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TikTok is home to many new food fads and recipes from all over the world. The video-based social media app has given rise to popular food trends, celebrity diets, and exciting food combination ideas.
If you’re into the healthy eating, fitness and well-being side of TikTok, you may have seen the raw carrot salad (#rawcarrotsalad), with the hashtag gaining over 33 million views and counting.
The highly-favored raw carrot salad, which is said to help balance hormones and offers a plethora of health benefits, has been pushed toward women who struggle with hormonal issues.
But does it really work?
And will it actually help balance your hormones?
While a bowl of raw carrots peeled in a ribbon-like structure may not sound like a delicious thing to eat, it's a highly nutritious salad packed with many vitamins and minerals.
But does it really ring true to its hormonal benefits for women, and are the claims true?
Here’s everything you need to know about the raw carrot salad, according to nutrition-based health experts.
What is the raw carrot salad?
Dr. Ray Peat developed the raw carrot salad – a biologist specializing in hormone physiology. The raw carrot salad has been promoted to support hormonal balance.
Raw carrots contain a unique fiber that gels to endotoxins and excess estrogen and then safely eliminates them from the body, Dr. Peat claims.
Simply put, the raw carrot salad is a dish made with raw carrots peeled, grated, or shredded into small pieces. It is typically mixed with other ingredients, such as chopped onions, raisins, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and can be served as a side dish or as a light meal.
The raw carrot salad is a popular dish in many cuisines around the world and is known for its crunchy texture and sweet, earthy flavor. It is also a nutritious dish, as carrots are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as vitamin A, potassium, and calcium.
According to Dr. Peat’s research, he discovered that when his female patients consumed a raw carrot salad once or twice daily, they experienced several benefits;
Some additional benefits Dr. eat claims the raw carrot salad promotes are reducing; PMS, period pain, metabolic stress, headaches/migraines, anxiety/depression, bloat/breast tenderness, skin rashes/acne and fatigue/brain fog.
Raw carrots contain a unique fiber that effectively binds to excess estrogen in our intestines and helps the body safely eliminate it via our bowels, helping to reduce uncomfortable menstrual cycle symptoms.
What are the benefits of the viral raw carrot salad?
The raw carrot salad offers a range of health benefits due to the high nutritional content of carrots and other ingredients typically included in the dish. Here are some potential benefits:
1. Good for digestion
Raw carrots are high in fiber, which can promote healthy digestion by supporting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Carrots are a good source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which can protect against cellular damage and reduce inflammation in the body.
3. Supports immune function
Vitamin A, which is abundant in carrots, is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and may help protect against infections and diseases.
4. Promotes healthy skin
The vitamin A and other antioxidants found in carrots may help protect the skin from sun damage and support healthy skin cell growth.
5. Low in calories
Raw carrot salad is a low-calorie food that can help support weight loss or weight management goals while still providing important nutrients.
Overall, incorporating raw carrot salad into your diet can be a tasty and nutritious way to support overall health and wellness.
Does the raw carrot salad balance your hormones?
Raw carrots are packed with nutrients that can contribute to a healthy balanced diet, which supports hormonal health overall. Adding the raw carrot salad won’t hurt, but there is still a lack of research on whether it is as impactful on your hormones as the viral TikTok claim.
Many videos on the platform suggest that eating this raw carrot salad every day will be life-changing for every woman and improve their hormonal balance. However, the claims have not been formally backed up with hard evidence.
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that raw carrot salad can balance hormones in humans.
While carrots are a healthy food rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which is essential for hormonal health, there is no specific nutrient in carrots that have been shown to directly affect hormone levels.
The hormone-related health benefits of carrots may have to do with their fiber content. Since carrots are high in fiber, they can help support and improve gut health, indirectly aiding hormonal balance.
Genetic factors, stress, poor diet, and certain medical conditions can cause hormonal imbalances. While eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support overall health and hormonal balance, no one food or diet can single-handedly balance hormones.
Several factors can contribute to hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Here are some of the main causes:
- Age: Hormone levels naturally fluctuate over time, and the body produces less estrogen and testosterone as we age.
- Stress: High levels of stress can cause the body to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone, which can disrupt the balance of other hormones.
- Poor diet: Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can negatively impact hormone levels.
- Lack of exercise: Regular exercise helps to regulate hormones like insulin, cortisol, and growth hormone.
- Environmental toxins: Exposure to toxins like pesticides, chemicals, and plastics can disrupt hormone levels.
- Medications: Certain medications, like birth control pills, can alter hormone levels.
- Medical conditions: Hormonal imbalances can also be caused by thyroid disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and diabetes.
Related content; How to improve gut health
What are the downsides of the raw carrot salad?
While raw carrot salad can offer many health benefits, there are a few downsides to keep in mind:
1. Risk of bacterial contamination
Raw vegetables, including carrots, can sometimes be contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as E. coli or Salmonella. It is important to thoroughly wash and sanitize all vegetables before preparing them and to handle them with clean hands and utensils.
2. Digestive discomfort
Some people may experience digestive discomfort, such as bloating or gas when eating raw vegetables like carrots. This is due to the high fiber content in carrots and other ingredients commonly used in raw salads.
3. Difficulty absorbing nutrients
While carrots are a good source of many nutrients, some are better absorbed when cooked. For example, the beta-carotene in carrots is more easily absorbed by the body when the carrots are cooked or pureed.
4. High in sugar
Carrots are a relatively high-sugar vegetable, and some people may need to limit their sugar intake for health reasons.
Overall, raw carrot salad can be a healthy and delicious addition to a balanced diet. Still, it's important to be mindful of any potential downsides and to incorporate a variety of other fruits and vegetables into your meals as well.
How do I prepare the hormonal balancing salad?
There is nothing complicated about making a raw carrot salad. In fact, it only takes about 2-5 minutes to prepare. Here is a simple recipe for raw carrot salad:
- 4-5 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note: You can add other ingredients like raisins, nuts, or seeds to add more flavor and texture to the salad. Enjoy!
How do I consume the raw carrot salad?
According to Dr. Peat and other health experts on TikTok, it’s essential to consume the raw carrot salad consistently, i.e., daily.
The popular salad works best on an empty stomach to help with gastrointestinal absorption.
Is the raw salad diet worth eating?
Whether or not raw carrot salad is worth eating depends on your taste preferences and dietary goals.
Raw carrot salad can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a balanced diet. Carrots are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and other nutrients. And raw carrots also have a satisfying crunch and slightly sweet taste that many people enjoy.
However, if you don't enjoy the taste or texture of raw carrots or have difficulty digesting raw vegetables, then raw carrot salad may not be worth eating for you. Additionally, if you are following a specific diet restricting certain foods or food groups, you may need to consider whether raw carrot salad fits your dietary guidelines.
While there may be several health benefits to the raw carrot salad, insufficient evidence suggests that it directly tackles hormonal and gut issues.
It's important to note that hormonal imbalances can be complex and have multiple contributing factors. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, it's best to speak with a healthcare professional who can help identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
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