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What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Nuts, Says Expert

We asked a registered dietitian to give us the scoop on all things nuts.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Whether you prefer almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews, know that you're getting a ton of nutrition when you eat nuts regularly. Or better yet, why not have a variety?

The plant-based food is loaded in minerals as well as healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which makes it a perfect midday snack, or addition to a cup of Greek yogurt or even a bowl of oatmeal. No matter how you choose to get your fixings of nuts, you're bound to receive some health benefits.

We asked Sydney Greene, MS, RD to explain just five things that could happen to your body when you eat nuts. Then, don't miss The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now!

1

Lose weight.

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If you're looking for a way to make your overnight oats a bit more filling (and flavorful), adding nuts to your bowl is a great idea. Not to mention, they may even help you lose weight, especially if they're replacing sugary foods that don't provide a lot of nutritional value.

"Nuts are incredibly satiating meaning they will not only fill you up at the moment, but will [also] keep you full for a longer amount of time thanks to their balanced nutrient profile," says Greene. "Snacking on foods that are high in healthy fat, protein, and fiber is an excellent way to regulate hunger and decrease mindless eating throughout the day."

Here are 9 Health Benefits of Eating Walnuts.

2

Lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

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Believe it or not, nuts can help you reduce your bad cholesterol levels, also known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL).

"Nuts are a good source of soluble fiber and phytosterols which can inhibit intestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol," says Greene. "Soluble fiber helps pull cholesterol out of the body, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and phytosterols compete with cholesterol in the body, inhibiting its absorption."

For more, be sure to check out This Is the Best Diet for Weight Loss and Cholesterol Control, Says Science.

3

Keep you regular.

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Greene says that some nuts—primarily almonds and pistachios—provide a good source of fiber per serving, which can help you go to the bathroom more regularly.

"One serving of almonds (one ounce) provides roughly 13% of your daily recommended intake of fiber which is necessary for healthy digestion," she says.

Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds Every Day.

4

Prevent arrhythmia.

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Do you know what walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pili nuts all share in common? Each of these nuts are loaded in magnesium, which is key for heart health.

"Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a role in regulating heart rhythm," says Greene. "In addition to this vital mineral, omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in walnuts, can help stabilize heart muscle cells."

Now, be sure to check out What's the Difference Between Omega-3, -6, and -9? A Registered Dietitian Explains.

5

Help you recover from a workout.

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Good news! When you eat nuts, your body is getting a boost of healthy fats and protein, both of which are necessary to have immediately after a workout to help you replenish muscles.

"After exercising it is important to nourish the body with a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates," says Greene. "Though they contain some carbohydrates, it is best to pair nuts with a piece of fresh or dried fruit after cardio or high-intensity workouts to replenish glycogen stores."

For more, be sure to read up on The Best Workout Tips for Fat Loss, According to Celeb Trainers.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more