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Banana vs Watermelon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on December 09, 2021
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Banana
vs
Watermelon

Summary

Watermelon is mostly water, seasonally available, provides health benefits, has no interactions with other drugs, and has a lower glycemic index. Compared to bananas, which are richer in vitamins and minerals, they have health benefits. Banana interacts with some medications, which are discussed below.

Introduction

Watermelon is a seasonal fruit and is mostly grown in temperate and tropical regions. Watermelon was harvested 3500 BC in nowaday Libya, and with time it was grown in Egypt. During the Roman Ages, it was spread throughout Europe.

China is the highest producer of watermelons. The newly modified watermelons are sweeter, disease-resistant, and grow after 100 days of planting the seed.

On the other hand, banana is one of the most widely harvested fruits in the world.

It is native to India and Southeast Asia, but it is currently grown worldwide.

Bananas may be eaten raw, blended into smoothies, and even used as an ingredient in baking.

Bananas grown now are not the same as those found in the wild. Wild bananas were substantially smaller in size and had seeds within. The wild-type bananas were transformed into contemporary domesticated bananas in the early ages.

In this article, we will discuss general differences, nutritional content comparison, weight loss and diet, and health impacts.

General difference

In this section, we will discuss price and availability, taste, shelf life, and culinary world usage.

Price and availability

Bananas are always available nearly all around the world, and they are cheaper than watermelons. On the other hand, watermelon is available during the summer season.

Taste

Watermelon is watery and refreshing, and it has a sweet flavor. On the other hand, bananas are starchy, and their sweetness depends on their ripeness stage.

Shelf life

The shelf life of watermelon is longer compared to bananas. After 5-7 days, the banana turns ripe; however, watermelon can stay unrefrigerated for more than one week.

Culinary world usage

Bananas are widely used in the culinary world. It can be eaten raw, turned into smoothies, used in baking. The peel can be turned into banana flour, an alternative to other flours. In addition, bananas are fried in some cuisines and used as part of meals.

However, watermelon doesn’t have a wide usage as much as a banana, and it is mostly used as a fruit and juice.

Nutritional content comparison

This section will compare the difference between the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals of watermelon and banana according to 100g of each.

Water content

100g of watermelon is composed of 92g of water so technically speaking, watermelon is 92% water. On the other hand, a banana is composed of 75g of water.

Furthermore, bananas are richer in macro, vitamins, and minerals, mainly since watermelons are 92% water. Technically the nutrients are in a diluted state.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of watermelon is categorized as high, whereas bananas are considered as low glycemic index foods. The glycemic index of watermelon is 76 compared to that of banana, which equals 48.

Calories

Bananas are higher in calories, three times the amount of watermelon.

Carbs

The net carbs of bananas are much higher than that of watermelon. Bananas contain nearly three times more carbs than watermelon.

Fiber

It is important to talk about the fiber content of each fruit. Bananas are 6.5 times richer in fibers than watermelon. This has significant characteristics when it comes to gastrointestinal health and wellbeing.

Proteins

The total amount of protein is not of high significance.

Fat

The total amount of fat is negligible.

Minerals

Watermelon contains minerals; however, their amount is not of high significance. On the other hand, bananas are richer in copper, magnesium, and potassium. Bananas also contain higher amounts of other minerals, seen in the comparative diagram below. However, they are not of high significance.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Magnesium +170%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +219.6%
Contains more Zinc +50%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Calcium +40%
Equal in Iron - 0.24
Equal in Sodium - 1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 10% 20% 10% 32% 1% 5% 27%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 3% 9% 8% 5% 10% 1% 3% 14%
Contains more Magnesium +170%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +219.6%
Contains more Zinc +50%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Calcium +40%
Equal in Iron - 0.24
Equal in Sodium - 1

Vitamins

Watermelon is richer in vitamin A compared to bananas. Bananas are richer in vitamin C, folate, B2, B3, B5, and B6. The vitamin B6 content of bananas is of high importance.

In the diagram below, we can see the comparison between these foods.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Banana
8
:
Contains more Vitamin E +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +247.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +273.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +715.6%
Contains more Folate +566.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +400%
Contains more Vitamin A +789.1%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.1
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.033
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 2% 0% 29% 8% 17% 13% 21% 85% 15% 0% 2%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 35% 1% 0% 27% 9% 5% 4% 14% 11% 3% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin E +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +247.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +273.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +715.6%
Contains more Folate +566.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +400%
Contains more Vitamin A +789.1%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.1
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.033

Weight loss and diets

Watermelon and bananas are a good addition to be added to everyday diets. Since watermelon is seasonally available, that would be limited to 3-4 months a year. However, bananas are available year long and can be part of everyday diets.

Vegan

Vegans can eat both bananas and watermelon. In addition to that, banana is a special fruit considered in the vegan diet, and bananas can be used to bake cakes and prepare ice cream since they can replace eggs and creams. Vegans use bananas instead of eggs as an alternative ingredient.

Keto

Since they are lower in carbs, watermelons can be eaten on a ketogenic diet. Compared to bananas which are high in carbs and cannot be consumed in the keto diet.

Miscellaneous

Bananas can be used in making energy shakes and baby foods. It is balanced and contains fibers which is a good addition to everyday diets. On the other hand, watermelon is mostly water. It is a good refreshing fruit that can be enjoyed during hot weather. Watermelon can also be used in making smoothies and juices similar to bananas.

Health impacts

Diabetes

Anti-diabetic effects are found in bananas. In order to absorb carbohydrates, an enzyme in the digestive tract breaks down large chain molecules of sugar into smaller sugar molecules. Bananas include enzymes that prevent this from occurring, limiting the amount of sugar absorbed from the digestive system and keeping blood sugar levels in balance. (1)

Watermelon also has anti-diabetic properties; it reduces the activities of enzymes and transporters that help in breaking down glucose into the blood. Thus, not causing spikes in glucose levels. (2)

Cancer

Lycopene present in watermelon reduces oxidative stress and free radicals, in turn reducing the risks of developing cancer. (3)

Lectins are active proteins found in bananas that act on cancer cells and inhibit their growth (multiplication). As a result, cancer proliferation and metastasis are reduced.

Cardiovascular health

Overall there is a reduction of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis in patients who consumed watermelon, and this was mainly due to the effect on lipid metabolism, and reduction of risks of cardiovascular diseases was observed. (5)

Antioxidant

Bananas are rich in phenolic compounds that reduce antioxidants and the damage caused by free radicals. This, in turn, reduces inflammation and several degenerative diseases. (6)

Gastro-intestinal tract

Green bananas are richer in fibers than compared ripe bananas, and this positively affects the gut microbiota. In addition to that, the fibers give a sensation of fullness which causes a reduced frequency of eating and ultimately weight loss. (7)(8)

Drug interactions

When it comes to bananas, it is best to avoid them if you are using MAOI medicines, which are a form of antidepressant. Some people may get hypertensive crises as a result of the combination of MAOI medications with bananas. (8)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24752944/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32550185/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6272006/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25631716/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27041291/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21524710/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191675/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: December 09, 2021

Infographic

Banana vs Watermelon infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Banana Watermelon
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Banana Watermelon Opinion
Net carbs 20.24g 7.15g Banana
Protein 1.09g 0.61g Banana
Fats 0.33g 0.15g Banana
Carbs 22.84g 7.55g Banana
Calories 89kcal 30kcal Banana
Starch 5.38g 0g Banana
Fructose 4.85g 3.36g Banana
Sugar 12.23g 6.2g Watermelon
Fiber 2.6g 0.4g Banana
Calcium 5mg 7mg Watermelon
Iron 0.26mg 0.24mg Banana
Magnesium 27mg 10mg Banana
Phosphorus 22mg 11mg Banana
Potassium 358mg 112mg Banana
Sodium 1mg 1mg
Zinc 0.15mg 0.1mg Banana
Copper 0.078mg 0.042mg Banana
Vitamin A 64IU 569IU Watermelon
Vitamin E 0.1mg 0.05mg Banana
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 8.7mg 8.1mg Banana
Vitamin B1 0.031mg 0.033mg Watermelon
Vitamin B2 0.073mg 0.021mg Banana
Vitamin B3 0.665mg 0.178mg Banana
Vitamin B5 0.334mg 0.221mg Banana
Vitamin B6 0.367mg 0.045mg Banana
Folate 20µg 3µg Banana
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0.5µg 0.1µg Banana
Tryptophan 0.009mg 0.007mg Banana
Threonine 0.028mg 0.027mg Banana
Isoleucine 0.028mg 0.019mg Banana
Leucine 0.068mg 0.018mg Banana
Lysine 0.05mg 0.062mg Watermelon
Methionine 0.008mg 0.006mg Banana
Phenylalanine 0.049mg 0.015mg Banana
Valine 0.047mg 0.016mg Banana
Histidine 0.077mg 0.006mg Banana
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.112g 0.016g Watermelon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.032g 0.037g Watermelon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.073g 0.05g Banana

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Banana Watermelon
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
16
Banana
9
Watermelon
Mineral Summary Score
13
Banana
6
Watermelon

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
7%
Banana
4%
Watermelon
Carbohydrates
23%
Banana
8%
Watermelon
Fats
2%
Banana
1%
Watermelon

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Sugar (difference - 6.03g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.096g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watermelon
Watermelon is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Banana
Banana is lower in glycemic index (difference - 28)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Banana
Banana is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Banana
Banana is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (1 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Banana - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/nutrients
  2. Watermelon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.