Fruits and Vegetables

  • Rotimi Aluko
Part of the Food Science Text Series book series (FSTS)


The high contents of fiber and phytochemicals are belied to contribute to the health-promoting properties of fruits and vegetables. The fiber content is believed to be responsible for the inverse relationship between fruit consumption and blood pressure. One of the most common polyphenols in fruits is ellagic acid, which has anticancer properties because it reduces DNA-binding ability of carcinogens. Through its antioxidant and properties, ellagic acid modulates cell signaling pathways to prevent free radical-mediated oxidative damage and carcinogenesis. Raspberry extract that is rich in polyphenolic compounds can disrupt cellular organization and increase apoptosis of cancer cells. Cherries have various health benefits including enhanced plasma level of nitric oxide, which increases vasodilation. Cherry anthocyanins exhibit anti-inflammatory properties through inhibition of cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 activities in addition to reduced serum levels of serum C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and prostaglandin E2. Grape seed polyphenols can enhance activity of phagocytotic activities of macrophages which promotes removal of cancerous cells. Blueberry consumption protects against inflammation, improve cognitive functions, and attenuate disease progression of obesity/adiposity, which may be due to the presence of anthocyanins. Consumption of strawberry contributes to increased plasma antioxidant capacity as evident in the reduced levels of lipid peroxides and oxidized DNA molecules. Similarly, blackberry polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory properties through enhanced cellular production of antioxidant enzymes.


Polyphenolic Compound Ellagic Acid Sweet Cherry Grape Seed Strawberry Fruit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rotimi Aluko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Nutritional SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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