Nuts have a lot going for them. They are nutritious, portable and delicious. It’s no wonder that they are popular snacks, especially among those who eat for better health. Because they are naturally gluten- and grain-free, they are also a wonderful snack for those with common food allergies.

A serving of nuts a day has been linked to longer life, and olive oil and nuts are linked to sharper brains. Eating nuts instead of carbs aids in controlling diabetes because of their protein and good fat content along with low carbohydrate content. They are also on many healthiest foods lists because of their many benefits.

Generally speaking, they are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and a moderate source of carbohydrates. But each has its own benefits as well. Here are five of the most popular nuts on the market, along with the nutritional values of each.

Almonds with a jug of milk

Photo: Lecic/Shutterstock

Almonds: Almonds are one of the most popular nuts for good reason. They are mild in taste, a more frugal nut choice, and easy to find. For those needing a peanut-free nut butter option, almond is the most popular, and is widely available. Almonds are higher in protein and fiber in comparison to other nuts, and have been found in preliminary studies to be a heart-healthy snack.

1 ounce of almonds will give you the following percentage of daily nutrient needs:

  • 12 percent of protein
  • 14 percent of fiber
  • 17 percent vitamin B2
  • 19 percent of magnesium
  • 32 percent of manganese
  • 37 percent of vitamin E
Walnuts: Walnuts are another popular nut and are often added to granola, baked goods or fruit salads. Interestingly, the phenols of the walnuts are mostly in the skin of the walnuts. Phenols are believed to have an anticancer effect, so keeping the skin on walnuts may be beneficial. They are also a great source of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.

1 ounce of walnuts will give you the following percentage of daily nutrient needs:

  • 8 percent of fiber
  • 9 percent of protein
  • 10 percent phosphorus
  • 11 percent of magnesium
  • 22 percent of copper
  • 48 percent of manganese

Hazelnuts (also known as filberts): These are a personal favorite because they are full of flavor and grown locally in Oregon. Of the tree nuts, hazelnuts have the highest amount of folate per serving, making them an excellent nut to consume during pregnancy.

1 ounce of hazelnuts will give you the following percentage of daily nutrient needs:

  • 8 percent of vitamin B6
  • 8 percent of protein
  • 12 percent of thiamin
  • 12 percent of magnesium
  • 21 percent of vitamin E
  • 24 percent of copper
  • 87 percent of manganese

Photo: Graletta/Shutterstock

Pistachios: These lovely nuts are a bright green color due to their chlorophyll content, and are delicious eaten shelled, and in a variety of desserts. When buying in shell, look for ones that aren’t closed all the way. Not only will the ones with shells slightly parted be easier to shell, but the closed ones also indicate immature nuts.

1 ounce of pistachios will give you the following percentage of daily nutrient needs:

  • 12 percent of protein
  • 12 percent of fiber
  • 14 percent of phosphorus
  • 16 percent thiamin
  • 18 percent of vitamin B6
  • 18 percent of manganese
Pecans: A wonderfully sweet nut, pecans are used in many traditional Southern desserts with delicious results. Growing up, pecan pie was my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. Pecans have a richer taste due to a higher fat content, which is why they are so dessert-worthy.

1 ounce of pecans will give you the following percentage of daily nutrient needs:

  • 5 percent of protein
  • 8 percent of magnesium
  • 8 percent of phosphorus
  • 11 percent of fiber
  • 12 percent of thiamin
  • 63 percent of manganese

Related on MNN:

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.