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Nutrients, Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivity: The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries (Prunus avium L.)

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Background: Sweet cherries are one of the most appreciated fruits worldwide as well as one of the great sources of several active substances, as phytochemical compounds (carotenoids, serotonin, melatonin and phenolic compounds) as well as in nutritive compounds (sugars and organic acids). Accumulating research demonstrate that their supplementation in our daily diet can contradict oxidative stress, mitigating or even attenuating chronic diseases, as cancerous processes, antiinflammatory- related disorders, diabetes, and neurological and cardiovascular pathologies. Therefore, the aims of this review are to present an overview on the effects of sweet cherries as health promotors, giving emphasis to the health benefits of their bioactive compounds, particularly their antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-neurodegeneration, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular effects.

Methods: Research and online content about sweet cherry fruits is reviewed. The information available has been read several times to avoid inconsistencies. In addition, according what we read, original figures were done and added to facilitate understanding and to enrich the paper.

Results: In this review, a total of 202 original reports were used. In respect to health benefits, it is possible to confirm by several studies that, in fact, the consumption of sweet cherries has positive impacts in human health, owing to their wealthy and vast constitution, particularly in phenolic compounds, vitamins and carotenoids whose health properties were already documented.

Conclusion: The findings of this review support the evidence that sweet cherries can be applied in pharmaceutical and food formulations, since they are able to diminish free radical species and proinflammatory markers, preventing and/ or ameliorating oxidative-stress disorders.

Keywords: Anthocyanins; antioxidant activity; bioactive compounds; health benefits; phenolic compounds; sweet cherry

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • Current Nutrition & Food Science publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on basic and clinical nutrition and food sciences. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all nutrition and food scientists.
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