11 Wholesome Facts About Kale

istock
istock

Kale is so hip, the food world has begun predicting new trends in terms of their kale-iness. Is celery the new kale? Is cauliflower the new kale? Pshaw. As if those plebeian plants could unseat the king of fashionable leafy greens. Here are 11 oh-so-healthy things you should know about every foodie’s favorite cruciferous vegetable.

1. IT USED TO BE CALLED PEASANT'S CABBAGE.

Now, peasant’s cabbage is more like wealthy Hollywood superstar’s cabbage. The modern word “kale” came from a Scottish name for the plant, kail. The Scots started using the word “kailyard” to describe a small garden in the 14th century, and the term later came to be associated with a specific style of fiction about rural domestic life.

2. GREEKS USED SOMETHING LIKE IT TO SOBER UP.

Ancient Greeks boiled leafy greens to eat as a cure for drunkenness. It’s not certain which leaves they used, but there are early Roman documents that describe brassica, the genus that includes kale and related plants.

3. IT COMES FROM THE SAME PLANT AS BROCCOLI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, AND CABBAGE.

All these dietary delights are versions of a species of mustard plant called Brassica oleracea. Over time, farmers used selective breeding to create the vastly different-looking vegetables we know today, called cole crops. That’s why the large leaves of cabbage look different from the bountiful flowers of broccoli or the multiple heads of brussels sprouts.

4. IT REALLY IS GOOD FOR YOU …

Gwyneth Paltrow was not lying to you. Besides being a good source of fiber (which Americans are bad at eating enough of), kale has more vitamin C than an orange. Studies have found that diets that incorporate a lot of cruciferous vegetables—a group that includes kale—are associated with lower risks of some cancers. The same substances that give kale its bitter taste, glucosinolates, break down during digestion to help inhibit the development of cancer, at least in studies of rodents.

5. … BUT YOU CAN OVERDO IT.

A diet that’s very high in cruciferous vegetables like kale can cause hypothyroidism in iodine-deficient people. Though scientists aren’t quite sure how the compounds interfere with thyroid glands, it has something to do with the same glucosinolates that make kale a cancer-fighter. So, maybe don’t eat it for every meal.

6. KALE IS DEFINITELY HAVING A MOMENT.

Between 2007 and 2012, farmers started producing 60 percent more kale a year. In 2014, a major kale seed supplier in the Netherlands ran out of its stock of kale seeds of every variety, prompting fears of a shortage.

7. NEW YORKERS EAT IT EVEN IN THE WORST OF TIMES.

A blizzard warning in New York City in January 2015 caused a run on kale in some parts of the city. Several grocery stores ran out of the veggie prior to the storm, showing that not everyone has the same views on what constitutes a necessary food staple.

8. THERE'S A REASON IT USUALLY COMES COOKED.

Raw kale is harder on the digestive system than the cooked variety, and can cause abdominal issues and bloating. Steamed kale is also better for lowering cholesterol, though raw kale may be more effective at lowering cancer rates. You can also opt to skip the heat and massage it to break down the plant’s cellulose structure and save your body some of the work.

9. NOT EVERYONE THINKS YOU SHOULD EAT MORE KALE.

Chik-fil-A sent the creator of a popular “Eat More Kale” shirt, Bo Muller-Moore, a cease-and-desist letter in 2011, saying that “Eat More Kale” was too much like the fast food company’s own slogan, “Eat More Chikin.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allowed Muller-Moore to trademark his kale boosterism in 2014.

10. IT'S A FAST FOOD NOW.

In March, McDonald’s announced that it would start selling breakfast bowls featuring kale and spinach. Can you super-size that McKale, please?

11. THERE ARE PROVERBS ABOUT IT.

A proverb in the Shetland dialect (from far-northern Scotland) advises: "Dry sunny weather was best for 'maetin' (ripening) the corn and drying the peats; wet, misty or rainy weather grew best kale."

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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KFC's Fried Chicken-Scented Firelogs Are Available at Walmart This Year

Forget the smell of warm cookies. Your home can now smell like fried chicken.
Forget the smell of warm cookies. Your home can now smell like fried chicken.
Walmart

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The famous 11 herbs and spices recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) remains a closely guarded secret. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take home a firelog that will crackle with the aroma of a fresh bucket of fried chicken this holiday season.

All the smell, none of the calories.Walmart

The KFC 11 Herbs and Spices Firelog ($16) has been a popular novelty purchase for the past two years, and this year, it’s available exclusively at Walmart. Made in partnership with Enviro-Log, the flammable product releases a scent reminiscent of KFC’s distinctive seasoning combination, which the company promises will last around two and a half hours while burning.

KFC originally sold the log directly through their website in 2018 and 2019, but now it's available at Walmart ($16), either on the company’s website or in select stores while supplies last (if it's sold out, Amazon or eBay may be your only other options). Considering KFC is owned by Yum! Brands, which also operates Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, perhaps a Crunch Wrap firelog is in our future.

[h/t MarketWatch]