If you've been to your local juice bar or smoothie shop and felt virtuous ordering the "green machine" concoction only to regret that choice five seconds after your first sip, there is a solution to this predicament that's a little less obvious than advice to order the red smoothie made with sorbet next time instead.
What's the compromise? Add sugar.
Please read on before you post an outraged comment on Facebook. It's impossible to make raw greens taste good without adding salt, fat, sauce, cheese, other vegetables, protein or fruit to it. Let's be honest: If you sincerely enjoy eating mounds of raw, slightly bitter kale, chard, spinach, dandelion greens and more without any adornment, then kudos—but you probably aren't reading this article anyway. If you don't fall into the raw-greens-loving camp, you're not alone, and that doesn't mean you should avoid these vitamin-, potassium- and iron-rich veggies. You just need to trick your palette into accepting the unique flavor and texture of greens. Start this process by combining raw greens with other familiar flavors you enjoy. Over time, as you develop a tolerance for the flavor of greens, try to increase the ratio of greens to other ingredients in your homemade juices and smoothies.
Remember, balance is essential when it comes to overall health. Please don't misunderstand this recommendation. Add fructose—the sugar found naturally in fruit—to sweeten your green juice so that you get the additional boost of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals while also making those greens more palatable.
Skeptical about the long-term effects of fruit sugar? Relax, because recent scientific research isn't, even for people who medically require blood sugar monitoring. A controlled trial conducted at the University of Oxford revealed that a long-term increase of fruit and vegetable intake is expected to reduce cardiovascular disease among the general public. Science supports fruit consumption even for diabetics, who need to regulate their blood sugar closely. One study reviewed the effects of giving 123 diabetic patients two pieces of low-calorie fruit per day for three months. The patients showed significant reductions in blood sugar levels over time without weight gain. The study reports: "A diet rich in fruits can improve some antioxidants, which are likely to reduce oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of fruits can lower the glycemic status in these patients."