Today we are going to make one of the most ‘cleansing’ salads possible – a raw carrot salad. This recipe works great in the morning, but can be eaten any time of day.
One of the least known toxins in our environment is called lipopolysaccharide (also known as endotoxin), and is produced by gut bacteria. In fact these lipopolysaccharide molecules are actually found on the outer membrane of your normal gut bacteria…scary stuff.
As endotoxins are extremely damaging to the liver, illicit a powerful immune response and lead to systemic inflammation, we want to lower the amount of them in our digestive tract right? This is where the raw carrot and coconut oil come in handy. The net physiological effect of this recipe is to reduce bacterial endotoxin & oestrogen (as well as other ‘downstream’ stress hormones – aldosterone, serotonin, prolactin, cortisol, etc), and to increase progesterone/testosterone/DHEA/T3 and other ‘youth’ hormones.
A delicious take on Ray Peat's cleansing raw carrot salad recipe.
- Coconut oil
- Peel the carrot to remove outer 'skin' and throw away.
- Keep peeling the carrot lengthways (important)
- Keep going....
- Add 1.5 teaspoons of salt
- Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or MCT oil)
- Mix up the ingredients like with any salad.
This recipe may not look so delicious on first glance, but actually tastes great. The salt draws some of the water out onto the carrot surface, leaving a salty, crunchy & velvety consistency. The coconut oil also contributes to the smoothness of the salad and helps it to go down much easier. Sometimes I also like to add honey, or maple syrup to improve the taste and add variety. I frequently have cheese and fruit juice with the salad too.
Carrot fibres are a natural antibiotic (that’s why they don’t go moldy in the ground!). They don’t really get digested in the intestine, and the fibre gives off an anti fungal/biotic effect which intensely cleanses the digestive tract. Raw carrots are actually quite well researched for their effects on blood lipids and bile elimination (bile contains a lot of the toxins/hormones that have been detoxified by the liver). Eating a raw carrot daily will ensure that your bile (and toxins therein) is actually removed from your body, rather than being reabsorbed and raising oestrogen levels.
It is important to note that carrot juice (or carrots that have been blended in a smoothie) will not have this same effect. Carrot juice is high in beta-carotene which, due to being an unsaturated molecule, will usually have strong anti-thyroid effects when consumed. When raw carrot fibre is consumed however, most of the beta carotene is not absorbed. Raw carrot can also reduce blood glucose levels if eaten alone, so drinking some fruit juice, coke, milk or sugar-sweetened coffee with it will help to prevent hypoglycaemia/cortisol.
Stick with organic carrots if possible to reduce pesticide exposure. Go for paler or white rainbow carrots too if you can get them, as the orange pigment (beta carotene) is an unsaturated molecule and prone to oxidation. Get your vitamin A from egg yolks and liver instead!
Coconut oil benefits:
Coconut oil, despite being cursed by the mainstream for decades as ‘unhealthy’, has made a huge comeback recently. There is ample research showing the tremendous health benefits of coconuts and coconut oil. An alternative option could be ‘mct oil‘
because it is 100% saturated fat.
Coconut oil is similar to raw carrots, in that it has a very antibiotic-like effect on the bowel. This effect synergises with the raw carrot to produce a solid combination. The medium chain fats found in coconut also help to raise metabolism and free thyroid hormone, and you should feel warmer for about 1 hour after eating this meal.
I would have recommended organic extra virgin coconut oil if you asked me 12 months ago, but more recently I have found superior results from plain old refined coconut oil – it’s cheaper, less likely to cause side effects (such as nausea and diarrhea), is tasteless and odourless, and the fats are not damaged by the refining process anyway!
In this recipe I use himalayan salt (which may potentially be problematic due to iron content) because I like the taste, but any type of pure salt (without fillers/bulkers) is fine. Sea salt is fine.
Salt, if taken early in the morning, helps to reduce the adrenaline/cortisol/aldosterone release which is seen roughly 30 minutes after getting up. Salt (sodium) is an essential mineral that is vital to keeping stress hormones down and metabolism up, not to mention maintaining your stomach acid levels, improving nerve function, etc, etc.
Restricting salt is an extremely unhealthy and uninformed thing to do: a few extra grams of salt per day has been associated with reducing the incidence of heart health issues by 1/3 (Alderman 1995). It is true that restricting salt may lead to a small drop in blood pressure, but this has never been linked to an improvement in health, even in hypertensive people (Alderman 2004).