Let’s look into the claims (Picture: Getty / TikTok)
Another day, another TikTok food trend.
For those who haven’t seen, the idea of eating raw carrot salad has exploded on the platform of late, thanks to promises that eating the uncooked shredded vegetable will help balance our hormones.
Others have taken to the social media platform to praise raw carrot salad for improving things like liver function, or for helping them get rid of ‘stubborn belly fat’.
While raw carrots and a bit of dressing isn’t going to be doing anybody any harm like some social media trends out there (what’s up, sleepy chicken?), it’s worth delving into whether these claims are actually backed by any science.
Nutritionist Resource member Natalie Louise Burrows tells Metro.co.uk perhaps unsurprisingly, that while carrots are good for us, they’re not some magical superfood.
‘Carrots are incredibly nutritious and host a variety of health benefits due to their nutritional components,’ she explains. ‘However, I feel we are making the claims work for clickbait more than fact.’
So what can carrots actually do for us?
‘Carrots are high in fibre, which really supports the gut microbiome and motility of the gut,’ Natalie says.
‘This is an important part of hormone detoxification as regular bowel movements are required to ensure toxins leave the body frequently. When toilet trips are few and far between, the toxins in the stool – which include hormones such as oestrogen – can be reabsorbed into the body and increase the chance of high oestrogen levels/oestrogen dominance.
‘From that perspective, the claim that raw carrots reduce oestrogen dominance isn’t untrue, but it separates the real fact that fibre is what’s really playing the leading role here and fibre can also be found in other vegetables, as well as fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.’
Raw Carrot salad recipe to supper your body’s liver, digestive + thyroid function. #pcosawareness #cyclesyncing #seedcycling #fertilityawarenessmethod
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As for the weight loss claims, again, carrots are simply a nutritious vegetable, not some wondrous cure-all.
Natalie says that, while she’s by no means trying to ward us off eating plenty of carrots, losing weight is just not that simple.
‘Again,’ she says, ‘fibre is very beneficial in aiding satiety from meals, keeping us fuller for longer and reducing snacking. Importantly, fibre, and especially vegetables, can help to balance blood sugars. This is a key aspect of fat loss and something that is at the heart of metabolic conditions today including obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and PCOS.
‘The carbohydrate intake of today’s Western world is low fibre, high sugar and ultra-processed – including supermarket bread. This is causing frequent blood sugar spikes and a huge demand for the hormone insulin which can drive weight gain, especially around the middle.
‘Taking on more whole foods, quality proteins and healthy fats helps to balance blood sugars and support weight management.’
Does this mean you should pump your diet full to the brim with carrots? No, because you still need to eat balanced meals.
That being said, having some tasty carrot salads is still a healthy choice – just don’t go expecting it to fix your life overnight.
Your hormone balancing bestie the raw carrot salad. Recipe in comments. #happyhormones #hormonehealthtiktok #hormonehealing #estrogendominance #rawcarrotsalad #prometabolic #guthealthtips @beccabrown57 @beccabrown57 @beccabrown57
♬ About Damn Time – Lizzo
Natalie says: ‘Studies have shown that the beta-carotene in carrots (the precursor to vitamin A) may have a positive effect on insulin signaling and abdominal fat.
‘The exact mechanisms and extent of this effect on humans require further research and I certainly don’t believe it will become a “magic food” – obesity is complex and requires a multifactor approach – but I do believe carrots should be a part of everyone’s diet for all the nutrients they provide.
‘Equally, this is not an invitation to supplement without appropriate recommendations from a registered nutritional therapist, nutritionist or dietitian as vitamins and minerals need to be balanced in the body – too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.’
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