Watermelon vs. Banana — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
This section will compare the difference between watermelon and banana's macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals according to 100g of each.
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.
Bananas are higher in calories, three times the amount of watermelon.
The net carbs of bananas are much higher than that of watermelon. Bananas contain nearly three times more carbs than watermelon.
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.
The total amount of protein is not of high significance.
The total amount of fat in these fruits is negligible.
Bananas are higher in minerals than watermelons. They contain more magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
On the other hand, watermelons have more calcium.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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)
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)
Fat Type Comparison
Carbohydrate type comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sodium||Equal|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||28µg||3µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Watermelon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients
- 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.