Watercress vs. Parsley — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
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.
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․
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.
Both parsley and watercress have fats of less than 1g. Watercress contains 0.1g of fat, and parsley has 0.79g of fat.
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.
Watercress and parsley have no cholesterol.
Watercress and parsley have a tiny amount of protein.
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.
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.
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 .
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 . 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.
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 . Polyacetylenes extracted from parsley have chemoprotective and cytotoxic activity .
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 .
Several studies  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 .
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 .
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 .
Another study  found that eating parsley reduced the risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
- Health attributes of roots and tubers
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in Glycemic Index||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||160µg||421µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet||Equal|