The Science Behind the Raw Carrot Salad
In recent weeks, the raw carrot salad has been buzzing on Tiktok and other social media channels. Making claims of better skin, energy, and mood. All thanks to balanced hormones, especially estrogen, in women. Is there any truths to these claims? Can raw carrots affect hormones?
Here’s some of the science behind the raw carrot salad.
Despite its recent trend on social media, the raw carrot salad is nothing new.
The recipe is simple. A few washed and grated carrots, combined with some coconut oil, a splash of apple cider vinegar with a dash of sea salt.
The raw carrot salad was popularized by Dr. Ray Peat, who began his study on hormones back in 1968. Despite being a biologist, his years of research on progesterone hormone especially have reshaped how the scientific community considers hormones and health.
A salad dressing requires only a few simple ingredients: oil, acid, and a touch of sweetness. The raw carrot salad needs no added sugar, the carrot naturally balances the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil all on its own. It’s a refreshing fun side dish, best accompanied with other foods rather than consumed on its own.
How do carrots affect hormones?
Carrots, among other cruciferous and root vegetables, contain certain strands of fibers. These insoluble fibers lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels by attaching to dietary lipids, reducing their absorption by being flushed out of the digestive system before having the opportunity to enter the bloodstream. These insoluble fibers have a similar effect on excess estrogen and hormones from foods and plastic containers.
Big culprits of producing excess hormones are:
- Conventional meat
- Fragrance and additives used in household goods
- Excess insulin levels over long periods of time
Eliminating most of these hormone disruptors is easier than it looks. When your hormones are out of whack, many problems can arise. Weight issues, usually excess weight around the mid-section, are considered early warning signs. Also look out for frequent trips to the bathroom, and feeling the need for a nap after meals. Migranes and sensitivity to certain fragrance are also other warning signs.
Cellulose is a specific type of insoluble fiber found in these vegetables worth noting. Similar to chia seeds, these raw carrot fibers absorb water in the gut and swell into a gel form; providing a laxative effect by stimulating contraction in the intestines. This movement helps the gut microbiome. In addition, insoluble carrot fibers bind to heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides; eliminating unwanted irritants from the digestive system. Flushing out these chemicals and heavy metals reduces the chance of cancers and other disorders within the GI tract.
While the raw carrot salad does not have such powerful input on the body’s naturally endogenous hormones, carrot fiber is great at binding and flushing out foreign excess of chemicals. It is not some magical elixir that targets exclusively estrogen but does in fact help balance out other hormones like progesterone and testosterone. In a study conducted in 2001 (Reducing Bioavailable Sex Hormones through a Comprehensive Change in Diet: the Diet and Androgens (DIANA) Randomized Trial), postmenopausal women were given new diets significantly higher in vegetable protein. The subjects were mostly overweight, carrying a significant amount in their midsections. This marked high insulin levels and whacked-out hormones. The uptake in plant fibers though showed to have positive results in regards to androgen and testosterone levels.
Increasing insoluble plant fiber showed to be beneficial to balancing hormones and reducing breast cancer risk. Carrots alone do not have this cellulose fiber, but many vegetables and nuts. So if you’re allergic to carrots, fear not for there are other options for you.
Other Foods Known to Balance Female Hormones
- Brussel Sprouts
Do not expect miracles through a simple raw carrot salad, a healthy body is sustained by regular elimination of toxins and nourishing the cells with what it needs. Cooking carrots changes the fibrous structure, still beneficial but does not bind as well to chemical disruptors as raw carrot does.
The Raw Carrot Salad
Why not use Baby Carrots?
Some people argue not to use baby carrots in the raw carrot salad because full-sized carrots only have unique fibers required for hormone balance. This is false. Now that we’ve learned that cellulose is not exclusive to carrots, let’s dispel myths about baby carrots.
Contrary to rumors, baby carrots are no different from regular-sized carrots outside of preparation. The reason why it’s not recommended to use them is that they are pre-peeled and soaked in a chlorine preservative. This is to maintain color and freshness but significantly alters the flavor.
Don’t believe us? Simply do a side-by-side comparison, and you will taste the difference!
Our Raw Carrot Salad Recipe
We use large organic carrots shaved into beautiful ribbons. Then we add coconut or olive oil, a splash of apple cider vinegar. Then we like to incorporate ginger and turmeric, in addition to salt and pepper. Delicious as is, or throw in some chopped pecans and golden raisins!
One thing we do appreciate about this trend, besides improving the popularity of carrots, is it reminds a younger generation of the value and benefits of simple foods. Taking the time to have some fresh raw produce, a bit of heart-healthy olive or coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar- which aids in digestion. Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants called carotenoids. Increasing raw fiber intake helps improve the microbiome. If they’re happy then the whole system tends to be happy too.
These are all good things, and we’re all for it.
Just don’t eat too much and start to turn orange!