Bioactive Compounds of Arid and Semiarid Fruits: Impact on Human Health

  • Randah Muqbil Alqurashi
  • Muneera Qassim Al-Mssallem
  • Jameel Mohammed Al-KhayriEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Fruits are a rich source of natural bioactive compounds, which include polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and carotenoids. These compounds are characterized as healthy foods and demonstrated biological activity in human health in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Increasing evidence of these bioactive compounds has shown biological relevant activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, and neuroactive properties. This chapter defines the basic concepts of bioactive compounds in arid and semiarid fruits and identifies the phytochemicals composition of these fruits in addition to their benefits as antioxidant and chronic disease prevention in relation to human health.


Antioxidant Bioactive compounds Chronic diseases Fruits Health benefits Polyphenol Secondary metabolites 

List of Abbreviations




Blood pressure


Cardiovascular disease


Monounsaturated fatty acid


  1. 1.
    Rienks J, Barbaresko J, Nothlings U (2017) Association of polyphenol biomarkers with cardiovascular disease and mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Nutrients 9:415–422. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Del-Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST (2004) Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem 52:1539–1545. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ness AR, Powles JW (1997) Fruit and vegetables, and cardiovascular disease: a review. Int J Epidemiol 26:1–13. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kay CD (2006) Aspects of anthocyanin absorption, metabolism and pharmacokinetics in humans. Nutr Res Rev 19:137–146. Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jensen GS, Wu X, Patterson KM, Barnes J, Carter SG, Schewitz L, Beaman R, Endres JR, Schauss AG (2008) In vitro and in vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities of an antioxidant-rich fruit and berry juice blend. Results of a pilot and randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Agric Food Chem 56:8326–8333. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Leifert WR, Abeywardena MY (2008) Cardioprotective actions of grape polyphenols. Nutr Res 38:729–737. Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alqurashi RM, Galante LA, Rowland IR, Spencer JPE, Commane DM (2016) Consumption of a flavonoid-rich acai meal is associated with acute improvements in vascular function and a reduction in total oxidative status in healthy overweight men. Am J Clin Nutr 104:1227–1235. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lotito SB, Frei B (2006) Consumption of flavonoid-rich foods and increased plasma antioxidant capacity in humans: cause, consequence, or epiphenomenon? Free Radic Biol Med 41:1727–1746. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhao C, Yang C, Liu B, Lin L, Sarker S, Nahar L, Yu H, Cao H, Xiao J (2018) Bioactive compounds from marine macroalgae and their hypoglycemic benefits. Trends Food Sci Technol 72:1–12. Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Bonanome A, Coval SM, Binkpski AE, Hilpert KF, Griel AE, Etherton TD (2002) Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Am J Med 30:71–88. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rodriguez-Mateos A, Heiss C, Borges G, Crozier A (2014) Berry (Poly)phenols and cardiovascular health. J Agric Food Chem 62, 18, 3842–3851.
  12. 12.
    Haminiuk CWI, Maciel GM, Plata-Oviedo MSV, Peralta RM (2012) Phenolic compounds in fruits. Int J Food Sci Technol 47:2023–2044. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Manach C, Scalbert A, Morand C, Remesy C, Jimenez L (2004) Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr 79:727–747. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pandey KB, Rizvi SI (2009) Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxidative Med Cell Longev 2:270–278. Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chong MF, Macdonald R, Lovegrove JA (2010) Fruit polyphenols and CVD risk: a review of human intervention studies. Br J Nutr 104:28–39. Scholar
  16. 16.
    De Pascual-Teresa S, Moreno DA, Garcia-Viguera C (2010) Flavanols and anthocyanins in cardiovascular health: a review of current evidence. Int J Mol Sci 11:1679–1703. Scholar
  17. 17.
    Karakaya S (2004) Bioavailability of phenolic compounds. Crit Rew Food Sci Nutr 44:453–464. Scholar
  18. 18.
    He J, Giusti MM (2010) Anthocyanins natural colorants with health-promoting properties. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol 1:163–187. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mazza G, Miniati E (2018) Anthocyanins in fruits, vegetables, and grains, 1st edn. CRC Press, Boca Raton. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL (2006) Concentrations of anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption. J Agric Food Chem 54:4069–4075. Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stoclet J, Chataigneau T, Ndiaye M, Oak M, El Bedoui J, Chataigneau M, Schini-Kerth V (2004) Vascular protection by dietary polyphenols. Eur J Pharmacol 500:299–313. Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schewe T, Steffen Y, Sies H (2008) How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper. Arch Biochem Biophys 476:102–106. Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wallace TC (2011) Anthocyanins in cardiovascular disease. Adv Nutr 2:1–7. Scholar
  24. 24.
    Spencer J (2003) Metabolism of tea flavonoids in the gastrointestinal tract. J Nutr 133:3255–3326. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Scalbert A, Williamson G (2000) Dietary intake and bioavailability of polyphenols. J Nutr 130:2073S–2085S.
  26. 26.
    Wächter L, Haderer M, Aschenbrenner E, Pollinger K, Schlosser S, Kunst C, Muller-Schilling M (2018) Interactions of gut epithelial barrier, microbiome and p53 family members – what is their impact on liver cirrhosis? Z Gastroenterol 56:2–89. Scholar
  27. 27.
    Alqurashi RM, Alarifi SN, Walton GM, Costabile AF, Rowland IR, Commane DM (2017) In vitro approaches to assess the effects of açai (Euterpe oleracea) digestion on polyphenol availability and the subsequent impact on the faecal microbiota. Food Chem 234:190–198. Scholar
  28. 28.
    Boutakiout A, Elothmani D, Hanine H, Mahrouz M, Le Meurlay D, Hmid I, Ennahil S (2018) Effects of different harvesting seasons on antioxidant activity and phenolic content of prickly pear cladode juice. J Saudi Soc Agric Sci 17:471–480. Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chacez-Santoscoy RA, Gutierrez-Uribe JA, Serna-Saldivar SO (2009) Phenolic composition, antioxidant capacity and in vitro cancer cell cytotoxicity of nine prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) juices. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 64:146–152. Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ilaiyaraja N, Likhith KR, SharathBabu GR, Khanum F (2015) Optimisation of extraction of bioactive compounds from Feronia limonia (wood apple) fruit using response surface methodology (RSM). Food Chem 173:348–354. Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sonawane S, Arya S (2012) Antioxidant activity of jambhul, wood apple, ambadi and ambatchukka: an indigenous lesser known fruits and vegetables of India. Adv J Food Sci Technol 5:270–275. Scholar
  32. 32.
    Khalifa I, Zhu W, Li K, Li C (2017) Polyphenols of mulberry fruits as multifaceted compounds: compositions, metabolism, health benefits, and stability – a structural review. J Funct Foods 40:28–43. Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mphahlel RR, Marietijie SA, Fawole OA, Opara UL (2014) Effect of fruit maturity and growing location on the postharvest contents of flavonoids, phenolic acids, vitamin C and antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice (cv Wonderful). Sci Hortic 179:36–45. Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kalaycioglu Z, Erim F (2017) Total phenolic contents, antioxidant activities, and bioactive ingredients of juices from pomegranate cultivars worldwide. Food Chem 15:496–507. Scholar
  35. 35.
    Saibandith B, Spencer JPE, Rowland IR, Commane DM (2017) Olive polyphenols and the metabolic syndrome. Molecules 22:1082–1093. Scholar
  36. 36.
    El SN, Karakaya S (2009) Olive tree (Olea europaea) leaves: potential beneficial effects on human health. Nutr Rev 67:632–638. Scholar
  37. 37.
    Aravind G, Debjit B, Duraivel S, Harish G (2013) Traditional and medicinal uses of Carica papaya. J Med Plants Stud 1:7–15. Scholar
  38. 38.
    Abd El-Hack ME, Alagawany M, Elrys AS, Desoky EM, Tolba HM, Elnahal AS, Elnesr SS, Swelum AA (2018) Effect of forage Moringa oleifera L. (moringa) on animal health and nutrition and its beneficial applications in soil, plants and water purification. J Agric 8:145–155. Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stohs SJ, Hartman MJ (2015) Review of the safety and efficacy of Moringa oleifera. J Phytother Res (6):796–804.
  40. 40.
    Kasolo JN, Bimenya GS, Ojok L, Ochieng J, Ogwal-okeng JW (2010) Phytochemical and uses of Moringa oleifera leaves in Ugandan rural communities. J Med Plant Res 4:753–757. Scholar
  41. 41.
    Leone A, Spada A, Battezzati A, Schiraldi A, Aristit J, Bertoli S (2015) Cultivation, genetic, ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Moringa oleifera leaves: an overview. Int J Mol Sci 6:12719–12835.
  42. 42.
    Martin C, Martin G, Garcia A, Fernandez T, Hernandez E, Puls JY (2013) Potential applications of Moringa oleifera: a critical review. Pastos y Forrajes 36:137–149Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Rivera L, Moron R, Sanchez M, Zarzuelo A, Galisteo M (2008) Quercetin ameliorated metabolic syndrome and improve the inflammatory status in obese zucker rats. Obesity 16:9–16. Scholar
  44. 44.
    Karjalainen R, Attonen M, Saviranta N, Stewart D, McDougall GJ, Hiliz H, Mattila P, Torronen R (2009) A review on bioactive compounds in black currants (Ribes nigrum L.) and their potential health-promoting properties. Acta Hortic 839:301–307.
  45. 45.
    Szajdek A, Borowska EJ (2008) Bioactive compounds and health-prompting properties of berry fruits: a review. Plant Food Hum Nutr 63:147–156. Scholar
  46. 46.
    Miladinovic B, Brankovic S, Kostic M, Milutinovic M, Kitic N, Savikin K, Kitic D (2018) Antispasmodic effect of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) juice and its potential use as functional food in gastrointestinal disorders. Med Princ Pract 27:179–185. Scholar
  47. 47.
    McGhie T, Walton MC, Barnett LE, Vather R, Martin H, Au J, Alspach AP, Booth CL, Kruger MC (2007) Boysenberry and blackcurrant drinks increase the plasma antioxidant capacity in an elderly population but had litter effect on other markers of oxidative stress. J Sci Food Agric 87:145–155. Scholar
  48. 48.
    Al-Khayri JM, Jain SM, Johnson DV (eds) (2015) Date palm genetic resources and utilization, vol 1: Africa and the Americas. Springer, Dordrecht, 546 p. Scholar
  49. 49.
    Al-Khayri JM, Jain SM, Johnson DV (eds) (2015) Date palm genetic resources and utilization, vol 2: Asia and Europe. Springer, Dordrecht, 566 p. Scholar
  50. 50.
    Alfaro-Viquez E, Roling BF, Krueger CG, Rainey CJ, Reed JD, Ricketts M (2017) An extract from data palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera) acts as a co-agonist ligand for the nuclear receptor FXR and differentially modulates FXR target-gene expression in vitro. PLoS ONE 13:1902–1913. Scholar
  51. 51.
    Eid N, Osmanova H, Natchez C, Walton G, Costabile A, Gibson G, Rowland I, Spencer JP (2015) Impact of palm date consumption on microbiota growth and large intestinal health: a randomized, controlled, cross-over, human intervention study. Br J Nutr 114:1226–1236. Scholar
  52. 52.
    Kadum H, Hamid A, Abas F, Karim A, Mohammed S, Ramil N, Muhialdin B (2018) Application of date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits as bioactive ingredients in functional foods. J Pure Appl Microbiol 12(3):1101–1118.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randah Muqbil Alqurashi
    • 1
  • Muneera Qassim Al-Mssallem
    • 1
  • Jameel Mohammed Al-Khayri
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Food SciencesKing Faisal UniversityAl-HassaSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food SciencesKing Faisal UniversityAl-HassaSaudi Arabia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hosakatte Niranjana Murthy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyKarnatak UniversityDharwadIndia
  2. 2.Research Center for the Development of Advanced Horticultural TechnologyChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations