#Rawcarrotsalad has 8.6 million views on TikTok, with many users saying eating salad daily has helped balance their hormones.
Specifically, influencers and daily users of the app claim that one of the main health benefits of salad is the reduction in levels of estrogen, a hormone linked to reproductive and sexual development, primarily in women.
“It’s definitely become a staple in my diet to balance excess estrogen which can peak at different times in my cycle,” Paige Nicole, a TikToker, said in her Raw Carrot Salad video.
Other users report seeing a change in liver and thyroid function as well. And some even attribute the vegetarian dish to their weight loss.
The many raw carrot salad recipes on the app typically include additives like olive oil and apple cider vinegar — two ingredients that have their own health benefits.
But with everything going viral on the internet, it’s important to know if the science backs up the claim.
Here’s what nutritionists are saying about the trend and whether or not eating raw carrots can help with hormonal balance.
Can #rawcarrotsalad really balance your hormones?
There are no in-depth studies that specifically examine the impact of raw carrots on estrogen levels, says Sue-Ellen Anderson Haynes, registered dietitian nutritionist and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Your gut is one of the main regulators of circulating estrogen in the body, according to a review published in Maturitas, an international journal of post-reproductive health.
So eating fibrous foods around your menstrual cycle, when the highest levels of estrogen are produced, can be helpful.
“It turns out that this TikTok trend of ‘eating raw carrots’ has some truth to it, because eating fibrous, raw foods can help your gut release that extra estrogen,” Anderson Haynes says. “The good bacteria in your gut use the fiber and convert it into substances that improve gut, reproductive and overall health.”
The gut contains microbes that release enzymes to break down estrogen, and if the enzymes aren’t released, the estrogen isn’t broken down, she says.
When estrogen isn’t broken down and excreted, it builds up and can increase your risk of endometriosis, PCOS, cancer and infertility, she notes.
But some of the videos on TikTok specifically cater to people with estrogen dominance – higher levels of estrogen compared to progesterone which is a hormone associated with menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
Raw carrot salad “wouldn’t necessarily work for estrogen dominance unless the reason you’re estrogen dominant is because your estrogen is downright high,” says Melissa Groves Azzaro, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in hormonal balance, fertility and PCOS.
These are three possible causes of estrogen dominance, according to Groves Azzaro: your estrogen levels are high, your progesterone levels are low relative to estrogen, or your estrogen is detoxified through a less helpful pathway.
“Carrots aren’t going to help raise progesterone levels. You won’t necessarily notice an impact,” she says.
No, carrots are not the best vegetable for hormonal balance
“The raw carrot salad trend falls into the category of salads that are not necessarily harmful, [but] probably not super beneficial,” says Groves Azzaro.
While fibrous foods like carrots can be helpful for people with abnormally high estrogen levels, it’s not the only, or even the best vegetable for regulating your hormonal balance.
“They’re probably tenth on the list,” Groves Azzaro says, “these are all cruciferous vegetables that lower estrogen. I generally recommend one to two cups of cruciferous vegetables a day.”
Groves Azzaro recommends eating these cruciferous vegetables and other foods for hormone balance daily:
- Broccoli sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Green cabbage
- citrus fruits
“It’s not a food we eat or a supplement we take or a specific lifestyle change that makes a difference,” she says.
“It has to be about the overall consistent actions that we take on a day-to-day basis.”
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