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Watermelon vs. Banana — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on June 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Watermelon
vs
Banana

Introduction

Watermelon is a seasonal fruit primarily grown in temperate and tropical regions. Watermelon was harvested in 3500 BC in nowadays Libya, and with time it was grown in Egypt. During the Roman Ages, it was spread throughout Europe.

China is the highest producer of watermelons. The newly modified watermelons are sweeter, disease-resistant, and grow after 100 seed planting days.

On the other hand, the banana is one of the most widely harvested fruits in the world.

It is native to India and Southeast Asia but is currently growing worldwide.

Bananas may be eaten raw, blended into smoothies, and even used as an ingredient in baking.

Bananas grown now are not the same as those found in the wild. Wild bananas were substantially smaller in size and had seeds within. Wild-type bananas were transformed into contemporary domesticated bananas in the early ages.

This article will discuss general differences, nutritional content comparison, weight loss and diet, and health impacts.

Price and Availability

Bananas are always available nearly all around the world and are cheaper than watermelons. On the other hand, watermelon is available during the summer season.

Taste

Watermelon is watery and refreshing, and it has a sweet flavor. On the other hand, bananas are starchy, and their sweetness depends on their ripeness stage.

Shelf Life

The shelf life of watermelon is longer compared to bananas. After 5-7 days, the banana turns ripe; the watermelon can stay unrefrigerated for over a week.

Culinary World and Usage

Bananas are widely used in the culinary world. It can be eaten raw, turned into smoothies, and used in baking. The peel can be turned into banana flour, an alternative to other flour. In addition, bananas are fried in some cuisines and used as part of meals.

However, watermelon doesn't have as wide usage as a banana and is mainly used as a fruit and juice.

Nutrition

This section will compare the difference between watermelon and banana's macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals according to 100g of each.

Water Content

100g of watermelon is composed of 92g of water; technically speaking, watermelon is 92% water. On the other hand, a banana is composed of 75g of water.

Furthermore, bananas are more affluent in macro, vitamins, and minerals since watermelons are 92% water. Technically the nutrients are in a diluted state.

Calories

Bananas are higher in calories, three times the amount of watermelon.

Carbs

The net carbs of bananas are much higher than that of watermelon. Bananas contain nearly three times more carbs than watermelon.

Fiber

It is essential to talk about the fiber content of each fruit. Bananas are 6.5 times richer in fiber than watermelons, containing 2.6mg of fiber per 100g, while watermelons contain only 0.4mg of fiber.

This has significant characteristics when it comes to gastrointestinal health and well-being.

Proteins

The total amount of protein is not of high significance.

Fat

The total amount of fat in these fruits is negligible.

Minerals

Bananas are higher in minerals than watermelons. They contain more magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

On the other hand, watermelons have more calcium.

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 +40%
Contains more Magnesium +170%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +219.6%
Contains more Zinc +50%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Manganese +610.5%
Contains more Selenium +150%
Equal in Iron - 0.26
Equal in Sodium - 1
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 9% 8% 5% 10% 1% 3% 14% 5% 3%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 10% 20% 10% 32% 1% 5% 27% 36% 6%
Contains more Calcium +40%
Contains more Magnesium +170%
Contains more Phosphorus +100%
Contains more Potassium +219.6%
Contains more Zinc +50%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Manganese +610.5%
Contains more Selenium +150%
Equal in Iron - 0.26
Equal in Sodium - 1

Vitamins

Bananas are richer in vitamin C and folate. They have 9 times more folate than watermelons.

Watermelon is richer in vitamin A compared to bananas. 

In the diagram below, we can see the comparison between these foods.

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.
:
9
Banana
Contains more Vitamin A +789.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +247.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +273.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +715.6%
Contains more Folate +566.7%
Contains more Choline +139%
Contains more Vitamin K +400%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.7
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.031
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%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 4% 2% 0% 29% 8% 17% 13% 21% 85% 15% 0% 6% 2%
Contains more Vitamin A +789.1%
Contains more Vitamin E +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +247.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +273.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +715.6%
Contains more Folate +566.7%
Contains more Choline +139%
Contains more Vitamin K +400%
Equal in Vitamin C - 8.7
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.031

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of watermelon is categorized as high, whereas bananas are considered a low glycemic index food. The glycemic index of watermelon is 76, while bananas have a glycemic index equal to 48.

Weight loss and diets

Watermelon and bananas are an excellent addition to be added to everyday diets. Since watermelon is seasonally available, that would be limited to 3-4 months a year. However, bananas are available year-long and can be part of everyday diets.

Vegan

Vegans can eat both bananas and watermelon. In addition, banana is a unique fruit considered in the vegan diet, and bananas can be used to bake cakes and prepare ice cream since they can replace eggs and creams. Vegans use bananas instead of eggs as an alternative ingredient.

Keto

Since they are lower in carbs, watermelons can be eaten on a ketogenic diet. Compared to bananas which are high in carbs and cannot be consumed in the keto diet.

Miscellaneous

Bananas can be used in making energy shakes and baby foods. It is balanced and contains fibers, an excellent addition to everyday diets. On the other hand, watermelon is mostly water. It is an excellent refreshing fruit that can be enjoyed during hot weather. Watermelon can also be used in making smoothies and juices similar to bananas.

Health impacts

Diabetes

Anti-diabetic effects are found in bananas. An enzyme in the digestive tract breaks down large chain sugar molecules into smaller sugar molecules to absorb carbohydrates. Bananas include enzymes that prevent this, limiting the amount of sugar absorbed from the digestive system and keeping blood sugar levels in balance. (1)

Watermelon also has anti-diabetic properties; it reduces the activities of enzymes and transporters that help break down glucose in the blood. Thus, not causing spikes in glucose levels. (2)

Cancer

Lycopene in watermelon reduces oxidative stress and free radicals, reducing the risks of developing cancer. (3)

Lectins are active proteins found in bananas that act on cancer cells and inhibit their growth (multiplication). As a result, cancer proliferation and metastasis are reduced (4).

Cardiovascular Health

Consumption of bananas and watermelons may increase systolic and diastolic blood pressure (5). Unlike bananas, watermelons have diuretic effects, so that they may decrease blood pressure more intensively than bananas (6).

Research supports the idea that both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers play a role in the hypocholesterolemic properties of banana pulp (7). The rats' findings support using watermelon fruit rind as a hypocholesterolemic agent. More research is required to determine whether the rind of watermelon has a hypocholesterolemic effect in humans (8).

One study suggests that watermelon reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors in rats by improving lipid profiles and decreasing inflammation (9). The antiinflammation effect is unknown for bananas.

Antioxidants

Bananas are rich in phenolic compounds that reduce antioxidants and the damage caused by free radicals. This, in turn, reduces inflammation and several degenerative diseases. (10) (11)

Drug Interactions

When it comes to bananas, it is best to avoid them if you are using MAOI medicines, a form of antidepressant. Some people may get hypertensive crises due to combining MAOI medications with bananas. (12)

Summary

Bananas are higher in carbs, calories, and fiber and also are lower in glycemic index than watermelons. They also have more magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and folate.

On the other hand, watermelons have more calcium and vitamin A.

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: June 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Watermelon vs Banana infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Water +22.1%
Contains more Protein +78.7%
Contains more Fats +120%
Contains more Carbs +202.5%
Contains more Other +245.8%
8% 91%
Protein: 0.61 g
Fats: 0.15 g
Carbs: 7.55 g
Water: 91.45 g
Other: 0.24 g
23% 75%
Protein: 1.09 g
Fats: 0.33 g
Carbs: 22.84 g
Water: 74.91 g
Other: 0.83 g
Contains more Water +22.1%
Contains more Protein +78.7%
Contains more Fats +120%
Contains more Carbs +202.5%
Contains more Other +245.8%

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -85.7%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +15.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +46%
16% 36% 49%
Saturated Fat: 0.016 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.037 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.05 g
52% 15% 34%
Saturated Fat: 0.112 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.032 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.073 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -85.7%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +15.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +46%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Maltose +500%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +97.5%
Contains more Glucose +215.2%
Contains more Fructose +44.3%
19% 25% 54%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 1.21 g
Glucose: 1.58 g
Fructose: 3.36 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.06 g
Galactose: 0 g
31% 14% 28% 28%
Starch: 5.38 g
Sucrose: 2.39 g
Glucose: 4.98 g
Fructose: 4.85 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.01 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Maltose +500%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +97.5%
Contains more Glucose +215.2%
Contains more Fructose +44.3%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Watermelon Banana
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price 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 Watermelon Banana Opinion
Net carbs 7.15g 20.24g Banana
Protein 0.61g 1.09g Banana
Fats 0.15g 0.33g Banana
Carbs 7.55g 22.84g Banana
Calories 30kcal 89kcal Banana
Starch 0g 5.38g Banana
Fructose 3.36g 4.85g Banana
Sugar 6.2g 12.23g Watermelon
Fiber 0.4g 2.6g Banana
Calcium 7mg 5mg Watermelon
Iron 0.24mg 0.26mg Banana
Magnesium 10mg 27mg Banana
Phosphorus 11mg 22mg Banana
Potassium 112mg 358mg Banana
Sodium 1mg 1mg
Zinc 0.1mg 0.15mg Banana
Copper 0.042mg 0.078mg Banana
Manganese 0.038mg 0.27mg Banana
Selenium 0.4µg 1µg Banana
Vitamin A 569IU 64IU Watermelon
Vitamin A RAE 28µg 3µg Watermelon
Vitamin E 0.05mg 0.1mg Banana
Vitamin C 8.1mg 8.7mg Banana
Vitamin B1 0.033mg 0.031mg Watermelon
Vitamin B2 0.021mg 0.073mg Banana
Vitamin B3 0.178mg 0.665mg Banana
Vitamin B5 0.221mg 0.334mg Banana
Vitamin B6 0.045mg 0.367mg Banana
Folate 3µg 20µg Banana
Choline 4.1mg 9.8mg Banana
Vitamin K 0.1µg 0.5µg Banana
Tryptophan 0.007mg 0.009mg Banana
Threonine 0.027mg 0.028mg Banana
Isoleucine 0.019mg 0.028mg Banana
Leucine 0.018mg 0.068mg Banana
Lysine 0.062mg 0.05mg Watermelon
Methionine 0.006mg 0.008mg Banana
Phenylalanine 0.015mg 0.049mg Banana
Valine 0.016mg 0.047mg Banana
Histidine 0.006mg 0.077mg Banana
Saturated Fat 0.016g 0.112g Watermelon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.037g 0.032g Watermelon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.05g 0.073g Banana

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

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
8%
Watermelon
15%
Banana
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
6%
Watermelon
14%
Banana

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Sugar (difference - 6.03g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.096g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watermelon
Watermelon is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Banana
Banana is lower in glycemic index (difference - 28)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Banana
Banana is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Banana
Banana 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. Watermelon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients
  2. Banana - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/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.