Beetroot as a functional food with huge health benefits: Antioxidant, antitumor, physical function, and chronic metabolomics activity

Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Sep 9;9(11):6406-6420. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.2577. eCollection 2021 Nov.


Previously, beetroot is mainly consumed as a food additive. In recent years, the beetroot, especially the betalains (betanin) and nitrates it contains, now has received increasing attention for their effective biological activity. Betalains have been proven to eliminate oxidative and nitrative stress by scavenging DPPH, preventing DNA damage, and reducing LDL. It also has been found to exert antitumor activity by inhibiting cell proliferation, angiogenesis, inducing cell apoptosis, and autophagy. In some chronic diseases, nitrate is the main component for lowing blood lipids, glucose, and pressure, while its role in treating hypertension and hyperglycemia has not been clearly stated. Moreover, the intake of nitrate-rich beetroot could enhance athletic performance and attenuate muscle soreness in certain types of exercise. The objective of this review is to provide sufficient evidence for the clarification of health benefits of beetroot, especially in the aspect of biooxidation, neoplastic diseases, some chronic diseases, and energy supplementation.

Keywords: beetroot; betanin; biological activity; health benefits; nitrate.

Publication types

  • Review