The hashtag #rawcarrotsalad has over 8.7 million views. People are sharing all kinds of raw carrot salad recipes under the premise that they can help balance hormones in the female reproductive system. TikTokers with issues regulating estrogen claim they see results after incorporating regular raw carrot salads into their diets. Nutritionists have more complicated feelings about it.
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What is the raw carrot salad health trend on TikTok?
There are countless videos of women claiming that carrots will “flush out excess estrogen,” but the assertions are somewhat dubious or at least incomplete.
Does raw carrot salad really balance hormones?
Registered dietician Desiree Nielsen debunked the science behind the fad. In fact, Nielsen discovered that the food myth went back at least a decade. She traced it back to blog posts by Dr. Ray Peat, a doctor of biology, not endocrinology.
“High fiber diets can theoretically affect estrogen levels in a few ways: by decreasing estrogen absorption in the gut, by decreasing available cholesterol for building estrogen and by altering the gut microbiome,” Nielsen explained.
So while high-fiber foods like fruits and veggies can aid in reducing excess estrogen in the gut, there is nothing particularly special about carrots.
“A single carrot only has 1.5 grams of fiber. It definitely isn’t going to change your life overnight like people claim it will,” Nielsen said.
Moreover, this healthy food habit can really only go so far. For those dealing with estrogen dominance, the root of the problem can be more complicated. Registered dietician Melissa Groves Azzaro told CNBC that unless your estrogen levels are just high, fiber won’t be a solution.
That’s because estrogen dominance could be due to other factors like progesterone levels being “low in comparison to estrogen, or your estrogen is being detoxed down a less helpful pathway.”
Eating carrots and a high-fiber diet are great for general health, but it’s not a magic solution for those struggling with hormonal conditions.
Are carrots the best food for hormone balance?
Healthline recommends a fiber-rich diet with lots of whole grains and legumes, limiting processed foods, refined carbs and alcohol, and regular exercise to reduce estrogen levels.
Groves Azzaro suggested cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are much better options than carrots.
“It’s not one food that we’re eating or one supplement we’re taking or one specific lifestyle change that’s making a difference,” Groves Azzaro told CNBC. “It’s got to be about the overall consistent actions that we’re taking day-to-day.”
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