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Mood Swings & Going Raw

Since I’ve went mostly raw, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting mood swings. (And yes, I’m sure its not PMS!) I’ve had a couple of episodes each week, when before I never felt like this. I’m trying to attribute it to stress, but besides my diet change recently, nothing else has really changed in my life. I’m calling it a mood swing as well, because each time it happens its a different thing that sets it off. It comes out of nowhere and then it goes away a few hours later.

Also, even though I felt more energized in the beginning, for the last few nights I’ve been extremely exhausted (and felt on the verge of passing out/fainting)-to the point I have to just go to bed early. This is also something really uncommon for me, as I can usually stay up late and then it takes me forever to shut off my mind and fall asleep.

Has anyone else had these types of experiences with going raw? I don’t know if thats whats causing the problems or something else.


  • While I’m certainly no doctor, my first guess would be that you’re experiencing blood sugar issues. It’s hard to say, though, because everyone is so different, and I’ve heard different stories from everyone I know who has gone raw.

    My advice – and maybe this is a cop-out – is to see a nutritionist. I had my own issues after such a big diet change, and my nutritionist was able to ask me a bunch of questions, ultimately do a pH test, and give me specific recommendations for the issues I was having. She’s been far more helpful, in fact, than my regular doctor!

  • kandacekandace Raw Newbie

    Hi Hallie,

    When I starting eating raw, I also went through a detox with a naturopath here in Portland. Even going raw alone, though, is quite detoxing. Anyhow, Dr. Ariel had us write in a journal every night – just free form about anything that came to mind since detoxing is ridding your body of both chemical and emotional toxins. At first, I was hesitant about the journaling, but it really did help as I was experiencing some ups and downs myself.

  • I went to a nutritionist at my former university (because for now it was what I could afford—free). I emailed her in advanced and mentioned “raw”, so if she wasn’t familiar she would be prepared. She wasn’t, so she had. She basically said that its great because you’d be getting plenty of veggies and fruit..but she didn’t buy into the whole “living enzymes” because as she said “your body has enzymes to break down food”. She wasn’t mean about it, and very friendly and open. But she basically scared me (not on purpose, but it got me thinking) into making sure I have 3 servings of tofu/soy a day plus getting more grains and she really stressed dairy. Well, I was content cutting some of those things out. Now I’m just confused. She said my mood swings and fatigue could be from lack of calcium and protein. I honestly wish there would be some non biased scientific research done on raw and vegan diet. Of course, I think it comes down to your personal body response and genetics, but I’m too scientific for my own good sometimes.

  • kandacekandace Raw Newbie

    Congratulations for seeking out a nutritionist!

    She basically said that its great because you’d be getting plenty of veggies and fruit..but she didn’t buy into the whole “living enzymes” because as she said “your body has enzymes to break down food”.

    A simplified overview here: Your body does have enzymes that work to fight disease and generally work throughout your body. When you eat cooked food (without the enzymes), your body’s enzymes stop doing the work in the rest of your body and concentrate on breaking down food in your stomach. When you eat raw foods, the foods come into your body with their own live enzymes. So, the enzymes in your body can keep up the good work in your body.

    I honestly wish there would be some non biased scientific research done on raw and vegan diet.

    There is an amazing book out called The China Study. It covers the largest study ever conducted on human health. And, the results are quite strong in favor of a plant-based diet. The book is full of smaller studies as well. I’d give you more information, but I’ve loaned the book out to my parents.

  • I will second that recommendation of The China Study. It’s a great book – as empirical and scientific as it gets – and while he doesn’t call his recommendation a “raw diet,” that’s pretty much what it is. The book’s title comes from the first and largest study that he documents, and its conclusions are real eye-openers for a lot of people.

  • By the way, there is an excellent interview with the author, T. Colin Campbell, online for free. It was in a particular episode of Raw Vegan Radio. You can jump straight to the MP3 audio too, if you want.

  • Thanks for the information! I’m going to check out the book, and I’m already listening to the interview and googling stuff on Campbell!

  • ok i now this was a while ago but i am going through magger mood swing more like one big one i am so grumpy, irritable and tired. i normally do not do good unless i have meat proteins. so i was wondering what i should do i want to stick with raw for the most part. but i need to stop being mooding. i have kids and am snapping at them way to easy(nothing bad by the way :)) i just do not feel my self. so i was wondering if you have had any luck with the stuff you have tried

  • As for mood swings, I had the same thing. I was basically eating fruit till 4pm or so, then having a big salad with avo for dinner – and maybe some cacao for dessert. At first, I too had a ton of energy….then the mood swings hit. I think that, in my opinion, the decrease in high protein may contribute to the problem, as well as the decrease in calories. I started to eat nuts and sprouts earlier in the day, and added a hemp protein powder to my green drinks and things have been A LOT smoother…

  • HI- This may sound ridiculously simple but try eating sugar snap peas throughout the day. They are high in protein but do not have the fat. What has helped me is peeling a cucumber and eating the whole thing. I would never have eaten just a whole cucumber like that before. Take the peel off if it is waxed. Another thing is to sprout mung beans and garbanzo beans. It will take a couple days but it is worth it. Make the garbanzos into hummus or just put salt and cayenne on them. I hope this helps. Take extra quiet time for yorself like a warm lavender bath- you deserve it!

  • I can’t tell you for sure, but I went through that a couple times and there were two things that caused it for me. 1. TOO MANY NUTS- TOO MUCH FAT! I worked in a raw restaurant and had everything at my fingertips and oh boy did I indulge toooo much!

    2. DETOXING! Your body is simply trying to balance itself and while it’s getting rid of poisons it’s having an effect on you.. Don’t worry won’t last forever!

  • thank you guys! i am thinking i will try all the stuff btu i do have a ? about the no nut thing if i do not have nuts it is hard for me to get my protien in and then i feel like passing out how can nuts make you moody? i know a lack of something can have that effect but to much nuts im confused :)

  • hi- thats why i mentioned the green beans and garbanzo beans- high protein and low fat. I have noticed it myself- when i made the brazil nut pancakes- i thought they’d be filling enough and high enough protein but I was hungry and moody a couple hours later. It could have been the bananas though because thats a lot of sugar. I’ve been better off eating a half a mellon though for breakfast and a salad with some nuts for lunch.

  • Some nuts are ok, but like were talking a handful a day is plenty. All this talk about protein is silly.. lack of doesn’t make you moody or tired.. that’s from either lack of calories or to many most of the time.. carbs are the best thing to give you energy.. pile on the fruit and greens and avoid eating fruit with nuts. Nuts aren’t that great of a protein source.. they’re more FAT. Fruits and veggies provide ample protein. you don’t really need that much protein to begin with.. and if you eat enough calories regardless of your diet .. you’re getting plenty of protein.

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