The dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower incidence of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Most recent interest has focused on the bioactive phenolic compounds found in vegetable products. Sweet and sour cherries contain several antioxidants and polyphenols that possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammation properties. The review describes the effect of environment and other factors (such as production, handling and storage) on the nutritional properties of cherries, with particular attention to polyphenol compounds. Moreover the health benefits of cherries and their polyphenols against human diseases such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes are reviewed.