An Expert Weighs In On The Viral Raw Carrot Salad Trend
The simple recipe is making its rounds, but is it actually beneficial?
Whether it’s a fast-casual lunch option or a charcuterie board smeared with butter, TikTok is the place food trends go to thrive. Sometimes they’re intricate appetizers or hard-to-find packaged snacks, but oftentimes they’re super simple recipes that revamp seemingly boring ingredients. Believe it or not, right now carrots are having a moment on the app thanks to the raw carrot salad, a trend that is apparently good for hormonal and gut health and can be prepared in just a few minutes.
To understand how viral this dish is, all you really must know is that the hashtag #rawcarrotsalad has over 22.1 million views on TikTok. Videos using the hashtag show off how to make a raw carrot salad at home — typically with just a few additions like apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and lemon juice — and also state the potential benefits eating the salad frequently may yield. Before you go to the store and add a big bag of carrots to your cart, here's everything you should know about the trend including its medical legitimacy, according to an expert.
How To Make The TikTok-Viral Raw Carrot Salad Recipe
Of course, everyone has their own take when it comes to the viral salad and there are plenty of ways to make it your own. First, the majority of videos show the recipe using whole, full-sized carrots rather than baby carrots so you can peel them and shave them into ribbons. The resulting salad is easy to eat and season, and the slivers are thin enough pieces to be eaten with a fork or even chopsticks.
Once the carrots are peeled into thin ribbons, many are using a simple dressing to improve the taste but without adding too much extra stuff (and potentially minimizing the alleged benefits). On TikTok, most recipes include a splash of vinegar (apple cider vinegar is particularly popular), a bit of sea salt, and some fresh black pepper, though some add a squeeze of lemon juice or a bit of coconut oil for a bit more flavor.
If you want to ease yourself into eating a whole bag of carrots in one sitting, other recipes like this German Carrot Salad or this Cucumber Carrot Salad are a good place to start.
What Are The Benefits Of Raw Carrot Salad?
According to TikTok, eating a raw carrot salad has helped some users clear their acne-prone skin, relieve menstrual cramps, and balance their hormones overall. Despite these anecdotal successes with the raw carrot salad, Dr. Laura Purdy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Wisp, says the carrot salad may not be the quick fix for hormone health that some online are claiming.
“The raw carrot salad trend is a result of the understanding that the fiber found in carrots can help your gut, a key piece of hormonal regulation, reduce estrogen levels,” she tells Bustle. “While this is possible, it’s important to note that no scientific evidence conclusively links raw carrot salad — or raw carrots, more generally — to a decreased estrogen level.”
The viral salad isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not yet proven that it really offers all the life changes users are sharing to their TikTok feeds. “While a recipe like raw carrot salad likely won’t harm your hormonal health... there is no scientific proof of causation between hormone regulation and raw carrots,” Purdy says.
If you’re concerned about your hormonal health, it’s always important to first speak with a licensed medical professional before making any drastic lifestyle changes. Purdy says if there is an issue with your hormonal health, a doctor may recommend things like exercise, medication, or foods high in protein and healthy fats like eggs, fish, lentils, avocados, and nuts.
Dr. Laura Purdy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Wisp