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Is The Raw Carrot Salad Worth The Hype? I Asked Around

Hannah Frye
Author:
July 31, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Raw Carrot Salad
Image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
July 31, 2023
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Any TikTok algorithm veered toward hormone balancing, gut health, or recipes will likely include a video of the trendy raw carrot salad recipe.

A quick search of the term yields countless videos touting this simple snack as a magical remedy for all things hormones, digestion, and even mood—but is a bowl of shredded carrots really worth all the hype? To come, what an M.D. has to say about the raw carrot salad and whether it's actually worth making.

What is a raw carrot salad?

While everyone makes it a bit differently, the blueprint raw carrot salad recipe on TikTok includes a few large carrots shredded into ribbons, a bit of apple cider vinegar, some type of oil (some choose coconut, others olive), and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

So no, it's not a super-complicated or nutrient-dense salad. It's more so just a different way to eat a carrot with some added probiotics from the vinegar.

It's important to note that one medium carrot contains about 25 calories1, so you shouldn't view a raw carrot salad as a meal. It could make a great side dish or salad base, but it's not anywhere near a meal replacement. 

Benefits

So, is raw carrot salad truly a cure-all remedy? Not quite, but it does have some benefits, says primary care doctor Navya Mysore, M.D. Below, a quick breakdown of the pros of consuming raw carrots:

1.

It could help skin health and appearance

"Carrots are rich in carotenoids and specifically beta-carotene, and there is some research that suggests that fruits and vegetables rich in these compounds can improve skin appearance2," Mysore says. 

However, she notes that overconsumption of carrots could result in carotenemia, where your skin can take on a yellow or orange tint—so keep that in mind if you're consuming more than a few carrots daily. 

2.

It could support hormone and blood sugar balance

The high fiber content of carrots may be able to explain the potential to balance hormones and blood sugar. "Studies show that increased fiber intake can improve glucose metabolism in individuals with diabetes3," Mysore explains. 

"Also, individuals who have PCOS often have insulin resistance, and improving glucose metabolism can overall help your hormonal balance4," she notes. 

3.

It's good for your gut bacteria

"Beta-carotene which is abundant in carrots, is known to help boost the gut microbiome composition," she adds. The fiber content is also helpful for the gut and digestion. 

Once apple cider vinegar is added to the salad, the gut benefits increase as ACV is a great source of polyphenols, which help support healthy gut bacteria5

Is it worth the hype?

So, should you make a raw carrot salad every day? If you want to, go for it. As explained above, there are many health benefits to consuming carrots daily, especially when paired with apple cider vinegar. 

Plus, it's a fun food to make and can be a delicious way to get your veggies in (don't worry, recipe to come).

However, carrots are not the only source of fiber or beta-carotene out there, so don't feel bad if you're not ready to commit to the ribbon carrot salad just yet or just want to mix up what you're eating. Below, a few foods that offer similar benefits: 

A worthy recipe to try

A few weeks ago I replicated content creator Gina Burgess's recipe for myself, and taste-wise, it certainly is worth the hype. 

Here is her recipe if you want to give the carrot salad a shot. Simply combine all these ingredients and enjoy:

  • 3 large carrots, shredded in ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or ACV
  • Squeeze lemon or lime juice
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • Optional: 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

The takeaway

The viral raw carrot salad containing shredded carrot and apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for the skin, hormonal balance, and gut health. If you want to add flavor or more nutrients, consider pairing the raw carrot shreds with sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, or other dense vegetables for the sake of satiety. To minimize waste in this process, consider preparing your carrot greens as well—here's how

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