Abstract For a long time the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables was pointed as critical in protecting humans against a number of disease, such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and heart and brain vascular diseases. Nowadays it is considered that the protective properties of this food result from presence of low molecular antioxidants that protect the cells and their structures against oxidative damage. The alleged effect of reducing the risk of many civilization diseases is not only due to the impact of individual antioxidants, such as α-tocopherol, ascorbic acid or β-carotene but may be the result of antioxidant compounds not yet known or synergy of several different antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables. Studies on macromolecules (DNA, nucleotides, proteins) free-radical related damage showed that diet enriched with extra servings of fruits and vegetables rich in β-carotene, tocopherols and ascorbic acid had only limited impact on the inhibition of oxidation processes. A number of studies have shown, however, that consuming less common fruits and vegetables contribute much more to the reduction of free radical processes. It is probably connected with containing a large amount of antioxidants that are not vitamins, such as polyphenols and anthocyanins.