The enduring relationship between dietary patterns and human health has led us to investigate the bioactive components present in fruits and vegetables for a very long time. Berries, notably the popular ones such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and the Indian gooseberry, are among the best known dietary sources due to the presence of a wide range of bioactive nutritive components. Bioactive components in berries include phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins apart from vitamins, minerals, sugars, and fibers. Individually or synergistically, these have been shown to provide protection against several disorders. Mounting evidence suggests that consumption of berries confer antioxidant and anticancer protection to humans and animals. Free radical scavenging, protection from DNA damage, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of growth and proliferation of cancer cells are just to name a few. This review comprehensively summarizes the key phytochemicals present in berries and their biological action in preventing oxidative stress and carcinogenesis.
Keywords: Indian gooseberry; Strawberry; anticancer; blackberry; blueberry; raspberry.