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Paprika vs. Cumin — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on July 21, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan Article author photo Astghik Baghinyan
Paprika
vs
Cumin

Summary

Paprika is a dried form of pepper, specifically bell peppers, while cumin is the dried seeds of the Cuminum herb.

Although the serving sizes of spices are not large enough to contribute to the daily needs of vitamins and minerals, paprika is still relatively richer in vitamins, while cumin seeds are richer in minerals. Paprika provides 39 times more Vitamin A, 15 times more Vitamin K, and 9 times more Vitamin E. On the other hand, cumin seeds provide 4 times more calcium and 3 times more iron.

Introduction

This article will discuss the main differences in the nutrition of paprika and cumin while also exploring their health impact.

What's the Actual Difference?

Cumin and paprika have different colors and tastes. Firstly, paprika is a dried form of pepper, particularly bell peppers. The spice flavor can therefore range from mild and sweet to extremely hot, depending on the peppers. Paprika has a mild and sweet flavor. 

On the other hand, cumin is the dried seeds of the Cuminum herb. It is sold in either ground form or as whole seeds. Cumin has an earthy, spicy, and slightly bitter flavor

Nutrition

In this section, nutritional differences are explored for paprika and cumin seeds.  

The serving sizes for both spices are usually about 0.5g-2g, but depending on the dish, you might add more. One teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and one teaspoon of paprika is around 2 grams

However, to keep the comparison between the two spices simple, we will sometimes refer to 100-gram servings of each.  

Macronutrients and Calories

As can be seen from the macronutrient comparison charts below, carbs are the predominant macronutrient in both spices. Paprika consists of 54% carbs, while cumin consists of 44% carbs

Given that the serving sizes for both cumin seeds and paprika are very small as they are mostly used as seasonings, the differences in macronutrients are not relevant in the context of the daily recommended amount of nutrients and calories.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Cumin
Contains more Carbs +22%
Contains more Water +39.5%
Contains more Protein +26%
Contains more Fats +72.8%
Equal in Other - 7.62
14% 13% 54% 11% 8%
Protein: 14.14 g
Fats: 12.89 g
Carbs: 53.99 g
Water: 11.24 g
Other: 7.74 g
18% 22% 44% 8% 8%
Protein: 17.81 g
Fats: 22.27 g
Carbs: 44.24 g
Water: 8.06 g
Other: 7.62 g
Contains more Carbs +22%
Contains more Water +39.5%
Contains more Protein +26%
Contains more Fats +72.8%
Equal in Other - 7.62

Calories

Cumin seeds and paprika contain similar amounts of calories.

One teaspoon serving of paprika (2.3 grams) provides around 6-7 calories, while one teaspoon of whole cumin seeds (2.1 grams) provides around 8 calories.      

Fats

Cumin seeds contain around 2 times more fat than paprika.

One teaspoon of paprika provides around 0.297 grams of total lipid fat, while one teaspoon of whole cumin seeds provides around 0.468 grams of total lipid fat.

Per 100-gram serving, cumin seeds contain 22.27g of fats, whereas paprika contains 12.89g.

Both contain no cholesterol.

Carbohydrates

The total carbohydrate content in both of these spices is not very different. One teaspoon serving of paprika (2.3 grams) provides 1.24 grams of carbs, while one teaspoon of whole cumin seeds (2.1 grams) provides 0.928 grams.      

Per 100-gram serving, cumin seeds contain 44.24g of carbs, of which 10.5g is fiber, and the rest are net carbs.

Paprika contains only 53.99g of net carbs, of which 34.9g is fiber and 19.09g are net carbs. 

Vitamins

A single serving of neither of these spices provides significant amounts of vitamins to contribute to your daily needs; however, they still do contain various vitamins that we can discuss here. 

Paprika contains significantly higher amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B6 when compared to cumin seeds.

Specifically, paprika contains 39 times more Vitamin A, 15 times more Vitamin K, and 9 times more Vitamin E. On the other hand, cumin seeds contain slightly more amounts of Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C. 

Both of these spices completely lack Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. While paprika contains some amounts of Vitamin B5, cumin seeds are completely absent in that vitamin as well.

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.
:
2
Cumin
Contains more Vitamin A +3778.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +773.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +276.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +119.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +392.2%
Contains more Folate +390%
Contains more Choline +108.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +1387%
Contains more Vitamin C +755.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +90.3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 2956% 583% 0% 3% 83% 284% 189% 151% 495% 37% 0% 29% 201%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 77% 67% 0% 26% 157% 76% 86% 0% 101% 8% 0% 14% 14%
Contains more Vitamin A +3778.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +773.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +276.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +119.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +392.2%
Contains more Folate +390%
Contains more Choline +108.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +1387%
Contains more Vitamin C +755.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +90.3%

Minerals

As discussed above, single servings of these spices do not contribute any significant amounts of vitamins or minerals to your daily need; however, we can still discuss their differences. 

Cumin seeds provide 4 times more calcium, 3 times more iron, as well as more magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper when compared to paprika.

However, paprika provides slightly less sodium and more potassium and selenium than cumin seeds.

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.
:
7
Cumin
Contains more Potassium +27.5%
Contains less Sodium -59.5%
Contains more Selenium +21.2%
Contains more Calcium +306.6%
Contains more Iron +213.9%
Contains more Magnesium +105.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.9%
Contains more Zinc +10.9%
Contains more Copper +21.6%
Contains more Manganese +109.6%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 69% 793% 128% 135% 202% 9% 119% 238% 208% 35%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 280% 2489% 262% 214% 158% 22% 131% 289% 435% 29%
Contains more Potassium +27.5%
Contains less Sodium -59.5%
Contains more Selenium +21.2%
Contains more Calcium +306.6%
Contains more Iron +213.9%
Contains more Magnesium +105.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.9%
Contains more Zinc +10.9%
Contains more Copper +21.6%
Contains more Manganese +109.6%

Glycemic Index

The estimated glycemic indexes of cumin and paprika are 0. Both are considered low-GI foods.

Acidity

One way to understand the acidity of foods is through their potential renal acid load (PRAL) value, which shows how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism. 

Based on our calculations, the PRAL values of cumin seeds and paprika are -32 and -36.9, respectively, which means paprika has greater potential to alkalize the body. 

Health Benefits

Diabetes

Several studies have found that cumin helps to reduce blood glucose levels. In alloxan-induced diabetic rats, cumin supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in blood glucose and an increase in total hemoglobin and glycosylated hemoglobin (1).

Paprika contains capsaicin, a chemical compound first isolated from chili peppers. Capsaicin is used to treat psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy as a topical treatment (2).

Cardiovascular Health

Studies show that estrogen found in the body helps in lipid metabolism, protecting the heart from coronary heart disease. During menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly, making women more susceptible to heart disease. Cumin extract has hypolipidemic properties, which can help treat certain menopausal disorders (3).

Research indicates that capsaicin has antioxidant properties that can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as improve immunity (2).

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Curcumin is a bioactive compound found in cumin. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown in studies to inhibit free radical activity while increasing the activity of other antioxidants (4).

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

A compound known as profilin in cumin can cause an allergic reaction. Cumin allergy can also aggravate pollen allergies. Symptoms usually include itching and tingling in the mouth.

Paprika allergy symptoms are typically mild, but severe paprika allergies can result in anaphylaxis, so it is critical to be tested if you have a history of food allergies (5).

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: July 21, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan

Infographic

Paprika vs Cumin infographic
Infographic link

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Cumin
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +136.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -28.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +728.3%
18% 15% 67%
Saturated Fat: 2.14 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.695 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 7.766 g
8% 74% 17%
Saturated Fat: 1.535 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 14.04 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.279 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +136.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -28.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +728.3%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Paprika Cumin
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Paprika Cumin Opinion
Net carbs 19.09g 33.74g Cumin
Protein 14.14g 17.81g Cumin
Fats 12.89g 22.27g Cumin
Carbs 53.99g 44.24g Paprika
Calories 282kcal 375kcal Cumin
Fructose 6.71g Paprika
Sugar 10.34g 2.25g Cumin
Fiber 34.9g 10.5g Paprika
Calcium 229mg 931mg Cumin
Iron 21.14mg 66.36mg Cumin
Magnesium 178mg 366mg Cumin
Phosphorus 314mg 499mg Cumin
Potassium 2280mg 1788mg Paprika
Sodium 68mg 168mg Paprika
Zinc 4.33mg 4.8mg Cumin
Copper 0.713mg 0.867mg Cumin
Manganese 1.59mg 3.333mg Cumin
Selenium 6.3µg 5.2µg Paprika
Vitamin A 49254IU 1270IU Paprika
Vitamin A RAE 2463µg 64µg Paprika
Vitamin E 29.1mg 3.33mg Paprika
Vitamin C 0.9mg 7.7mg Cumin
Vitamin B1 0.33mg 0.628mg Cumin
Vitamin B2 1.23mg 0.327mg Paprika
Vitamin B3 10.06mg 4.579mg Paprika
Vitamin B5 2.51mg Paprika
Vitamin B6 2.141mg 0.435mg Paprika
Folate 49µg 10µg Paprika
Choline 51.5mg 24.7mg Paprika
Vitamin K 80.3µg 5.4µg Paprika
Tryptophan 0.07mg Paprika
Threonine 0.49mg Paprika
Isoleucine 0.57mg Paprika
Leucine 0.92mg Paprika
Lysine 0.69mg Paprika
Methionine 0.2mg Paprika
Phenylalanine 0.61mg Paprika
Valine 0.75mg Paprika
Histidine 0.25mg Paprika
Saturated Fat 2.14g 1.535g Cumin
Monounsaturated Fat 1.695g 14.04g Cumin
Polyunsaturated fat 7.766g 3.279g Paprika
Omega-3 - ALA 0.453g Paprika

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Paprika Cumin
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

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
385%
Paprika
48%
Cumin
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
193%
Paprika
431%
Cumin

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Paprika
Paprika contains less Sodium (difference - 100mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Paprika
Paprika is cheaper (difference - $1.4)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Paprika
Paprika is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cumin
Cumin is lower in Sugar (difference - 8.09g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Cumin
Cumin is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.605g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Cumin
Cumin 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 (0)

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. Paprika - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171329/nutrients
  2. Cumin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170923/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.