Raw Carrot Salad: Hormone Balancing or All Hype?
Raw carrot salad is the latest health food trend. People all over the internet are making it, claiming that they balance hormone levels and rid the body of excess estrogen. But…Is any of it true? Is there really a connection between raw carrots and hormone balance? Let a Registered Dietitian break it down!
About Raw Carrot Salad
Raw Carrot salad is a health and nutrition topic that’s recently been trending online, particularly on TikTok. Claims about eating raw carrot salad mainly include its powerful ability to balance hormones by ridding or ‘detoxifying’ the body of excess estrogen. We’ll soon discuss if there’s actually any truth to this, so hang tight.
Many of the raw carrot salad enthusiasts online credit a biologist named Ray Peat for discovering these alleged benefits of raw carrots. He claimed raw carrots ‘contain a unique fibre that bind to excess estrogen and rid it from the body’. Therefore, he says eating raw carrots can help women with estrogen dominance (an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in favour with higher levels of estrogen) improve their symptoms.
I took a brief peek through Peat’s website, and noted there were also claims on his site that avocados contain ‘so much unsaturated fat that they can be carcinogenic and hepatotoxic’. In case you weren’t sure, this is vastly untrue. *Dietitian face-palm*.
Raw Carrot Salad Recipe:
As per the internet, this supposed hormone-balancing, detoxifying carrot salad is made up of:
- thin ribbons (similar to julienne) of raw carrot
- apple cider vinegar
- oil (I’ve seen variations with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)
- salt (typically Himalayan pink salt)
I made my own Raw Carrot Salad recipe – this 5-Minute Ginger Soy Carrot Salad. It’s nutritious, so flavourful, and super easy to make!
Health Benefits of Raw Carrot Salad:
Raw Carrot Salad for Hormones:
So, will raw carrot salad help to rid the body of excess estrogen? Is there any actual scientific evidence to substantiate the claims about raw carrot salad? Unfortunately, no. To date, there hasn’t been any research done on raw carrot consumption and estrogen levels in the body. There is also no research or publications to support the claims that there is a unique fibre specifically in raw carrots that balances hormone levels.
What will improve your health and support balanced hormone levels is consistently carrying out a variety of healthy lifestyle habits. Habits like getting 8 hours of sleep per night and moving your body in ways that you enjoy. Or eating a diet rich in whole plant foods like fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, and taking time to de-stress.
Carrots are highly nutritious. They’re rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A), vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. This includes both insoluble and soluble fibre. If you like them and you enjoy eating them raw in salad form, by all means, go for it!
Side Effects of Eating Raw Carrot Salad:
Keep in mind that there are side effects of eating an abundance of carrots, as enthusiasts of the carrot salad suggest eating one (made of two raw carrots) daily. And you may have heard that eating lots of carrots can turn your skin orange.
Carotenemia is a condition caused by high carotene levels in the blood. Carotene is the orange pigment found in foods like carrots and sweet potatoes. One common culprit of carotenemia? Excessive consumption of fruits and and vegetables high in carotene content.
While harmless, carotenemia presents as yellow-orange skin pigmentation often on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, forehead, and nose. If you’re frequently eating carrots (in salad form or other) and you start to notice an orange tinge on your body, it’s likely carotenemia. That, or a bad spray tan (kidding).
Remember, a single food is not going to cure you of ailments, balance your hormones, or drastically improve your health. Estrogen dominance – and endocrinology in general are highly complex topics. There is never a one-size-fits-all food or ingredient that will fix your problems and get you healthy.
The internet can be a scary place for health and nutrition misinformation. It often latches on to ‘superfoods’ and quick fixes. They become trendy for a year or two, get debunked, and the next thing you know there’s a new cure-all food that’s all the rage. Remember celery juice?
If you are struggling with conditions like diabetes, PCOS, or endometriosis and want ways to improve your with lifestyle, seek advice from a credible health professional like your family physician, specialist (like an endocrinologist), or registered dietitian.
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