Ana C. Gonçalves, Catarina Bento, Branca Silva, Manuel Simões and Luís R. Silva* Pages 208 - 227 ( 20 )
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.
Anthocyanins, antioxidant activity, bioactive compounds, health benefits, phenolic compounds, sweet cherry.
CICS-UBI-Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, 6201-506 Covilha, CICS-UBI-Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, 6201-506 Covilha, CICS-UBI-Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, 6201-506 Covilha, LEPABE-Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, CICS-UBI-Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, 6201-506 Covilha