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Pumpkin vs. Watermelon — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on November 15, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Pumpkin
vs
Watermelon

Summary

Pumpkins are richer in minerals and vitamins. On the other hand, watermelons are higher in carbs. Watermelons are also richer in fructose compared to pumpkins. Both of them have a lot of health benefits.

Introduction

In this article, we discuss the main differences in nutritional content and health impacts of pumpkin(1) and watermelon(2). You can check the daily coverages of some essential nutrients these vegetables provide in the corresponding charts. 

Actual differences

Watermelon is round in shape and has pale yellow or reddish skin, which can be rough or smooth. The pumpkin’s shape is round or ellipsoid. It has a yellow or orange flash. Pumpkin tastes like a sweet potato. Watermelons have a combination of sweet, bitter, and sour flavors. 

Watermelon is native to Africa, while pumpkin originates in North America

Nutrition

Both pumpkin and watermelon are juicy vegetables with many similarities, yet there are differences in how nutrients are distributed.

Calories

Pumpkin and watermelon are plant food products. So, these two are considered low-calorie foods. However, watermelon is higher in calories due to its higher carbohydrate content.

Carbs

Watermelon is higher in carbs compared to pumpkins. 

Watermelon provides nearly the same amount of fiber as pumpkin but also contains 3.36g of fructose, which is absent in pumpkin. 

Protein 

These two vegetables are supposed to contain little protein. They both contain tiny amounts of proteins per 100g. We can neglect that amount. 

Fats

Both vegetables have less than 1g of fat per 100g, so we can ignore the fat amounts. Pumpkins and watermelons do not contain any amount of cholesterol

Vitamins 

Pumpkin is the absolute winner of this section. 

Pumpkin is higher in all the vitamins compared to watermelon. 

Pumpkin is 15 times richer in vitamin A than watermelon. 

Watermelon covers 27% of the DV of vitamin C.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Pumpkin
11
:
Contains more Vitamin A +1396.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +2020%
Contains more Vitamin C +11.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +51.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +423.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +237.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +34.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +35.6%
Contains more Folate +433.3%
Contains more Choline +100%
Contains more Vitamin K +1000%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.1
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 511% 22% 0% 30% 13% 26% 12% 18% 15% 12% 0% 5% 3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 35% 1% 0% 27% 9% 5% 4% 14% 11% 3% 0% 3% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +1396.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +2020%
Contains more Vitamin C +11.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +51.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +423.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +237.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +34.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +35.6%
Contains more Folate +433.3%
Contains more Choline +100%
Contains more Vitamin K +1000%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.1
  

Minerals

Pumpkin is higher in all minerals as well. 

Pumpkin is 4 times higher in phosphorus and 3 times richer in potassium than watermelon. 

You can compare the mineral composition of these two vegetables in the chart below. 

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +233.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Phosphorus +300%
Contains more Potassium +203.6%
Contains more Zinc +220%
Contains more Copper +202.4%
Contains more Manganese +228.9%
Contains more Selenium +33.3%
Equal in Sodium - 1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 7% 30% 9% 19% 30% 1% 9% 43% 17% 2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 9% 8% 5% 10% 1% 3% 14% 5% 3%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +233.3%
Contains more Magnesium +20%
Contains more Phosphorus +300%
Contains more Potassium +203.6%
Contains more Zinc +220%
Contains more Copper +202.4%
Contains more Manganese +228.9%
Contains more Selenium +33.3%
Equal in Sodium - 1

Health impact

Cardiovascular health

Pumpkin is high in potassium, which is an important mineral for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke (3) (4). It contains a lot of antioxidants, especially phenolics and carotenoids, that protect the organism from lipoprotein oxidation, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (5).
 

Watermelon produces lycopene, essential for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure (6). It also contains citrulline, an amino acid that increases the nitric oxide concentration, dilating blood vessels and lowering blood pressure (7). 

Skin health

Studies show that beta-carotene, which is abundant in pumpkins, acts as a natural sunblock (8). What is more, carotenoids provide protection against UV radiation (9). Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin C, essential in collagen synthesis (10). 
 

Watermelon contains notable amounts of vitamin A. This vitamin is important for skin repair after damage (11). 

References 

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168448/nutrients 
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28024910/ 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27792643/ 
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17639513/ 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/ 
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30029482/ 
  8. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/96/5/1179S/4577133 
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23053552/ 
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28805671/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31389093/ 
Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: November 15, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Pumpkin vs Watermelon infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +63.9%
Contains more Other +233.3%
Contains more Fats +50%
Contains more Carbs +16.2%
Equal in Water - 91.45
7% 92%
Protein: 1 g
Fats: 0.1 g
Carbs: 6.5 g
Water: 91.6 g
Other: 0.8 g
8% 91%
Protein: 0.61 g
Fats: 0.15 g
Carbs: 7.55 g
Water: 91.45 g
Other: 0.24 g
Contains more Protein +63.9%
Contains more Other +233.3%
Contains more Fats +50%
Contains more Carbs +16.2%
Equal in Water - 91.45

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -69.2%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +184.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +900%
74% 19% 7%
Saturated Fat: 0.052 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.013 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.005 g
16% 36% 49%
Saturated Fat: 0.016 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.037 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.05 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -69.2%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +184.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +900%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Pumpkin Watermelon
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar 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 Pumpkin Watermelon Opinion
Net carbs 6g 7.15g Watermelon
Protein 1g 0.61g Pumpkin
Fats 0.1g 0.15g Watermelon
Carbs 6.5g 7.55g Watermelon
Calories 26kcal 30kcal Watermelon
Fructose 3.36g Watermelon
Sugar 2.76g 6.2g Pumpkin
Fiber 0.5g 0.4g Pumpkin
Calcium 21mg 7mg Pumpkin
Iron 0.8mg 0.24mg Pumpkin
Magnesium 12mg 10mg Pumpkin
Phosphorus 44mg 11mg Pumpkin
Potassium 340mg 112mg Pumpkin
Sodium 1mg 1mg
Zinc 0.32mg 0.1mg Pumpkin
Copper 0.127mg 0.042mg Pumpkin
Manganese 0.125mg 0.038mg Pumpkin
Selenium 0.3µg 0.4µg Watermelon
Vitamin A 8513IU 569IU Pumpkin
Vitamin A RAE 426µg 28µg Pumpkin
Vitamin E 1.06mg 0.05mg Pumpkin
Vitamin C 9mg 8.1mg Pumpkin
Vitamin B1 0.05mg 0.033mg Pumpkin
Vitamin B2 0.11mg 0.021mg Pumpkin
Vitamin B3 0.6mg 0.178mg Pumpkin
Vitamin B5 0.298mg 0.221mg Pumpkin
Vitamin B6 0.061mg 0.045mg Pumpkin
Folate 16µg 3µg Pumpkin
Choline 8.2mg 4.1mg Pumpkin
Vitamin K 1.1µg 0.1µg Pumpkin
Tryptophan 0.012mg 0.007mg Pumpkin
Threonine 0.029mg 0.027mg Pumpkin
Isoleucine 0.031mg 0.019mg Pumpkin
Leucine 0.046mg 0.018mg Pumpkin
Lysine 0.054mg 0.062mg Watermelon
Methionine 0.011mg 0.006mg Pumpkin
Phenylalanine 0.032mg 0.015mg Pumpkin
Valine 0.035mg 0.016mg Pumpkin
Histidine 0.016mg 0.006mg Pumpkin
Saturated Fat 0.052g 0.016g Watermelon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.013g 0.037g Watermelon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.005g 0.05g Watermelon

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pumpkin Watermelon
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
51%
Pumpkin
8%
Watermelon
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
16%
Pumpkin
6%
Watermelon

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.036g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watermelon
Watermelon is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Pumpkin
Pumpkin is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.44g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Pumpkin
Pumpkin is lower in glycemic index (difference - 24)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Pumpkin
Pumpkin is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Pumpkin
Pumpkin 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

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Pumpkin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168448/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.