Kale is good for you—no one disputes that. It's full of vitamins, low in calories, and packed with fiber. It's nutrient density alone almost (but not quite) justifies its $8 price tag on the clamshell of vegan cheese-flavored raw kale chips. It makes the muscle-building spinach of yore look like wilted iceberg lettuce.
But now there's another delightful property that you can tack on to its long list of purported health benefits: it may actually help to offer you some relief when your body is in the throes of True Hangover Hell.
Yes, kale is both a superfood and a potential savior from last night's incredibly poor decisions. Throw in another magic health-store buy, too—almonds—and you have a recipe for morning-after salvation.
Those hippies may have been on to something all this time.
Why? Well, it's actually pretty simple. Here's the thing: kale and almonds might make you feel a little bit better, but in a different way than a bacon and cheese croissant will. As opposed to putting you in a food coma that will obliterate all of your feelings of nastiness, these foods actually help to protect your body's cells, which you have so rudely soaked in booze.
Kale and almonds are both high in vitamin E, which is best known for making your skin smooth and soft and beauteous. But in addition to making your visage so very, very lovely, vitamin E has recently been shown to help counteract the damage that drinking does to your cells.
All of those kamikaze shots, you see, put your T-cell—a.k.a., the little buggers that comprise your immune system—under what is known as oxidative stress; in other words, it weakens them. I mean, hey, you're technically poisoning yourself. Ever gone super hard for the entirety of a three-day weekend and then woken up with the flu of death? It's a familiar tale.
According to the UK's Daily Mail, researchers from the ETH Zurich found that mixing a high dose of vitamin E into the food of test animals cushioned the membranes of the animals' T-cells, meaning that their immune response to outside pathogens such as viruses was greater, and they were better able to fight off infections. And that's not just from hangovers—vitamin E could also be an aid in other situations that stress the body, such as the annual event when you give yourself an atrocious sunburn after roasting on the beach for five straight hours.
So will a kale smoothie made with almond milk make you feel like a million bucks come Sunday at 11 AM? Maybe. But more importantly, you're less likely to wake up on Monday morning with that deathly feeling of what-have-I-done-to-myself, punctuated with the chills and a low-grade fever.
Kale, we seriously owe you one.