A Raw Carrot a Day Keeps the Toxins Away…
We have all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”…right? Well, today I want you to create a new mantra, a new saying that you will include in your daily eating plan. Are you ready? “A raw CARROT a day will keep the toxins away.” Yes…a raw carrot, one medium-size-full-length carrot (not those weird, baby carrots) a day can help decrease endotoxins*, serotonin and estrogen levels, and increase gut health. I bet you never knew eating this amazing root vegetable could help you in so many ways.
Why is the raw carrot so special?
A lot of people ask, “What qualities does the carrot have that other fruits and vegetables do not?” I always answer with, “The carrot has super powers…” Funny, huh? Okay, the truth is that the carrot, a below ground and root vegetable, contains many powerful fungicides and bacteriostats. For the carrot to protect itself from bacteria in the soil it produces its own fungicides and bacteriostats. These fungicides and bacteriostats act as a natural antiseptic and antibiotic in the bowel. The long carrot fibers attach themselves to *endotoxins, bacteria and estrogens (that have been detoxed by the liver) and remove them through the colon in your stool.
According to Dr. Ray Peat:
Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.
In addition, harmful estrogens, even after the liver has detoxed them, can be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls and cause more hormonal havoc to the body if they are not properly excreted. The raw carrot is a key player in lowering estrogen levels and bringing back proper hormonal balance.
* Endotoxins are defined as a toxin kept “within” the bacterial cell and to be released only after destruction of the bacterial cell wall.
Does the carrot need to be raw?
Yes, for the carrot to work as an antibacterial food it needs to be raw. Cooking the carrot will break down the fibers and increase the levels of beta-carotene your body will absorb.
What about juicing?
Juicing is not an acceptable way to consume the raw carrot, as this will remove all the protective fibers. Juicing will also cause an increase in beta-carotene absorption.
Isn’t beta-carotene good for me?
If your body is healthy and has optimal thyroid function you should have no issues converting beta-carotene to Vitamin A. In a hypo-metabolic state, too much beta-carotene absorption can be toxic to the thyroid and can interfere with progesterone synthesis. When your body is not converting beta-carotene it will store it in its tissue, leading to carotenemia (orange skin). This stored beta-carotene can actually interfere with Vitamin A conversion. Decreased levels of Vitamin A can lead to increased cholesterol, decreased bone formation, decreased immunity, and vision and skin issues.
How should I eat my carrot?
Many say, including Dr. Ray Peat, that the raw carrot is best-graded length wise and eaten with vinegar, salt and coconut or olive oil to increase its antiseptic qualities. Others, like me who are on a time schedule, say, “just eat the freaking carrot!”
For the salad enthusiast, here is my raw carrot salad recipe:
1 Medium, organic, graded, raw carrot
1 tsp. of melted coconut oil and/or 1 tsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of white vinegar
¼ tsp. of salt
When should I eat the raw carrot salad?
This is, once again, dependent on the person. For optimal mineral absorbency of your meals, you should eat the raw carrot by itself, 30 or 60 minutes prior to your mid-day meal. There is some evidence showing that the raw carrot can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption of other foods. However, for those looking to lose weight. I suggest eating the raw carrot with your mid-day meal. According to a 1979 Study in the ASCN, fibers of a raw carrot can bind themselves to fat and help carry the fat out of the body without being absorbed. The raw carrot works best when eaten before mid-day to encourage proper bowel function.
What if I don’t like carrots?
Then you are doomed! Hah! Bamboo shoots, canned or fresh, will work just as well as the raw carrot to improve bowel health. Bamboo shoots can be lightly cooked or steamed and eaten along with other foods.
The raw carrot or the raw carrot salad is an easy, yet effective way to help heal your gut and help with hormonal balance. The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal fibers help detox the colon and rid your body of harmful endotoxins and estrogens. Given the anti-biotic effects of the raw carrot, unlike other anti-biotic drugs, the carrot can be consumed daily for years without any harmful effects. Eating the raw carrot is not the end all to healing your gut, but it is a good start. Along with a diet of easy to digest proteins, carbs and fats and a lifestyle that encourages low stress, moderate exercise, deep sleep and being happy you are well on your way to increasing your metabolism, decreasing your toxic load and living a long healthy life!
I guess Bugs Bunny had it right all along…
Your Optimal Health Coach,
“Disclaimer: I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”
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