Remember when I mentioned that cooking with discrete ingredients has side effects? Well, in reality, all food has side effects, they are just drowned out by the popular proportions of everything that are hard coded into the common foods that everyone eats.
When you start experimenting with specific ingredients, you throw that all away. Suddenly, you will find yourself rapidly trying to diagnose something with Google and fix it with another ingredient that you normally eat all the time.
I have a great example. I don’t have anything wrong with my kidneys that can be clinically diagnosed (I’ve had more than one doctor try while I was seeing them for unrelated things), but my experiment cooking with pea protein made me realize why they call them peas.
To spare you the details, there was a minor abnormality coupled with a touch of eczema that warranted a quick visit to Dr. Google. I quickly found that the two symptoms were both related to my kidneys. I remembered reading that pea protein is very easily digested, but your body can have trouble processing it if you have too much.
Realizing that the pea protein test food I made was probably missing something my kidneys needed to process it, I went back to google to search for foods that help with kidney function. Cranberry juice is something you always hear about, but I don’t exactly keep it laying around. I did however note, the lack of anything acidic in my meal coupled with an unusually high concentration of protein as being a possible cause. My next thought was to use an acid I keep around in powder form for cooking: citric acid. I quickly google if lemon juice could replace cranberry juice for kidney function and saw something that said if it is concentrated lemon juice it can.
Finally, I had a glass of water with a quarter teaspoon of citric acid and a sprinkle of ascorbic acid. Both symptoms appeared to subside pretty quickly (I’ll let you decide whether that was psychosomatic or not). I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have any plans to become one (unless you count a PhD, which I’ve always had on my wishlist), though food is also not medicine, there is still so much to learn about food from medicine and studying how it affects the body. Considering that so far, this quarantine has been great for my overall health, I think I might have found a new hobby.
EDIT: I must have put a touch too much citric acid because it is late and I’m no longer tired and I also have a mild case of dermatographia (which could also be from the sun exposure, sunscreen or pool chemicals). I still think that I’m learning from these experiences and that overall it is a good thing.