Raw carrots are having a moment on TikTok. The hashtag #rawcarrotsalad has over 8.9 million views on the platform. TikTokers are raving about the alleged health benefits of consuming raw carrot salad on a regular basis.
The main claim behind this viral nutrition trend is that raw carrot salad can help you balance your hormones. But is that actually true? Before filling up your grocery cart with an industrial amount of carrots, consider the factors below.
The Origin Of The Trend
“A biologist (not physician) named Ray Peat mentions on his website that women who ate a ‘carrot diet’ had decreased blood estrogen levels and improvement in their migraines and other premenstrual symptoms. However, there are no scientific studies or medical publications that support this claim, and Ray Peat does not provide any references for this claim on his website,” according to Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a medical toxicology physician and interim executive director at National Capital Poison Center who has been keeping an eye on the TikTok trend.
The Link Between Estrogen And Fiber
Granted, there is a direct correlation between fiber and estrogen levels. For example, one study revealed that high-fiber diets reduce the risk of breast cancer because of the effect of fiber on lowering circulating estrogen concentrations.
Since carrots are high in fiber, consuming them can, in theory, support the elimination of excess estrogen. Symptoms of high estrogen include bloating, increased PMS symptoms, headaches, and swelling and tenderness in the breasts, according to Healthline. Consuming adequate amounts of fiber also helps keep your gut healthy, which, in turn, helps maintain optimal hormone levels. But there are no direct studies on the effects of consuming carrots daily on hormones.
“As there is no evidence, aside from anecdotal reports, that consumption of raw carrot salad helps balance hormones, people should not eat the salad solely for this purpose. But overall, since raw carrots are a healthy vegetable choice, it’s certainly fine to eat the salad occasionally in moderation,” says Johnson-Arbor.
The Other Health Benefits Of Carrots
Not to mention that they are one of the most nutritious veggies out there. According to Johnson-Arbor, carrots contain numerous biologically active compounds called phytochemicals — aka stuff that is really good for you.
“Phytochemicals found in carrots, including carotenoids, vitamin C, and phenolic compounds, are reported to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and may also have beneficial effects on immune function. For that reason, raw carrot salad has many potential health benefits and is likely a good addition to any well-balanced diet,” she says.
A Word Of Caution
Despite the many positives, there is a downside to eating too many carrots. “Eating the salad in moderation is key, as consumption of large amounts of carrots can result in yellow-orange skin discoloration called carotenemia,” according to Johnson-Arbor.
Adding carrot salad to your diet can certainly provide benefits – it’s better than grabbing fast food for lunch. But there are only anecdotal reports that it can help regulate your hormones. If you’re experiencing hormonal issues, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.