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Watermelon vs Melon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan by Razmik Sargsyan | Last updated on October 08, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Watermelon
vs
Melon

Summary

While being genetically related, melon and watermelon have some differences.

Melon is richer in vitamins as it contains more vitamin K by 2400%, vitamin B6 by 262%, and vitamin C by 169%. On the other hand, watermelon contains more vitamin B5 by about 163%.

Watermelon contains less sodium and more phosphorus, but melon is richer in iron, calcium, potassium, and copper.

Introduction

In this article, we are going to talk about the nutritional content, as well as the classification and appearance of melon and watermelon. In the case of watermelon, everything is more or less clear; it belongs to the genus Citrullus. However, things are a little bit complicated in the case of melon because under the term “melon,” there are three different genera: Benincasa, Citrullus, and Cucumis.

Classification

Both fruits belong to the same family - Cucurbitaceae. The most common type of watermelon is scientifically called Citrullus lanatus. At the same time, the melon includes different representatives belonging to different genera: Benincasa hispida, from the Benincasa genus, Citrullus lanatus, from genus Citrullus (not to be confused with watermelon; this is the wild type), and Cucumis melo L. belonging to genus Cucumis.

Appearance

There are plenty of melon varieties, but the most common ones appear to have yellow skin and white flesh. It is quite easy to distinguish watermelon from melon, as the former is larger, dark green, and has a smooth rind, with irregular areas of pale green color.

Taste and Use

Watermelon stands out with its juicy and sweet flavor, which can’t be missed. While the melon taste mostly depends on the type of melon, it may vary from sweet to pear-like taste.

While watermelon is generally used as it is, there are plenty of melon uses that vary from cooking to raw consumption.

Growing Conditions

Watermelons usually require a long and warm growing season and slightly acidic and well-drained soil. As these two are genetically related, melons require the same growing conditions.

Varieties

Melons stand out with their varieties, as it is not the name of a certain fruit but a name for a group of fruits. Hence its varieties are wide, the most common types being Casaba, Cantaloupe, Gaia melon, Canary melon, Winter melon, Snap melon, and Honeydew melon.

In the case of the watermelon, there are seedless watermelons like Crimson, Bijou, and Nova, miniature watermelons, and seeded watermelons.

Nutrition

In this article, we are going to discuss the nutritional values of raw Casaba melon and watermelon.

It is evident that both melon and watermelon are dense in water and contain about the same amount of it, about 91.8% for melon and 91.4% for watermelon per 100 g.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories

The calorie content of both fruits is extremely low and almost equal. Melon contains 28kcal and watermelon 30kcal per 100g.

Protein and Fats

Melon contains 1.11g proteins per 100g, which is slightly more than in watermelon, where the protein content is 0.61g per 100g.

However, melon contains a slightly lower total lipid content, 0.1g per 100g, while watermelon contains 0.15g per 100g.

Carbohydrates

Both foods are low in carbohydrate content; melon contains 6.58g per 100g, and watermelon contains 7.55g per 100g.

Both fruits are relatively low in sugars. Melon contains 5.69g of total sugars per 100g, while the watermelon number is slightly higher, about 6.2g per 100g. Watermelon contains more fructose than sucrose or glucose.

Melon is richer in fiber. It contains 0.9g fiber per 100g, while watermelon contains only 0.4g per 100g.

Vitamins

Both fruits are good sources of vitamins. While melon lacks vitamin A, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5, it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and an excellent source of vitamin K.

On the other hand, watermelon is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5.

Both fruits lack vitamin D and are equal in vitamin E content.

Have a look at this vitamin coverage chart to get a better understanding of the vitamin comparison.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
6
Melon
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +120%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +163.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +169.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +47.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +30.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +262.2%
Contains more Folate +166.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +2400%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.05
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 35% 1% 0% 27% 9% 5% 4% 14% 11% 3% 0% 1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 1% 0% 73% 4% 8% 5% 6% 38% 6% 0% 7%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +120%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +163.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +169.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +47.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +30.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +262.2%
Contains more Folate +166.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +2400%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.05

Minerals

Melon is richer in mineral content. It contains 0.34mg of iron, 11mg of calcium, 182mg of potassium, and 0.06mg of copper per 100g.

At the same time, watermelon contains more zinc (0.1mg) and phosphorus (11mg per 100g) and is lower in sodium, containing 1mg per 100g.

You can find a similar chart for mineral coverage below.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Phosphorus +120%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Zinc +42.9%
Contains more Calcium +57.1%
Contains more Iron +41.7%
Contains more Potassium +62.5%
Contains more Copper +42.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 11
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 3% 9% 8% 5% 10% 1% 3% 14%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 4% 13% 8% 3% 17% 2% 2% 20%
Contains more Phosphorus +120%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Zinc +42.9%
Contains more Calcium +57.1%
Contains more Iron +41.7%
Contains more Potassium +62.5%
Contains more Copper +42.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 11

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index value of casaba melon is 62 making its glycemic index medium. At the same time, watermelon falls into the category of foods with a high GI, as the GI value for watermelon is 76.

Acidity

When it comes to the acidity of these fruits, watermelon has a pH value of about 5.18-5.60, and melon has a pH value of around 6.1, making it a bit more alkaline.

Weight Loss

As these fruits are rich in water and low in calorie content, both foods may positively affect weight loss in general. Also, with moderation, both fruits can be options to consider for the keto diet, as the total carb amounts are quite low in watermelon and melon.

In the study performed in 2019, scientists compared how low-fat cookies and watermelons affect human health when consumed as snacks. Research showed the substitution of low-fat cookies with watermelons to increase the satiety for up to 90min after consumption. Additionally, short-term watermelon consumption helped reduce body weight (1).

Health Impact

We have found that, so far, there are no scientifically significant studies on the health impact of melon, while there are plenty regarding watermelon.

Cardiovascular Health

Studies show that watermelon consumption may decrease systolic blood pressure, especially in obese individuals. Due to the antioxidant compounds of watermelon, it increases the antioxidant potential of the organism.

Moreover, watermelon consumption lowers cholesterol levels and improves lipid profiles (1). Watermelons contain a compound called lycopene which is known for its many health benefits, including cardiovascular health. Authors state that along with vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium, and potassium, lycopene found in watermelons reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors (2).

Diabetes

Due to the antioxidant capacities of watermelon, especially the compound lycopene, this fruit is a good option to consider both for people who are diagnosed with diabetes and those who want to prevent it. Elevated oxidative stress and LDL oxidation are the major factors causing hyperglycemia; thus, the antioxidant potential of watermelon, and lycopene, in particular, protects the organism from oxidative stress, reducing the diabetes development risk (2).

Cancer

The secondary metabolites contained in watermelon can effectively reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. Metabolites contained in watermelon are involved in the various metabolic networks, affecting positively in reducing different types of cancer development (3).

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470521/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
  3. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/22/5258/htm
Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: October 08, 2021

Infographic

Watermelon vs Melon infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Watermelon Melon
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Watermelon Melon Opinion
Net carbs 7.15g 5.68g Watermelon
Protein 0.61g 1.11g Melon
Fats 0.15g 0.1g Watermelon
Carbs 7.55g 6.58g Watermelon
Calories 30kcal 28kcal Watermelon
Starch 0g g Watermelon
Fructose 3.36g g Watermelon
Sugar 6.2g 5.69g Melon
Fiber 0.4g 0.9g Melon
Calcium 7mg 11mg Melon
Iron 0.24mg 0.34mg Melon
Magnesium 10mg 11mg Melon
Phosphorus 11mg 5mg Watermelon
Potassium 112mg 182mg Melon
Sodium 1mg 9mg Watermelon
Zinc 0.1mg 0.07mg Watermelon
Copper 0.042mg 0.06mg Melon
Vitamin A 569IU 0IU Watermelon
Vitamin E 0.05mg 0.05mg
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 8.1mg 21.8mg Melon
Vitamin B1 0.033mg 0.015mg Watermelon
Vitamin B2 0.021mg 0.031mg Melon
Vitamin B3 0.178mg 0.232mg Melon
Vitamin B5 0.221mg 0.084mg Watermelon
Vitamin B6 0.045mg 0.163mg Melon
Folate 3µg 8µg Melon
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0.1µg 2.5µg Melon
Tryptophan 0.007mg mg Watermelon
Threonine 0.027mg mg Watermelon
Isoleucine 0.019mg mg Watermelon
Leucine 0.018mg mg Watermelon
Lysine 0.062mg mg Watermelon
Methionine 0.006mg mg Watermelon
Phenylalanine 0.015mg mg Watermelon
Valine 0.016mg mg Watermelon
Histidine 0.006mg mg Watermelon
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.016g 0.025g Watermelon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.037g 0.002g Watermelon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.05g 0.039g Watermelon

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Watermelon Melon
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
9
Watermelon
12
Melon
Mineral Summary Score
6
Watermelon
8
Melon

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
4%
Watermelon
7%
Melon
Carbohydrates
8%
Watermelon
7%
Melon
Fats
1%
Watermelon
0%
Melon

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Watermelon
Watermelon contains less Sodium (difference - 8mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Watermelon
Watermelon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.009g)
Which food is cheaper?
Watermelon
Watermelon is cheaper (difference - $0.5)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Melon
Melon is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.51g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Melon
Melon is lower in glycemic index (difference - 14)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Melon
Melon is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

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.

  1. Watermelon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients
  2. Melon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169093/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.