Foodstruct Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart | Blog

Parsley vs Watercress - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 30, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Parsley
vs
Watercress

Summary

Parsley provides more Vitamin K, Vitamin C, iron, folate, zinc, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Watercress is higher in Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B6; also, it is low in saturated fat and sodium.

Introduction

We will compare parsley and watercress in terms of nutrition and health impacts.

What's The Actual Difference?

Parsley and watercress have different textures and tastes. Parsley has white skin; they are similar in texture to carrots. Parsley is a leafy herb and vegetable that belongs to the Petroselinum genus, while watercress belongs to the Brassicaceae family. Parsley has a clean and peppery taste and green color, while raw watercress has a peppery flavor, similar to mustard and wasabi, and is soft, mid-green leaves with an unbroken edge and an oval shape.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of watercress and parsley. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between these two foods․

Calories

Both parsley and watercress are low in calories; however, parsley has three times more calories than watercress.

Parsley has 36 calories per 100g, whereas watercress contains 11 calories per 100g.

Fats

Both parsley and watercress have fats of less than 1g. Watercress contains 0.1g of fat, and parsley has 0.79g of fat.

Carbs

Both watercress and parsley are low-carb foods; however, parsley has five times more carbs than watercress: it contains 6.33g of carbs per 100g, whereas watercress contains 1.29g of carbs per 100g.

Cholesterol

Watercress and parsley have no cholesterol.

Protein

Watercress and parsley have a tiny amount of protein.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of parsley is richer than that of watercress.

Parsley contains five times more Vitamin K, two times more Vitamin C, five times more Vitamin B3, 15 times more folate, more Vitamin B2, and Vitamin A.

Moreover, parsley falls in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. 100g of parsley can cover your daily Vitamin A need.

On the other hand, watercress contains more Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B5.

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
:
Contains more Vitamin A +164%
Contains more Vitamin C +209.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +556.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29%
Contains more Folate +1588.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +556%
Contains more Vitamin E +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +22.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +43.3%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 506% 15% 0% 444% 22% 23% 25% 24% 21% 114% 0% 4100%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 192% 20% 0% 144% 23% 28% 4% 19% 30% 7% 0% 625%
Contains more Vitamin A +164%
Contains more Vitamin C +209.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +556.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29%
Contains more Folate +1588.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +556%
Contains more Vitamin E +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +22.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +43.3%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09

Minerals

Parsey is richer in minerals than watercress. It contains 30 times more iron, falling in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of iron.

Parsley also has more calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, and potassium

On the other hand, watercress is lower in sodium.

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 Calcium +15%
Contains more Iron +3000%
Contains more Magnesium +138.1%
Contains more Potassium +67.9%
Contains more Zinc +872.7%
Contains more Copper +93.5%
Contains less Sodium -26.8%
Equal in Phosphorus - 60
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 42% 233% 36% 25% 49% 8% 30% 50%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 36% 8% 15% 26% 30% 6% 3% 26%
Contains more Calcium +15%
Contains more Iron +3000%
Contains more Magnesium +138.1%
Contains more Potassium +67.9%
Contains more Zinc +872.7%
Contains more Copper +93.5%
Contains less Sodium -26.8%
Equal in Phosphorus - 60

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Parsley's high folate content can help lower blood homocysteine levels, linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

According to some test-tube studies, it also contains polyacetylenes, which may have anticancer properties [1].

High levels of carotenoids have been shown in studies to protect against the development of heart disease and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke [2]. Watercress is high in antioxidants such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Low levels of these carotenoids have been linked to heart disease and hypertension.

Cancer

Sulforaphane, found in parsley, has been shown in studies to be effective in treating breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Parsley is also high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant with free-radical scavenging properties, which provides anticancer protection [3]. Polyacetylenes extracted from parsley have chemoprotective and cytotoxic activity [4].

In one study, watercress outperformed all other vegetables in terms of total phenol content and ability to neutralize free radicals associated with oxidative stress and several cancer types [5].

Diabetes

Several studies [6] show a direct relationship between eating fiber-rich foods like parsley and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. One cup of parsley contains 7 grams of soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar [7].

Eye Health

Numerous studies have demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin are critical for eye health. They specifically protect your eyes from blue light damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been linked to a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Both parsley and watercress are high in lutein, zeaxanthin, and Vitamin C and can help keep your eyes healthy and lower the risk of developing cataracts [8].

Bone Health

Parsley is high in magnesium and calcium, essential for bone development. A cup of chopped parsley contains over 45 milligrams of magnesium. At the recommended daily intake of 320-420mg, parsley provides more than 10% of an adult's magnesium needs. According to one study, consuming the recommended daily magnesium intake can help build and maintain strong bones [9].

Another study [10] found that eating parsley reduced the risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

References

  1. Health attributes of roots and tubers
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24489447/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29719430/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21114468/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29748497/
  6. https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/27/2/362/28291/
  7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/mcn.12368
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23571649/
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/mcn.12368
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18922041/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 30, 2022

Infographic

Parsley vs Watercress 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.
Parsley Watercress
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Parsley Watercress Opinion
Net carbs 3.03g 0.79g Parsley
Protein 2.97g 2.3g Parsley
Fats 0.79g 0.1g Parsley
Carbs 6.33g 1.29g Parsley
Calories 36kcal 11kcal Parsley
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0.85g 0.2g Watercress
Fiber 3.3g 0.5g Parsley
Calcium 138mg 120mg Parsley
Iron 6.2mg 0.2mg Parsley
Magnesium 50mg 21mg Parsley
Phosphorus 58mg 60mg Watercress
Potassium 554mg 330mg Parsley
Sodium 56mg 41mg Watercress
Zinc 1.07mg 0.11mg Parsley
Copper 0.149mg 0.077mg Parsley
Vitamin A 8424IU 3191IU Parsley
Vitamin E 0.75mg 1mg Watercress
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 133mg 43mg Parsley
Vitamin B1 0.086mg 0.09mg Watercress
Vitamin B2 0.098mg 0.12mg Watercress
Vitamin B3 1.313mg 0.2mg Parsley
Vitamin B5 0.4mg 0.31mg Parsley
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.129mg Watercress
Folate 152µg 9µg Parsley
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 1640µg 250µg Parsley
Tryptophan 0.045mg 0.03mg Parsley
Threonine 0.122mg 0.133mg Watercress
Isoleucine 0.118mg 0.093mg Parsley
Leucine 0.204mg 0.166mg Parsley
Lysine 0.181mg 0.134mg Parsley
Methionine 0.042mg 0.02mg Parsley
Phenylalanine 0.145mg 0.114mg Parsley
Valine 0.172mg 0.137mg Parsley
Histidine 0.061mg 0.04mg Parsley
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.132g 0.027g Watercress
Monounsaturated Fat 0.295g 0.008g Parsley
Polyunsaturated fat 0.124g 0.035g Parsley

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Parsley Watercress
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

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
441
Parsley
91
Watercress
Mineral Summary Score
59
Parsley
18
Watercress

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
18%
Parsley
14%
Watercress
Carbohydrates
6%
Parsley
1%
Watercress
Fats
4%
Parsley
0%
Watercress

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Watercress
Watercress is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.65g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Watercress
Watercress contains less Sodium (difference - 15mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watercress
Watercress is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.105g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watercress
Watercress is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Parsley
Parsley is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (32)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

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. Parsley - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170416/nutrients
  2. Watercress - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170068/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.