to eliminate them), there is a way to prepare nuts that makes them easier to digest.

It took me years to find this out, but ever since, I have been able to enjoy eating my cashews and walnuts and pecans and almonds (and all those other delicious nuts) in moderation without these annoying reactions.

Why Raw Nuts Can Mess Up Your Digestion

It turns out that raw nuts contain many compounds that impair digestion, including phytates to tannins. Phytates and tannins both work by binding up minerals so they are unable to ignite the enzymatic reactions that tell a seed or nut to sprout until it is safe to do so.

Every plant has to find a way to protect itself and ensure its progeny will survive.

In this case, if an animal eats the nut, it could pass through the digestive system unharmed and possibly have a chance to sprout and grow a whole new plant.

Unfortunately, for humans, this means we can’t digest nuts very well or fully absorb the minerals from them. Phytate is like a magnet for minerals, binding them up until the seed has started to germinate. We’re talking important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.

I was so fascinated by this finding, that I did an entire research presentation on the topic while getting my degree in nutrition, looking specifically into phytates and how they impact mineral absorption in humans. Some animals (like rats and birds) can digest phytates, but humans lack the enzyme (phytase) to make it happen.

When these nuts or seeds are specially prepared, by soaking or sprouting or fermenting, most of these compounds break down or are leached out, making nuts easier to digest.

Through soaking, you trick the nut into thinking it’s time to germinate. Phytate begins to break down, releasing the minerals it was holding onto to fuel the enzymes that the seed requires to grow into a new plant. Only, you’re gonna eat the nut before it has a chance to grow. I’ll save you from any further nerdy explanations and organic chemistry.

What’s cool about it is that traditional cultures (and even some animals) figured this out long ago. It’s not just nuts and seeds, but also grains and legumes that are subject to special preparation.

  • Ever notice how squirrels will gather seeds and bury them for later?
  • What about how acorns were soaked by Native Americans before being consumed?
  • Or how the Scottish would soak their oats overnight before cooking and save leftovers in a wooden “porridge drawer” in the kitchen, which would ferment and be eaten over the course of the week?

Maybe you didn’t know those things, but there is a reason humans and some animals go out of their way to prep nuts before eating.

Similar preparation techniques can be used so you can eat nuts without getting an upset stomach – without burying almonds in the yard or building a special drawer for your kitchen.

For a quick video explanation on this topic, see below.

Heads up that this is an OLD OLD video from the very earliest years of this blog, back when it was called Pilates Nutritionist. I’m leaving it here in the post because the information is still solid, no matter how embarrassing it is for me to watch now. But hey, I didn’t have wrinkles back then or kids interrupting me. 😉

YouTube video

The following recipe is originally from Nourishing Traditions, a great cookbook that delves into the foods of traditional cultures and one of the first books that set me on the path to look into ancestral nutrition.

My favorite nut to use in this recipe is cashews, but you can use whatever you like. Hands on prep time is less than 5 minutes, though you will need to leave your oven on for about a day. I usually start the soaking process in the morning or right before bed.

Crispy Nuts

prep time 2 minutes
total time 1 day

  • 4 cups 1 pound raw cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt (it looks like a lot, but go with it)
  • filtered water (enough to cover nuts)


  1. Place cashews and salt into a large non-reactive bowl, such as pyrex, ceramic, or stainless steel.
  2. Soak nuts for 6-7 hours. They will plump up considerably.
  3. Drain off water (do not rinse).
  4. Spread in a single layer on a non-reactive pan, such as a pyrex/glass or stainless steel baking pan.
  5. Dehydrate in a slow oven ~200 degrees F for 12-24 hours, turning once or twice. They are done when the nuts are crisp.
  6. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: For nuts other than cashews, you may let the nuts soak for longer and dehydrate at a lower temp for better results (150 degrees or less). Cashews do better at a slightly higher temperature and shorter soaking time, otherwise they can develop off-flavors.

Now that you know what to do, tell me in the comments section which nut you’ll use to make “crispy nuts” first.

Until next week,

PS — Did you like this post? If so, be sure to sign up for email updates to get more simple and tasty recipes and real food nutrition tips delivered to your inbox every week. As a bonus, you’ll get a free copy of my popular ebook: “30 Days to a Happy Tummy.”

PPS — Are you pregnant or do you know someone who is? Crispy cashews make an excellent snack for the first trimester, when food aversions and nausea often arise. See this post for more first trimester tips.

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Love this comment. I think everyone should be educated about the proper way to eat nuts in order to get the full nutrients out of them, along with being easy to digest. Thanks for the basic recipe!

    • Emma,
      I’m glad you liked this post. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone knew how easy it is to fix the whole “I can’t digest nuts” issue? Enjoy the recipe. It’s so simple and tasty!

    • I like your suggestion to soak and dehydrate the nuts. I still find that burying the nuts still works best for my stomach.


      • Haha, well played!

  2. This was an awesomely simple explanation. I like your suggestion for dehydrating after soaking. This makes it easy to still consume nut butters!

    • Thanks Frances! Yes, dehydrating them opens up so many options. They are actually crunchier than raw or roasted nuts you get at the store (and slightly addictive). Try making cashew butter out of these. It’s heavenly!

  3. Do you think you could cook them in a crockpot instead of the oven? I hate leaving my oven on all day.

    • Hi Lindsay,
      I haven’t tried a crock pot, but my guess is it wouldn’t work, since the goal is to dry out the nuts and make them crisp again. That’s why I use an oven or dehydrator (the oven temp is so low that it doesn’t heat the house, if that’s your concern). If you do try the crockpot, tell us if it works!

    • How would you go about making nut butter after you soak and dehydrate them?

  4. Hi Lily,

    I just came across your article and have to say that this is the best explanation I have found so far. I have a very analytical / scientifiic way of thinking so I want to hear all the details ~ anything underneath the layers is fascinating to me since I want to understand as much as possible to get the full picture.

    My daily food intake does consist of sunflower seed butter, almond butter, peanut butter, and almonds and cashews (raw and home roasted). I found out that almond milk causes my tummy to be upset and then it dawned on me that the almonds (and possibly the other nut items) may cause tummy issues as well. I have been eating PB ever since I was little girl and never seemed to have any problems. Now, I am getting older and my GI tract may be much more sensitive these days than in my younger days.

    I have a couple of questions for you regarding your recipe which I am going to try.

    1.) Is the salt a requirement? If so, why? What does it actually do/its purpose?

    2.) If I don’t want my oven to be on all day, would air drying the nuts on the counter work as well (sort of like air drying clothes so they don’t shrink in the dryer)?

    3.) What happens to the phytates when nuts are turned into nut butters? Do they get destroyed or changed in a way where they won’t cause an upset tummy?

    It would be very hard for me to give up my nuts and nut butters since they are big staples in my daily diet. They are a perfect combination of proteins and carbs that I need for my daily workouts.

    Thank you for your wonderful article!! It has been very enlightening/educational.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Absolutely, my brain works the same way!
      1) You can soak nuts without salt and still have a reduction is phytic acid. Some suggest that salt helps breakdown the phytic acid, but I’ve never found solid evidence for that. At the very least, it improves the flavor of the nuts and that’s reason enough for me. Phytic acid is chemically called inositol hexaphosphate, essentially a 6 carbon ring with negatively charged phosphate groups attached to each carbon. The negatively charged phosphate attracts and binds positively charged minerals, so the goal is to cleave off and leach out as many of those phosphate groups as possible. Soaking helps release some of those phosphate groups, which are then discarded in the soaking water. Anyways, that’s the organic chemistry behind it if that helps. 🙂
      2) Air drying won’t work because the nuts wont dry fast enough. They’ll likely spoil and begin to mold (or maybe even sprout!). I suggest a food dehydrator if you’re uncomfortable leaving the oven on.
      3) Phytates are not changed by grinding nuts. So unless the nuts were prepared as I describe in the article, they will contain as much phytate as raw nuts. If nut butter is a staple in your diet and it’s upsetting your stomach or resulting in mineral deficiencies, you might consider prepping nuts as above and making your own nut butter in a food processor or high speed blender.
      Great questions and best of luck!

      • The salt is there to keep the solution toxic to bacteria and yeast duribg soaking, no?

    • I’m assuming the 4 cups of cashews called for in the recipe are raw cashews?

        • Thank you

      • Don’t forget that the “raw” cashews sold in stores are not raw at all. Raw cashews are toxic. They are boiled or steamed rather than roasted or baked. Many companies that sell these are now removing “raw” from their labels because of this.

  5. Hi Lily,
    I read your post on nut preparation with great interest. Perhaps you have solved a big problem for my husband. He is eats a plant based diet including a lot of nuts, and has been suffering from bloating and gas that really disturb him, particularly his sleep. He has consulted various doctors, nutritionists and Chinese pratictioners and none have helped. He has been checked for many food allergies. All except gluten were negative or very slight.
    At your suggestion I will try soaking the nuts and see if this will do the trick.

    • Report back, Diana!

  6. Great article, Lily! I have to agree that soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds is one of the best “real food” tricks to have up one’s sleeve because it makes them so much more digestible (and delicious). I soak mine overnight and spend about 5 minutes draining and tossing them onto the trays of my dehydrator the next morning. It’s seriously almost hands-off. Almonds take about 36 hours here in Colorado while pecans crisp up in about 24 hours at about 110-115 degrees on my dehydrator. P.S. I whipped up some of this tasty cardamom-cashew butter to spread on leftover grain-free waffle for lunchboxes my “selective palate” child squealed with delight because she thought it tasted like Christmas cookies.

    • Yeah Jessica, I also find the dehydration time varies for different varieties of nuts. I usually check for “crispiness” after 24 hours and go from there, depending on temperature of the oven/dehydrator and local humidity.

      I’m loving the Cardamom Cashew Butter too! I thought it tasted like cake batter, but Christmas cookie is a perfect description!

  7. Hi Lily!
    All of this is news to me- I had no idea that we aren’t able to naturally extract all of the goodness from nuts and seeds (without soaking and roasting, as you’ve suggested). I’ve never noticed any bloating or sensitivity in reaction to raw nuts but I’ll try your idea in order to gain more nutrient uptake…
    Do you have any suggestions to combat dry and brittle fingernails? I know this sounds random but I can’t work out what I’m missing in my diet that’s causing this. I live in England so do not see as much sun as I’d like, but take vitamin D and holiday in sunnier climes to try to combat this- is this the right thing to do? What else could I do?
    Many thanks,

    • zinc and selenium defiency can lead to brittle nails, and hair.

      Also over dose of selenium can cause it.

    • Hi Harriet. Drink enough water and use sesame oil (like you would use lotion) on your hands for a week.

  8. I think I have begun to see what may be a cause of the recent onset of joint pains. I took a look at my diet and see that I recently started eating almonds daily. Today I stoped eating almonds. Hope to see improvement!

  9. Hi Lily, thanks so much for your helpful, informed advice. I wonder if you answer a couple of things- I have major bloating on vegan diet and I suspect soy/beans is the problem. Is there any protein rich plant based food that don’t cause so much gas. Also, which foods contribute to sinusitis?
    Sincere thanks,

  10. Do roasted nuts (like those you can buy at the store) contain gas-causing phytate as well, or does roasting the nuts eliminate it?

    • Roasting does not significantly reduce phytate. You’d want to buy raw nuts. Then soak and dehydrate per the above recipe.

    • What about eating almond butter? Will ot have the same problematic effect or not?

  11. I have a question. Does dehydrating the nuts or putting them in the oven still allow the nuts to be nutritious? I know that roasted nuts are not healthy, so would these also lose their nutritional value by dehydrating them or putting them in the oven? Thank you for your post. I recently had walnuts in my salad and I swore to never eat walnuts again, but this is the first time this has happened to me which is how I ended up finding your post 🙂

    • The fats in nuts can become rancid if heated to high temperatures, which is why this recipe is dehydrated at a lower temp. For walnuts, which contain more unsaturated fats than cashews, I’d dehydrate at 150 degrees or lower.

  12. Nice article and thanks for sharing! On to the problem now. I got this big jar of almonds from my friend and I started eating say 6-7 raw for a few days and then after maybe 4 days I ate a few of them which were soaked over night. The next day I had an upset tummy followed by diarrhea. So my confusion is, did the soaking causing the problem because I seemed fine when I ate it raw. Thanks.

  13. or you can just buy some roasted salted cashews.

    • If that were the case, this article would not exist. The soaking process reduces the phytate content, which is why these nuts are easier to digest. Also, the fats in nuts can become rancid if heated to high temperatures, so commercially roasted nuts are not ideal (that’s why this recipe is dehydrated at a lower temp).

  14. Cashew nuts are already processed before we buy them to remove poisonous outer shells, (steamed I think) so not sure if this does not mean your method would be ineffective as the nuts are dead ?! when purchased
    I wanted to eat nuts for oil benefits. If they are dehydrated for so long is there any oil left.
    What a palava it all seems to me in my old age and I wish I could be a breatharian and not be always rampaging on nature! Thanks for your really interesting stuff.

  15. Thank You for this post! Every time I eat a certain combination of mixed nuts, I get sick…REALLY sick! I never understood why until now. Thank you again. And I will check out the article.

  16. I suffer from severe stomach pain if I eat too many nuts at once, so I usually only eat a few which takes care of that, but lately I have been making smoothies and I have tried putting sunflower seeds and walnuts in them. Every time I do, my throat starts to hurt. Could the phytates be causing this? It doesn’t make my stomach upset, just my throat.

    • That sounds more like an allergy. A contact allergy when the nuts contact your throat and your throat responds with histamine to try to remove the allergen. This histamine causes itching and swelling (while it’s trying to remove the allergen). Sometimes allergies happen when the food gets to your stomach and then into your bloodstream. But others can make your mouth, lips and throat itch on contact. You can have a blood test done to check for specific allergies.

  17. so you are talking about these things nuts do to protect themselves, does that mean I am not absorbing the nutrients into my system by just eating them straight from the bag?
    They have to be soaked in order for the nutrients to be let go of??

  18. wow, I didn’t know this. I’ve been having stomach issues for the past year & 1/2.and gave up my walnuts to get my tummy issues cleared and healed. But today I brought a handful of walnuts for my mid-morning snack and oh my goodness, I got such a bad tummy-ache for like almost an hour. I’m so sad to have to give up my raw walnuts. Thank you for your information.

  19. I ate cashew butter yesterday and still have stomach cramps. Should I avoid all nut butters?

    • Yeah, she says that the nuts used in butters aren’t prepared the right way and that you need to dehydrate them and make your own nut butters. Hope that helps! 🙂

  20. So, I’ve been consuming between 200g-400g of raw cashews a day for the last month+ and also drinking loads of almond milk. I started experienced sever stomach pain, probably emanating from my digestive system. This article helped greatly, as I’ve been experiencing the problems you described. Thanks. It’s a shame that I won’t be eating these nuts for a long time, they’re so tasty!

  21. Hi Lily,

    Loved the article/recipe. I have a five year and slowly over the years I’ve introduced her (and her sister who’s nine) to all kinds of fruits, veggies, and nuts. My nine year has never liked any kinds of nuts, but my five year old does like peanuts/butter. Unfortunately, when it came to almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts she actually gets sick and earls everywhere. Before i put her through it again trying this recipe do u think i should have her tested for food sensitivity first?

  22. Hello Lily,
    Really great information.
    What temperature should I have my oven on if I’m leaving them in there for 12 hours? Do you double or half the temperature compared to the length of time they are in there.
    I am a paraplegic MS sufferer on a vegan/gluten free diet. What I eat greatly affects my digestion and energy levels. Until yesterday I was eating 100g Almonds a day with fresh fruit.
    What is your opinion on Macadamia Nuts if I soaked and dried them. I think Almonds are out for me.
    Thanks, Melenie.

  23. Very good article, thank you! I ate raw almonds today and got a bad tummy ache and knew right away it was them.
    Also, cashews are actually not nuts, they are the stem of a fruit, correct?

    • I frigging ate raw almonds for an entire weak and I’m been feeling like crap all week and I just finally figured it out on Friday T___T

  24. Hey, if you guys get any headaches from eating nuts, pop a magnesium glycinate! Works for me. Now to get rid of this bloating,-or is it gas?-….I’m already taking digestive enzymes, so….

  25. Hi Lily

    I have always ate a lot of nut until recently. I locked myself out of the house and was stuck waiting form my other half to get home from work. I had to wait a couple of hours so decided to go get some nibbles as I was getting a bit peckish. I got a small snack size bag of mixed nuts from the local supermarket. An hour after eating the nuts I got the most extreme stomach pain. It was so bad I was in tears.

    When my partner got home I asked him to drive me to the hospital, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. I went home still in pain, but it was getting a little better and had been around 5 hours since I ate the nuts. When I got home I was sick and the pain went away. I really don’t understand why this is happening now, I am 46 years old and have ate nuts all my life.

    Thank you for the good advice I will give it a go and see if I can enjoy nuts without any more trips to the emergency room.

  26. Thank you for this….on Thursday and over the wknd I ate Delicious fruit and nuts… I look 9 months pregnant,severe tummy pain,sooooooo bloated,pain n right shoulder, I remembered last time the same thing happened but I forgot… I will always remember I can’t eat these like that,I have made myself so sick…I thought I was been healthy,and they tasted nice..still have some left…thanks for great explanation…. Annemarie

  27. I have soooo many tummy problems. I am gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, have acid reflux, and tummy sensitivity to peanut butter and most nuts. I also struggle keeping weight on, so I try to look to processed foods that I can tolerate. Thank you for sharing!

    • Have the same issues as you have described and I do suffer from gastritis after having a stomach infected with H Pylori and had to go through a course of antibiotics. Now I have resolved my weight doing little things everyday like eating small meals and relaxing all the time with some yoga in between. Eating only vegetables and grains like buckwheat, millet and rice and also some very small portions of protein also helped. I am about to introduce nuts after coming across this article.

  28. I was looking for an explanation for my own problem. About six months ago, I popped a handful of almonds into my mouth as I always did, and within a minute, I had severe stomach pain. Tried it again weeks later and the same thing. Emailed my doctor, she said to speak with allergist. Allergist suspected birch allergy because I started having the same thing with apples. Negative RAST and skins tests. Today I tried a CRUMB of almond paste cookie. Forget it. Big time spasms in upper abdomen. I am not allergic, so what gives? It’s times like this I have little faith in modern medicine.

    • The obvious solution – don’t eat anymore almonds. It’s times like these that I have little faith in modern Americans.

  29. G’day Lily,
    Thank you for the info. I made a vegan lemon panna cotta this evening using raw cashews and am feeling very uncomfortable, I look 9 months pregnant. I don’t have the bloating with roasted cashews. Interesting too was the bit about selenium so I will cut down on my Brazil nuts. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Will this process work for pine nuts or nuts with shells on them?

    • Pine nuts: yes.
      Nuts will shells: you’d need to remove the shell first.

  31. I suffered throughout most of my entire life with stomach pains and I never knew nuts could be culprit of my stomach pains. I eat mixed nuts EVERYDAY! I did an experiment and I did not eat any nuts for several days…NO PAINS! I searched the Internet and found this article about nuts and stomach pains. Now everything makes sense and I feel so much better…However, I recently received MANY containers of all types of nuts as my Christmas present(s). Ugh!

  32. Very simple and logical explanation. Dont know if I have the time to try it out though. I normally buy the roasted nuts from stores and consume direct. Not sure the method works for roasted nuts. Thanks for the knowledge

    • If you decide to try it, you’ll need to start with RAW nuts.

  33. Do you find organic store bought almond butter is still hard on the stomach? I soak and sprout all my nuts and make my own butter, but when going to someone’s house they offer me almond butter, but is unsprouted. Wondering what your thoughts are, thanks!

  34. Perhaps you have already answered this, but I’m curious to know why one cannot consume roasted nuts instead of having to soak in the hydrate them. Thank you

  35. Hi –
    I recently started soaking/roasting nuts and it’s really helped my gastric issues. I’m left with 2 questions and hope you might help. First: Can I follow this same process with peanuts, or are they different, being a legume? I really, really miss peanut butter!! Second: I’ve noticed there are “sprouted” nuts and nut butters on the market. Would these have the same benefits as soaking/roasting at home?

  36. Question: if I do not have a dehydrator and am uncomfortable with leaving my gas oven on for 12-24 hrs, if I still soak and drain the nuts, will I still get benefits if I dry them out by baking at, for example, 350 for 20 min. That worked for walnuts. I’m trying to avoid gastric problems I believe I am having from raw nuts. Thank you.

    • Helen, I just put them in my not-turned-on oven for 12 hours. It’s hot enough to dehydrate them. Not sure if it’s the same with your oven, though.

  37. Lily, I was told to rinse them after soaking them to get the phytates and gunk off. How come you specifically say not to rinse?

    • I like to leave the salt on them for flavor. Most of the phytates are lost in the soaking water, but if you’re really concerned, you’re welcome to rinse them.

      • Gotcha — thanx. I sprinkle them with a little more salt before I put them in the oven to make up for what I’ve rinsed off.

  38. Have peanuts in peanut butter gone through the above process? If not,can they cause bloating?

  39. When I soak almonds according to your recipe to make them more digestible, is it OK to use roasted nuts or do they have to be raw ? Also, is it important to use filtered water or can I use tap water? Thanks, enjoyed your very scientific knowledge of the chemistry involved in the subject.

  40. Hi there,

    Thank you for this! I am wondering whether roasted nuts can cause similar issues. I buy pre-roasted nuts and I find I get bloated and sore straight after eating them….



  41. I travel a lot for work, and got in the habit of keeping a can of mixed nuts in my car as a healthy snack. Unfortunately, I developed a habit of reaching for nuts whether I felt hungry or not. Recently, I had severe digestive issues, partial blockage, very likely due to a combination of overeating nuts, and chronic dehydration. Once cleared, I was fine, but going in for surgery in a few days to remove large kidney stones in both kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

  42. I noticed that adding nuts to my yogurt the night before keeps me from getting a stomach ache when I eat them.

    Might this simply be because they absorbed liquid and softened up overnight? If it is because they released their phytates and tannins while soaking in the yogurt, wouldn’t I still get sick, because the tannins and phytates would now be in the yogurt itself?

    Just curious, thanks!

  43. I was having some grumbling in my stomach I suspect something I ate or too much coffee , it was weird but there was no pain then I found a bag of salted almonds ate them and the grumbling was gone so not sure if it was a coincidence or the almonds ‘cured’ me. May be people react differently to nuts but now I am tempted to eat almonds next time I have a grumbling stomach. Any thoughts?
    Merlin Lopez
    Keysight Technologies

  44. Wow before reading this article I’ve always wondered why my throat and mouth would get really itchy after eating raw nuts, even the ones that come in a jar from Costco. Peanuts are okay for me because they arent tree nuts. Now that I know the science behind it, it makes me feel better. Ive always wondered, because when my mom cooks the walnuts into oatmeal I can digest it without getting allergies, but when I eat a walnut raw my mouth and stomach get so irritated. Same with cashews, almonds, etc. 🙁

  45. Spending years to figure out a way to eat nuts, is a little nuts.
    Giving up nuts is easier….also living without nuts is not a difficult thing to do

  46. Don’t ignore stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. when you eat nuts. You can develop an allergy to a food that you’ve eaten your entire life. I developed an adult-onset allergy to peanuts. My first symptoms were diarrhea and/or killer stomach cramps. It took an anaphylactic reaction before I connected the symptoms to peanuts. Not all allergic reactions cause trouble breathing, etc. and often the symptoms are all gastrointestinal. Reactions are also unpredictable. Just because you get stomach cramps this time doesn’t mean you won’t have a full-blown anaphylactic reaction next time. You can also have a negative skin test even though you’re allergic…history of reactions to eating nuts is more valid than the skin test.

  47. This is great information! Do you have any insight on whether the soaking/dehydrating changes the fibre content? I’m so baffled by the amount of fibre in corn vs popcorn that I wonder.

    • To my knowledge, no, the fiber content wouldn’t change from soaking (or in popcorn). I would venture that any difference in fiber content is due to the variety of corn.

  48. Why do you drain the water, but don’t rinse the nuts? It seems like rinsing would help get more of the junk off.

  49. Hi, great site by the by,
    Hope you can help, I soak my porridge over night in milk as I understand this helps breakdown the oats and makes them easier to digest. I then add in the morning almonds, walnuts, a brazil nut and a sprinkling of seeds which I grind up . Can you tell me, would it make sense and help to make the nuts more nutritious and digestible if I also added the ground up nuts in with the porridge and milk the night before?
    Many thanks and kind regards

  50. thank you for your insight into this subject. great information. i am a chiropractor and an m.d. and I did not know this. i love eating pistasios but suffered from the after effects. are you available for other questions concerning foods?

    • You’re welcome, Roy. Feel free to peruse the archives on the blog here, as I’ve written over 200 articles. If you still have Q’s, you might consider a Pick My Brain session for targeted nutrition advice.

  51. Lily,
    Thanks for the informed video. Question: Considering GI problems associated with nuts, does this apply to all nuts, raw and pre-roasted?
    thank you,

  52. Good info and I would look for peanuts

  53. Great information…can’t wait to try it!

  54. Question – since the benefit of eating raw nuts is to eat them raw, does not the drying out ruin the benefits? Even at low temp?

  55. Hello! I think this information is super good and I will definitely try it! I was just wonderind if after this you could toast the nuts with some spices? Cause I like to add a bit of them. Thank you!

  56. hi how are you madam?))) well I eat about one pound a hazelnuts raw a day its benn a almost a week and my stomach got some problem I want to troaup sorry cant speel it right any segjestens?

  57. I make my own delicious, healthy raw almond milk and its luscious – but – I now believe it is the cause of diarrhea. – ugghh – I haven’t been able to pinpoint the culprit until this week. I couldn’t tell exactly what was bothering me and the truth is, I didn’t want to believe it.

  58. My stomach began tightening and hurting after I ate nuts. Before that Id eaten 2 donuts so I’m not sure what the cause is. Could this possibly be the same as to what you have experienced?

  59. I don’t have an oven . Is there any other way to dehydrate?

    • Perhaps a toaster oven that allows you to set the temp low enough? Or a dehydrator. Check your healthfood store. Many now sell soaked + dehydrated nuts.

  60. This was fascinating. It explains why I can’t eat peanuts or any kind of nut, I AM able to eat BOILED peanuts. I had to have my gallbladder removed 9 years ago and have just started having problems digesting nuts over the last 12 months. I just chalked it up to another side effect from losing my gallbladder. I’m interested to see if your recipe will allow me to eat some nuts again. Thanks!

  61. Wow! I have been eating pecans all my life and suddenly they give me stomach distress! Walnuts make my mouth and throat sore. Other nuts are Okay, I think. Still, . I’ll try the soaking method because I avoid phosphates in food anyhow because they really mess up my digestion. Thanks, Lily!

  62. How do you store the nuts and how long do they stay good?

  63. Hello Lilly, you opened my eyes to something I never even considered since I’ve been eating nuts for years without any issues besides a cracked tooth. Anyway I was wondering if I add my nuts to smoothies and allow the mixture to stay in the fridge overnight, would that make the nuts more digestible? I’m more concerned about absorption than anything else. I’m a vegetarian btw so the contents of the smoothie would be fruits & veggies. Thanks!

    • I’d expect leaving it overnight may help when it comes to phytates, but other nutrients in your smoothie that are sensitive to oxygen may decline (antioxidants, vitamin C). I’d soak the nuts separately overnight, then add to your smoothie and drink the same day.

  64. Lily,
    Excellent article, patient replies…Got to know something about nuts!
    So thanks first!
    I have 3 questions:
    1) Do the phytates-other than preventing proper digestion of the nuts-have other side effects? i.e., do their inherent tendency to attract minerals cause other problems in our system?
    2) Which nuts are the least problematic to eat with minimum processing-say just fried dry to remove moisture?
    3) “Baked” nuts that we buy from the store – What is the process they follow and are such baked nuts healthy as the package label claims?

  65. what if you don’t have an oven

  66. This is really interesting. I’ve been following the fodmap diet but believe my bloating is a much more immediate issue than the 6-24hrs it takes for fodmaps to be the problem. Have felt great for days, today I have a load of peanut butter and a seed bar and almost immediately feel bloated. Does that sound like a reaction to phytates, can it happen that quickly and if so why? It seems quite a coincidence!?

    • It’s more likely due to the fat content of the meal/snack slowing digestion (one of many non-FODMAP triggers for digestive issues), especially if someone has IBS-C.

  67. In the past, I have been able to eat nuts and in the past 5 years, I get stomach upset, itching in throat and mouth and eczema around my mouth. For those with high allergies, is there any evidence that it could decrease rashes due to nut consumption. I am more sensitive to walnut, pecans and peanuts more than other nuts.

  68. I didn’t read all of the comments, so forgive if this has already been said. From what I’m reading, the discomfort experienced after eating nuts can also be related to fat absorption issues, especially with poor gallbladder function or not having a gallbladder. In cases like this, ox bile supplementation may help!

  69. I suffer from severe constipation. Nothing works. Have tried fruits, tons of Fiber, Fiber Supplements, everything. Had to resort to Laxatives just to have a BM, once a week. Seeing a 2nd Colon and rectal specialist next month. The only thing that helps me is eating green beans, and Almonds/Walnuts. I get gassy and bloated, don’t care if I’m intolerant or not, don’t have itching in throat or mouth, I would much rather put up with it, then having to take dangerous Laxatives.

    • Have you tried magnesium citrate? It’s much more natural and will help soften your BMs. Try 200mg each night before bed and aim to drink 70oz/1.8L of fluid a day.

  70. P.S. When someone has to work..sorry..but who has time to do all this?? I will just eat Raw almonds I buy at store.

  71. Hi Lily,
    Thank you so much for this intel! I just got through puking nuts because my liver area was feeling the discomfort (then I felt great). Is it possible you can just sell the nuts prepared??

  72. Great article BUT keep the nuts away from the heat, even 150 degrees is enough to turn the PUFAs into trans fats and create carcinogens as well. Maybe just leave out to dry for a couple of days in the fridge.

  73. Very interesting info! Wondered why I was having stomach issues when eating raw macadamia nuts. Thought they had gone bad so threw them out and bought new ones. Same problem. Too expensive to throw out again. Would your method work for macadamia nuts? Thank you.

  74. Hi, thanks for the article
    But I really wish bloggers/‘writers’ wouldn’t use words like ‘gonna’ ..

  75. I’m repeating a question another person had (from 2/13/1^), because I can’t locate your response.
    First: Can I follow this same process with peanuts, or are they different, being a legume? I really, really miss peanut butter!! Second: I’ve noticed there are “sprouted” nuts and nut butters on the market. Would these have the same benefits as soaking/roasting at home?

  76. is there any link between tannins and diverticulitis?

  77. Lily, thank you for the explanation. I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that nuts and peanuts have become harder to digest and they make me feel, well, off. I also know I have issues with tannins, and had no idea nuts had them. I’m going to check with my local health food store to see if they sell presoaked nuts. Thank you for sharing.

  78. Took me awhile to trace my “problems” to nuts. I love unsalted mixed nuts (Costco). I now have two unopened jars. Can I use your recipe if the nuts are all different?

    • You can, but be sure the mix is raw nuts. The phytase enzyme is deactivated in roasted nuts.

  79. Hi Lilly,
    I came across your article researching why I suffered a night of severe stomach cramps after eating some dry-roasted peanuts. I have to thank you for your depth of knowledge on the subject, and for the scientific explanation. A couple of questions arise though…
    1) Are “dry-roasted” nuts worse because the phytase enzyme is deactivated while the phytic acid is still present?
    2) Why doesn’t roasting eliminate/deactivate the phytic acid?
    3) Goofy question, but… Why can I eat just about as much peanut butter (home-made, Skippy, Jif, etc.) as I want, and have no ill effect?!!
    Guess I’ll be looking into raw nuts and dehydrators.
    Thanks again!!

  80. Should raw macadamia and pistachio nuts also be soaked and dried before eating?

  81. Hi Lily,
    I recently started a Keto diet and eating raw nuts and so my stomach went nuts on me, the pain is terrible. I found your article and I will try this process. But it totally make sense.

  82. So glad I came across your post. I drastically changed my diet and at first thought it was too much coconut but its obvious now that my diet is too rich in raw nuts and I can make a change immediately. Thank You!

  83. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  84. I would like to try soaking my walnuts. What is filtered water? Can we use tap water? Just wondering.

  85. i thought cashews were a legume vs almonds which are a true nut. Don’t nuts vs legumes need different treatments?

  86. Hi Lily,
    How about soaking raw peanuts then boiling them, would that process have the same benefits as slow-roasting them. I just came across this article of yours, what a great article, and I think it’s the answer as to why I have severe stomach cramp after consuming too much peanuts! Thank you!

  87. I do like this post, but am unable to make a comment.

  88. Thank you so much! I haven’t been able to sleep well for months, due to leg muscle jitters. Little did I know it was related to my stomach hurting after eating nuts. I tried everything. Followed your recipe with one batch of almonds… all was well! My dehydrator arrived today!

  89. Hi Lily,
    If you buy “roasted” nuts will that solve the problem? Are the nuts labeled “roasted” prepared correctly? Thank you!

  90. I also wanted to ask the same questions that Debra asked. I was diagnosed with IBM in my early 20’s. I have such horrible symptoms after eating some foods. Nuts are a favorite food I can’t resist. And one that I’ve been consuming more of are the Japanese Style Peanuts by Manzelazo. After eating them I am seriously bloated, and my whole guts in pain for days. I’m useless when this happens. So, are any packaged nuts better then others? Thank you greatly for your story. No one can understand that can’t go through this. Thanks

  91. Lily, I was surprised to learn that peanuts are a legume and not a nut. Having been diagnosed with early stage NonAlcoholic Fatty liver disease made me clean up my diet and eliminate peanut butter. Caused inflammation and tummy troubles for me. Not a healthy food for anyone in my opinion, modest amounts of true nut butters with no additives are the real deal for me. Reading labels are a must. Forget the ones with sugar, salt and palm oil. Nut butters should only have one ingredient…nuts! Thanks for all the help.

  92. If phytates impede digestion of nuts and phytase breaks down phytates, why not take a phytase supplement? And can you recommend one?

  93. Ive heard different things about soaking macadamia nuts, which are my favorite! Do you know if they need to be soaked, and if so, for how long?

  94. Hey! Great article! Very useful.

    Two questions though:
    1)can I have nuts after I soak them, without drying them?
    2)will throwing away the soaked water make the nut loose the essential nutrients like selenium (brazil nuts)? Should we drink the soaked water as well?

  95. «Through soaking, you trick the nut into thinking it’s time to germinate. Phytate begins to break down»

    What scientific proof do you base that on ? I can give you a link to a video of an organic farmer in France that tested your theory but what he got was mold; the nuts he soaked never germinated beyond the soaking time you and other bloggers recommend. So he argues that soaking them is unnecessary.

  96. I ate them already and now my stomach is in an uproar. What can i do after the fact? If anything, please help ASAP

  97. This totally makes sense and if people were more observant like the native Americans then imagine the possibilities. That being said boyfriend has issues right at this moment. What is something he can do to unbind himself and get relief before having a hospital trip.

  98. Hello Lili, thank you for your informative article. I noticed though I love nuts that articles are telling me to avoid them for the ulcerative colitis I am now suffering. I like the idea of soaking the nuts. As I am a vegan I rely on nuts for a good portion of my protein. I am not sure the next process of crisping them up, would be a good idea for me.

    • To dry, you simply dehydrate them in a low oven or a dehydrator.

  99. Hi , thanks for such usefull information.rit now I am dying with stomach pain… thought to google and landed up on ur article….my god this pain is equivalent to mild labour pain… please suggest wat to do?

  100. Your heading on the article says “RAW” nuts. So does this mean roasted nuts aren’t an irritant?

  101. I have dramatically increased my consumption of nuts as of late to like maybe 70 grams and higher on some days. They have become my primary snack as I’ve given up carbs due to type 2 diabetes. I often feel like I have a lump in my stomach. I have read through a number of comments but it is still unclear to me. Does this apply to the mixed nut varieties commonly found in grocery stores with oil and sea salt on them? Are these still considered “raw” nuts that would benefit from the soaking and dehydrating process?

  102. All of a sudden I am starting to have pain and bloating after eating nuts. I listen to your video and read the information. My question would be does soaking and then baking for 12 to 24 hours ruined the nutritional benefits of nuts?

  103. I have a question. I don’t currently have an oven, can this be done on a stove top?:) thank you!

  104. Hi Lilly,
    This is a great article and video.You answered one of my questions earlier on which minerals bind with the nuts…calcium being one of them. So does that mean when we consume processed nut milks with added calcium are we actually absorbing any calcium? If so, how much do we actually absorb? Do nut milk producers even soak the nuts before making the nut milk? Thank you!

  105. The best way for me to understand why peanuts began messing up my intestines about 3 years ago at age 63. Never before. Tky

    • Glad it was helpful!

  106. Thanks for the helpful info. I’m lactating (and WFPB) and struggling with eating nuts for fats. I hope this will help.

    Might i possibly be having the same problem with my rolled oats?
    I used to make overnight oats but they started getting a weird sandy wet texture so i switched to pouring boiling water over my traditional rolled oats before eating but it always makes me go instantly. The stools are also super loose. I am struggling because I’m left hungry, tired, and struggling with lactation.

  107. Lily,
    Thank you for this information. I noticed you mentioned experiencing an itchy mouth from eating some nuts. Within the last year I have noticed this with Walnuts. Just this week I thought I might have to stop eating them, and then I read this article. I am curious if you could share any more about this phenomenon vs. the development of an allergy? Would symptoms be different?
    Thank you,

  108. how do you know if you can’t digest nuts?

  109. I use to tell people I was allergic to some nuts, because I still can’t eat them. I think what you stated is the reason. I can eat peanut butter (not a nut, it’s a legume) now (peanuts made me throw up when I was a kid) and almonds and pistachios in small amounts, but I still can’t eat macadamia, cashews, walnuts or any of those kinds of nuts. They make me extremely nauseous and sometimes throw up. I think I’ll just keep my distance still, because now, just the smell alone, makes me nauseous. At least I understand it better why now though. lol.

  110. Hi Lily,
    I’m wondering, those roasted nuts that they sell at Costco or at any supermarkets, were they soaked before roasting them, or were they just straight up roasted from raw? If it’s the second case, I don’t know if they are easy to digest?

    • No, any store bought roasted nuts, unless they specify “pre-soaked” or “activated” are simply roasted without the step of soaking them.

  111. Does this apply for seeds as well? For the last 3 months I have been in a plant based diet because of GI issues that I have been trying to resolve. I’ve made great strides but every couple of weeks I tend to have an area in my upper left abdomen that feels I flamed for lack of a better word? And then when I go to the bathroom, I see lots of nuts! I think I could possibly be doing this to myself. I eat lots of cashews, almonds, pecans, etc. By a lot, I mean a handful once a day or on a salad. Pistachios too and seeds! My question is, do you need to soak seeds too? I eat sunflower and pumpkin seed frequently.

    • You can try soaking first, but the sheer quantity of nuts/seeds being consumed could be problematic for some people.

  112. I feel the same way but my friends easily digest nuts. Why is such a difference? They too don’t have the enzymes to breakdown phylates and tan is then why do nuts get easily digested in their bodies?

  113. 12-24 hrs slow cooking is a long time using power. Isn’t there a micro-wavable method?

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