A nutrition lesson from Marilyn Monroe
It turns out that we can learn more than a couple tips from Marilyn Monroe's nutrient-dense diet (*ahem* aside from her drug and alcohol intake). She eschewed breads and pastries and greatly favored liver, the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.
Perhaps another secret to keeping her figure? Her daily raw carrots, which she greatly enjoyed and consumed with her evening meal.
What Marilyn Monroe didn't know was that her daily raw carrots contain a unique property that aids detox and hormone balance! (And it's not vitamin A, since carrots actually don't provide vitamin A.)
carrots contain a unique fiber that absorbs excess estrogen and helps sweep it out of the body. Why is this so important?
Our western society faces rampant estrogen dominance because we face an increasing stress burden. Stress, whether physical or emotional, increases the production of estrogen. Additionally, many pesticides and chemicals are xenonestrogens - chemicals which the body perceives as estrogen.
Further, dietary components throw estrogen drastically out of balance. Soy contains phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body. The modern soy craze has devastating effects on hormone balance for men, women and particularly children. Unhealthful "newfangled" fats including all vegetable oils (corn oil, soy oill, safflower oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, etc.) lead to inflammation and increase the estrogenic load.
Estrogen dominance is an underlying cause of PMS, menopausal symptoms, hormonal acne, infertility, and mood disorders. It doesn't just affect women: men, and particularly pre-pubescent boys, face the threat of estrogen dominance. Lack of muscle tone, erectile dysfunction, and "man boobs" all point in part to estrogen dominance.
By helping to detox some of the excess estrogen, a raw carrot a day plays an important role in both male and female hormone balance.
In my e-book Quit PMS, I explain how to address estrogen dominance naturally through a customizable protocol to end menstrual cramping, hormonal acne, swollen breasts, etc.)
Dr. Ray Peat, who shares controversial and groundbreaking nutrition research, introduced the "Carrot a Day" routine:
Because of my own experience in finding that eating a raw carrot daily prevented my migraines, I began to
suspect that the carrot fiber was having both a bowel-protective and an antiestrogen effect. Several women who suffered from premenstrual symptoms, including migraine, had their serum estrogen measured before and after the "carrot diet," and they found that the carrot lowered their estrogen within a few days, as it relieved their symptoms. (1)
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. (2)
No baby carrots: Beware the LPS!
Purchase whole, medium-sized carrots (preferably organic) from your grocery store or farmer's market. Do not use pre-peeled baby carrots, since the peel prevents the growth of gram negative bacteria according to Dr. Tom O'Bryan, who discussed this in The Gluten Summit. This was new information to me, and, although it makes sense to me (because the carrot peel protects the carrot as it grows in the soil), I would take it with a grain of salt because I'm having difficulty finding other sources for this information. According to Dr. Tom, Once the carrot is peeled and left in the fridge for a couple of days, it allows gram negative bacteria to flourish. The problem here is that the protective coating on this bacteria contains an endotoxin - a toxic component - called lipopolysaccharides (LPS).
We know that LPS provokes a powerful immune reaction in humans and animals. When we eat a source of LPS, we increase inflammation. Research shows that LPS may lead to leaky gut and contribute to mood disorders including depression.
Dr. Ray Peat also recommends a whole, medium sized carrot so that seems like the safe route to go.
How to eat your carrot a day
The carrot must be raw, not cooked
You can enjoy the carrot peeled or washed and not peeled.
Ideally, eat it in-between meals and not with meals
Eat it whole or prepare the Detox Carrot Salad, a recipe from Mama Natural. You coarsely grate the carrot and add coconut oil, vinegar and salt. The salad is my favorite way to enjoy my raw carrot a day - it's delicious!