Papaya vs Watermelon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Watermelon and papayas are delicious fruits that are also good for you.
To find out the similarities and differences of these products, we will discuss a comparative analysis of their nutrition features and health impact. It is very hard to confuse them externally; watermelon is a large fruit, up to 25 cm in diameter, dark green, and smooth rind. Papaya is deep yellow or orange to salmon-colored, about 15–45 cm.
Watermelon is a flowering plant that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It originated in Africa. Watermelon has five different types: seeded, seedless, mini, yellow, and orange.
Papayas belong to the Carica genus. They originated in the tropics of America and Mexico. Among the 14 different types, two kinds are commonly grown; Yellow Papaya and Red Papaya.
Watermelon is a sweet and fresh flowering plant, which is usually eaten raw, or used in different salads and juices. Watermelon can be used in making watermelon wine. The ripe papaya is often eaten raw, without skin or seeds. Green papaya is used in cooking. In Southeast Asia, It is used in dishes such as tinola, lumpia, and empanada. The young leaves of the papaya can be eaten like spinach.
In this section of the article, we are going to compare the nutritional content between watermelon and papaya. At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition infographic, which will help you to better understand the differences in the nutrition of watermelon and papaya. Both are mostly made up of water, however, watermelon contains more water than papaya.
Papayas are richer in protein, carbs, and fiber. On the other hand, watermelons contain more protein and fewer sugars. Both contain no cholesterol.
Papaya is relatively high in vitamins. It contains 7 times more Vitamin K, 6 times more Vitamin C, and 5 times more Vitamin E than watermelon. The levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B2 are also higher in papaya. On the other hand, watermelon has more Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6 than kiwifruit. Both contain no Vitamin D and Vitamin B12.
Overall, papaya is richer in minerals than watermelon. It has 2 times more calcium, more potassium, and magnesium than watermelon. Watermelon, on the other hand, contains more zinc and less sodium. Both have an equal amount of iron, copper, and phosphorus.
The glycemic index is a value that measures how much a specific food increases your blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of papaya is lower than that of watermelon. It has a GI equal to 59, whereas a GI of watermelon is equal to 76 .
On average, watermelon has a pH equal to 2. Papaya has a higher pH, it ranges from 5.5 – to 5.9.
Papaya contains more calories than watermelon. It has 43 calories per 100 g, while watermelon has 30 calories per 100 g. The food energy of papaya is equal to 43 Kcal, and watermelon has 30 Kcal.
Watermelon is used in different diets due to its low calories, water content, and high vitamin amount. The watermelon diet lasts 3 days, during which people consume nothing but watermelon. This is a sort of cleansing.
Papaya is also used in different diets. It contains papain which may help to digest proteins and clean the intestinal walls. Besides, papaya seeds can prevent your body from absorbing fat, and by that help you to lose weight  .
There is no such study directly associated with watermelon consumption and diabetes management. Watermelon contains a high amount of lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant and may help to fight against chronic diseases. However, more research is needed .
Papaya, on the other hand, is rich in fiber that can help to lower blood glucose levels in case of type 1 diabetes and may keep in balance blood sugars and insulin levels in case of type 2 diabetes .
Several compounds of watermelon may have beneficial effects on the heart. In particular, lycopene can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Based on the study, lycopene can reduce the stiffness and thickness of artery walls in Finnish men. Besides, citrulline and amino acids in watermelon may also lower blood pressure .
Papayas are rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which have protective effects on HDL cholesterol. These compounds may also improve the ratio and reduce the risk of heart diseases .
According to studies, watermelon contains lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant that has anti-cancer effects. Studies show that lycopene may lower the insulin-like growth factor, which is linked to cancer.
Researches show that papaya also contains lycopene and several phytochemicals which may help to treat health problems. It is highly effective against hormones-related cancer and may stop the growth of cancer cells and normalize the cell cycle  .
Skin and Hair Health
Vitamin A and Vitamin C are important vitamins for your skin and hair health. Vitamin C may help to produce collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong. Vitamin A is it helps to create and repair skin cells. If your body lacks Vitamin A, your skin will look dry and flaky. Both papaya and watermelon are picked with these vitamins in high amounts. Besides, watermelon contains lycopene and beta-carotene that help protect your skin from sunburn  .
Papaya contains two enzymes; papain and chymopapain, which digest protein. This means that they can help with digestion and reduce inflammation. In particular, they may help with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and arthritis. On the other hand, watermelon is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and Vitamin C. According to the 2015 rut study, the control ruts group that were fed watermelon had a lower level of oxidative stress and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein  .
Potassium is an important mineral that may support kidney health. It removes the toxins deposited in the kidneys and reduces the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. Besides, papaya seeds play an important part in keeping the kidney healthy. They contain flavonoids that help to keep the cells from degenerating and prevent the kidney from dysfunctioning .
An allergy to watermelon is rare, however, the symptoms are similar to food allergy. Symptoms usually include hives, itchy or tingly lips, tongue, or throat, coughing, stomach pain, or cramping. Papayas are possibly unsafe if they are taken in large amounts. People who have an allergy to latex may also be allergic to papayas. Papaya latex applied to the skin can cause severe irritation and allergic reactions  .
Other side effects
Papayas can be unsafe during pregnancy. Papain in these fruits can cause birth defects. In rare cases, people can have an allergy to papaya, if they are allergic to papain .
In general, papaya is richer in minerals and vitamins than watermelon. It contains 6 times more Vitamin C, 5 times more Vitamin E, and 2 times more calcium than watermelon. Nevertheless, watermelon contains more zinc, more Vitamins B2, less sodium, less saturated fat, and sugars than papayas.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values