16 Complete Protein Pairings with Watermelon

Summary:

  • Watermelon is low in protein - about 0.9 grams per cup.
  • In addition, watermelon provides only 4 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine.[1]
  • Watermelon pairs well with carrots, brazil nut, cornmeal, tortilla or chia seeds to create a complete protein profile. [2] More watermelon pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of watermelon, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with watermelon that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of watermelon source

Amount of Protein in Watermelon

Relatively low in protein, a single cup of watermelon contains 0.9 grams of protein, or about 2% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with watermelon alone, you will need 53 cups of watermelon (8200 grams) for an average female, or 64 cups of watermelon for males. [4] That's over 2460 calories, and a lot of watermelon! Pairing watermelon with a richer protein source is a good idea.

Full nutritional profile for watermelon
USDA Source: Watermelon, raw

Macronutrients in 1 cup (154g) of watermelon:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
2.3% 46 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
0.4% 0.2 grams
Protein
1.9% 0.9 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Watermelon

Proportionally, watermelon does contain abundant amounts of 4 out of the nine essential amino acids. However, watermelon is a little short on histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with watermelon alone, you will have to eat 93 cups of watermelon (14333 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 75% more watermelon to compensate for the lack of histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 cup (154g) of watermelon:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
1.9% 0.939g
Histidine
1.5% 0.009g
Isoleucine
3.4% 0.029g
Leucine
1.5% 0.028g
Lysine
5.6% 0.095g
Methionine
1.1% 0.009g
Phenylalanine
1.6% 0.023g
Threonine
4.6% 0.042g
Tryptophan
4.1% 0.011g
Valine
2.3% 0.025g

More Complete Protein with Watermelon

Top vegan pairings with watermelon include:
  1. Carrots
  2. Brazil Nut
  3. Cornmeal
  4. Tortilla
  5. Chia Seeds
  6. Pumpkin Seeds
  7. Pili Nut
  8. Yellow Corn
  9. Nori
  10. Sesame Seeds
  11. White Rice
  12. Pistachio
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with watermelon. These include:
  1. Sour Cream
  2. Caramel
  3. Mayonnaise
  4. Yogurt

Vegan 1. Carrots and Watermelon


image of carrots
image of watermelon

Low in protein, carrot is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 1.7 cups of watermelon (257g) and 2.6 carrots (191g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.7:1 of carrot to watermelon will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup watermelon and 2.6 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
6.7% 3.3g
Histidine
14.5% 0.09g
Isoleucine
22.7% 0.2g
Leucine
12.7% 0.24g
Lysine
20.6% 0.35g
Methionine
6.2% 0.05g
Phenylalanine
10.4% 0.15g
Threonine
48.1% 0.43g
Tryptophan
15.7% 0.04g
Valine
16% 0.17g

Vegan 2. Brazil Nut and Watermelon


image of brazil nut
image of watermelon

Brazil nut is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 3.3 cups of watermelon (513g) and 3.3 tablespoons of brazil nut (27g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.05 to 1:0 for watermelon to brazil nut by weight.

Full nutritional profile for brazil nut
USDA Source: Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanched

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup watermelon and 3.3 tbsp brazil nut :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14% 7g
Histidine
22.5% 0.14g
Isoleucine
27.6% 0.24g
Leucine
21.9% 0.41g
Lysine
26.4% 0.45g
Methionine
38.9% 0.33g
Phenylalanine
16.8% 0.25g
Threonine
26.4% 0.24g
Tryptophan
27.8% 0.07g
Valine
26.6% 0.29g

Vegan 3. Cornmeal and Watermelon


image of cornmeal
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, cornmeal is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 0.5 cup of cornmeal (55g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.07 to 1:0 for watermelon to cornmeal by weight.

Full nutritional profile for cornmeal
USDA Source: Cornmeal, yellow (Navajo)

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 0.5 cup cornmeal :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.2% 10.1g
Histidine
30.4% 0.19g
Isoleucine
40.7% 0.35g
Leucine
44.4% 0.84g
Lysine
37.6% 0.64g
Methionine
20.1% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
26.2% 0.39g
Threonine
41.9% 0.38g
Tryptophan
31.3% 0.08g
Valine
36.6% 0.39g

Vegan 4. Tortilla and Watermelon


image of tortilla
image of watermelon

Tortilla is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 4.1 tortilla (99g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.13 to 1:0.06 for watermelon to tortilla by weight.

Full nutritional profile for tortilla
USDA Source: Tortillas, ready-to-bake or -fry, corn

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 4.1 tortilla tortilla :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.6% 10.3g
Histidine
35.1% 0.22g
Isoleucine
40.9% 0.35g
Leucine
44.4% 0.84g
Lysine
37.3% 0.64g
Methionine
19.2% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
26.6% 0.4g
Threonine
47% 0.42g
Tryptophan
36.7% 0.1g
Valine
38.3% 0.41g

Vegan 5. Chia Seeds and Watermelon


image of chia seeds
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, chia seed is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 2.5 cups of watermelon (385g) and 0.6 ounce of chia seeds (18g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.05 to 1:18 for watermelon to chia seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup watermelon and 0.6 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
10.6% 5.3g
Histidine
18.6% 0.12g
Isoleucine
25% 0.21g
Leucine
16.5% 0.31g
Lysine
24% 0.41g
Methionine
14.8% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
15.9% 0.24g
Threonine
25.5% 0.23g
Tryptophan
40.1% 0.1g
Valine
21.3% 0.23g

Vegan 6. Pumpkin Seeds and Watermelon


image of pumpkin seeds
image of watermelon

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 3.3 cups of watermelon (513g) and 0.3 cup of pumpkin seeds (20g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.04 to 1:11 for watermelon to pumpkin seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup watermelon and 0.3 cup pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
13.5% 6.8g
Histidine
20.9% 0.13g
Isoleucine
33.1% 0.28g
Leucine
21.2% 0.4g
Lysine
34.5% 0.59g
Methionine
13.1% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
17.3% 0.26g
Threonine
30.2% 0.27g
Tryptophan
38.4% 0.1g
Valine
34.6% 0.37g

Vegan 7. Pili Nut and Watermelon


image of pili nut
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, pili nut is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 3.3 cups of watermelon (513g) and 0.3 cup of pili nut (37g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.07 to 1:0.01 for watermelon to pili nut by weight.

Full nutritional profile for pili nut
USDA Source: Nuts, pilinuts, dried

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup watermelon and 0.3 cup pili nut :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.2% 7.1g
Histidine
19.8% 0.12g
Isoleucine
32.1% 0.28g
Leucine
22.3% 0.42g
Lysine
26.6% 0.45g
Methionine
20.5% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
17.5% 0.26g
Threonine
32.1% 0.29g
Tryptophan
40.6% 0.11g
Valine
31.6% 0.34g

Vegan 8. Yellow Corn and Watermelon


image of yellow corn
image of watermelon

Yellow corn is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 3.3 cups of watermelon (513g) and 1.5 ears of yellow corn (136g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.27 to 1:0.38 for watermelon to yellow corn by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow corn
USDA Source: Corn, sweet, yellow, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup watermelon and 1.5 ear yellow corn :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.5% 7.8g
Histidine
24.6% 0.15g
Isoleucine
32.4% 0.28g
Leucine
30.7% 0.58g
Lysine
29.8% 0.51g
Methionine
14.5% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
19.3% 0.29g
Threonine
35.5% 0.32g
Tryptophan
25.8% 0.07g
Valine
31.7% 0.34g

Vegan 9. Nori and Watermelon


image of nori
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, nori is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 34 sheets of nori (89g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.11 to 1:1.2 for watermelon to nori by weight.

Full nutritional profile for nori
USDA Source: Seaweed, laver, raw

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 34 sheet nori :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.7% 9.8g
Histidine
27% 0.17g
Isoleucine
43.7% 0.38g
Leucine
30.8% 0.58g
Lysine
39.4% 0.67g
Methionine
20.3% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
24% 0.36g
Threonine
45.9% 0.41g
Tryptophan
35.4% 0.09g
Valine
44.4% 0.48g

Vegan 10. Sesame Seeds and Watermelon


image of sesame seeds
image of watermelon

Sesame seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 2.5 cups of watermelon (385g) and 2.5 tablespoons of sesame seeds (23g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.06 to 1:0.06 for watermelon to sesame seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for sesame seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, roasted and toasted

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup watermelon and 2.5 tbsp sesame seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
12.6% 6.3g
Histidine
22.2% 0.14g
Isoleucine
28.4% 0.24g
Leucine
19.8% 0.37g
Lysine
21.4% 0.37g
Methionine
17.9% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
18% 0.27g
Threonine
29.9% 0.27g
Tryptophan
43.8% 0.11g
Valine
26.2% 0.28g

Vegan 11. White Rice and Watermelon


image of white rice
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, white rice is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 1.3 cups of white rice (247g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.32 to 1:0.09 for watermelon to white rice by weight.

Full nutritional profile for white rice
USDA Source: Rice, white, medium-grain, enriched, cooked

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 1.3 cup white rice :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
21.2% 10.6g
Histidine
29.3% 0.18g
Isoleucine
46.6% 0.4g
Leucine
33.1% 0.63g
Lysine
40.3% 0.69g
Methionine
21.4% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
28.8% 0.43g
Threonine
46.4% 0.42g
Tryptophan
47.4% 0.12g
Valine
44.6% 0.48g

Vegan 12. Pistachio and Watermelon


image of pistachio
image of watermelon

Pistachio is a great source of protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 2 cups of watermelon (308g) and 0.3 cup of pistachio (31g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.1:1 of pistachio to watermelon will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pistachio
USDA Source: Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added

Table of amino acids of 2 cup watermelon and 0.3 cup pistachio :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.8% 8.4g
Histidine
29.1% 0.18g
Isoleucine
41.2% 0.35g
Leucine
30.3% 0.57g
Lysine
32.6% 0.56g
Methionine
15.6% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
26.7% 0.4g
Threonine
33.7% 0.3g
Tryptophan
39.3% 0.1g
Valine
41.9% 0.45g

Vegetarian 13. Sour Cream and Watermelon


image of sour cream
image of watermelon

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, sour cream is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 0.4 cup of sour cream (79g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.1 to 1:20 for watermelon to sour cream by weight.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 0.4 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
13.2% 6.6g
Histidine
18.8% 0.12g
Isoleucine
31.9% 0.27g
Leucine
20.7% 0.39g
Lysine
40.5% 0.69g
Methionine
12.5% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
16% 0.24g
Threonine
35.5% 0.32g
Tryptophan
33.4% 0.09g
Valine
25.6% 0.28g

Vegetarian 14. Caramel and Watermelon


image of caramel
image of watermelon

Caramel is low in protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 0.6 cup of caramel (193g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.25 to 1:0.01 for watermelon to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 0.6 cup caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.1% 7g
Histidine
19.6% 0.12g
Isoleucine
37% 0.32g
Leucine
22% 0.42g
Lysine
41.1% 0.7g
Methionine
13.7% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
16.9% 0.25g
Threonine
37.2% 0.33g
Tryptophan
20.7% 0.05g
Valine
28.9% 0.31g

Vegetarian 15. Mayonnaise and Watermelon


image of mayonnaise
image of watermelon

Low in protein, mayonnaise is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, which is complementary to watermelon.

A ratio of 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 1.7 cups of mayonnaise (364g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.47:1 of mayonnaise to watermelon will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 1.7 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.4% 8.2g
Histidine
22.4% 0.14g
Isoleucine
44.5% 0.38g
Leucine
25.7% 0.48g
Lysine
43.3% 0.74g
Methionine
20.2% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
21.7% 0.32g
Threonine
45.4% 0.41g
Tryptophan
44.5% 0.12g
Valine
36.4% 0.39g

Vegetarian 16. Yogurt and Watermelon


image of yogurt
image of watermelon

Yogurt is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in histidine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine, complementing the profile of watermelon.

For example, 5 cups of watermelon (770g) and 0.4 cup of yogurt (96g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.12 to 1:0.08 for watermelon to yogurt by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yogurt
USDA Source: Yogurt, plain, whole milk

Table of amino acids of 5 cup watermelon and 0.4 cup yogurt :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [20] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.1% 8g
Histidine
20.5% 0.13g
Isoleucine
38.2% 0.33g
Leucine
25.2% 0.48g
Lysine
45.4% 0.78g
Methionine
16.8% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
20% 0.3g
Threonine
38.3% 0.34g
Tryptophan
28.2% 0.07g
Valine
37% 0.4g


Complete Protein Pairings

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