When you slice an apple and leave it on the table, you will notice that the flesh turns brown after some time. This is caused by oxidation - when the oxygen in the air reacts with the substances found in the apple. Oxidation is a natural process that occurs in the human body as well. Our cells need oxidation in order to undergo metabolism of fats and glucose so they can turn into heat and energy. Antioxidant Vitamins Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for African-American men and women? The disease claims the lives of over 100,000 annually. Perhaps due to this alarming number, much of scientific researches conducted in the US today have recently been focused on how antioxidant vitamins may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to their findings, the overall best sources of antioxidant fruits under the berry category are dog rose, sour cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, and black currant. Under the antioxidant fruits category are pomegranates, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, lemon, dates, kiwi, Clementine, and grapefruit. "This is significant because free radicals can destroy cell membranes and damage DNA, and may be a root cause of certain types of cancer, heart disease, and even the aging process itself." The findings of this study on antioxidant red grapes may also help explain the scientific logic behind the French paradox - why the French have less risk of heart disease even when they eat the richest types of food. In fact, antioxidants are abundant in more common vitamins such as retinol or Vitamin A, ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, tocopherol or Vitamin E, and selenium. They can be nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions). Antioxidants are believed to play an important role in preventing the development of such chronic illnesses as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. In January, Engeseth and Jason McKibben, a researcher with Anheuser Busch in Santa Monica, CA, reported in the same journal that the dietary antioxidants in honey were more effective compared to traditional preservatives, such as butylated hydroxytoluene and tocopherol in slowing oxidation in cooked, refrigerated ground turkey.