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watermelon slices

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon

on August 7, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments
watermelon slices

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon

Wickedly wonderful watermelon delights and enriches your summer!

From seed-spitting contests to delicious treats, watermelons are the perfect addition to your summer picnic basket. Today we’re gonna dish on the healthy secrets of Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon.

Watermelon Nutritional Facts

One of the first things to know about watermelon is that they’re almost 92% water. So they can easily help you reach your water intake for the day and with wickedly wonderful watermelon flavour! The high water content give watermelon a low calorie count – about 30 calories per 100grams!

Watermelons have a ton of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They’re also high in lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. 

What does that mean for your health? 

Quite simply, it means wickedly wonderful watermelon is a nutrient packed delight. But if we were to delve a little deeper, we can explore just what those nutrients do for your body and its health. 

We all know that vitamins do the body good. And when it comes to vitamin A, one of the best things it does for your body is help keep your skin and hair moisturized and healthy by encouraging collagen and elastin growth. A cup of watermelon has nearly a quarter of your recommended daily dose of vitamin A.

Vitamin C is also good for stellar skin and hair. But vitamin C also promotes your iron absorption, aids in the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth, and boosts your immune system. 

Another vitamin good for your skin is vitamin B6. Beyond that, though, vitamin B6 helps support eye health, improves cognitive function, and enhances blood vessel health. It’s also been shown to help detoxify the liver and relieve mood swings. So, the next time you’re feeling grumpy, reach for a bite of wickedly wonderful watermelon to help you smile! 

Beyond Vitamins

Lycopene is a naturally occurring nutrient usually found in fruits in vegetables. It reacts with the human body to “trigger” healthy reactions and gives the red colour to things like tomatoes and watermelons. 

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps with heart and bone health. It’s even been linked to prostate cancer prevention. 

In order to get the most lycopene (and other antioxidants in watermelon), be sure to let your watermelon fully ripen. The more red your watermelon is, the more nutrients are available in it.

Amino acids are, simply put, the building blocks of protein. Every bodily function uses protein, so eating foods high in amino acids are an excellent way to boost and maintain your healthy functions. 

Health Benefits

  • Wickedly wonderful watermelon has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease as it can help improve blood flow. 
  • Lycopene is an anti-inflammatory and, so, watermelon might help reduce inflammation in your body. 
  • We already mentioned it, but it’s worth repeating: hydration. The high water content in watermelon means it will help you stay hydrated throughout the day. The juice is also full of good electrolytes and could possibly help prevent heat stroke on a hot day!
  • Fiber in watermelon means it can help boost your digestion. 
  • The abundance of antioxidants in watermelon means it may help prevent cancer. 

Are there risks?

There’s always risks in life. But the key with food – wickedly wonderful watermelon included – is moderation. Eaten in reasonable amounts, watermelon poses no real health risk for most people. 

However if you eat too much of it, you may find you’ve taken in too much lycopene or potassium (watermelon contains a small amount of potassium) which can cause things like nausea and indigestion. 

Another thing to be aware of is watermelon’s sugar content. Yes, it’s a naturally occurring sugar and therefore a “better” sugar, but sugar is still sugar and too much of it can be excessively bad for you. 

SMRT Health recommends eating watermelon in moderate amounts. Make sure to switch it up from day to day so you get a variety of fruits and vegetables! 

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon Treats!

Now that we know all about how good watermelon is for us, let’s eat! Below you’ll find some of our top picks for healthy summer recipes. 

Wickedly Wonderful Wrap-Up

Watermelons are delicious, refreshing, and full of vital nutrients to get your healthy body through the summer heat. Be sure to eat watermelon in moderate amounts and soak up all the benefits that come with the vitamins and nutrients in each bite. 

Be sure to let us know if you try any of the above recipes – or if you’ve got your own recipes you’d like to share! 

Sensational Summer Sangria Pitcher and Cups

Sensational Summer Sangria!

on July 3, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

This Tasty Tuesday, try our Sensational Summer Sangria!

Over the summer, we’ll be sneaking a peek into our picnic baskets to bring you all our favourite summer recipes. We’ve got sensational summer sangria for refreshments; popsicles to keep you cool; gluten free muffins to start your morning off right, and even more! 

To start the summer off right, we’ll dive right into our Sensational Summer Sangria recipes.

What is Sangria?

The word “sangria” comes from the Latin word for “blood.” It’s an alcoholic punch with Spanish roots. The reddish hue of the wine is what gave sangria its name. The current sangria trend can be dated back to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, however sangria has been around in various forms since the Middle Ages!

Red wine and chopped fruit are the most common ingredients in sangria. However some recipes allow for the addition of brandy, sparkling water, or even flavoured liqueur! 

One of the best things about Sangria is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. A number of recipes use a variety of fruits, but you can use as few or as many as you would like. Common fruits used include pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, or pears.

What kind of wine makes a Sensational Sangria? 

One thing to remember about red sangria is that it’s considered a rather strong drink. Which means the kind of red wine you use will have a great impact on the kind of sangria you make. 

Wines made from the tempranillo grapes in the Rioja regions of Spain are the classic choice for sangria. However you can choose pretty much any red wine that suits your palate! 

Garnacha wine has a great acidity and helps make rich, red fruits really shine when used to make sangria. Primitivo and Zinfandel are good for sangria when mixed with more jammy fruits such as strawberries or blackberries. But those are just suggestions – the beauty of sangria is you can make it with the wine you most prefer!

Look for reasonably priced dry red wines. Their simpler fruit-driven flavours and aromas are perfect for sangria.

Avoid older wines, tannic reds, and more complex wines as they are usually too delicate for mixing and can affect the taste of sangria.

Sangria Blanca

If red wine isn’t your style, Sangria Blanca may be the one for you!

Sangria Blanca is made with dry white wine for a slightly sweeter flavour. Wines such as Pinot Grigio, dry Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc are ideal for Sangria Blanca. 

Since white wine tends to be more fruity, they can help showcase the flavours of the fruits in the sangria. But it’s a double-edged wine glass as the abundance of fruity flavours in white wine also make it more difficult to make the right sangria blend. If a sangria recipe calls for lemon, for example, you might want to avoid a citrus-based white wine as the overall acidity will affect the taste of the sangria.

Aim for white wines with scents and flavours that complement the fruits in your sangria.

Avoid heavily oaked wines, older wines, more complex wines, and wines with a high alcohol content as they can all affect the flavour of your Sangria Blanca.

What if I don’t like red or white wine?

Red and white wine aren’t for everyone. The good news is that you can use pretty much any kind of wine for sangria. 

Rosé wine, with its gorgeous pink hues, can help create some delightful colour and flavour combinations.  Berry fruits such as raspberries or cranberries are ideal lighter flavours and aromas of rosé. 

Sparkling wine can add a little bit of bubbly zest to your sangria. You can easily use it in place of white or rosé wines, but try to avoid older sparkling wines and always wait until you’re ready to serve to add the bubbles.

Dessert wines can be a bit trickier to use in sangria, but if you look for simple and fruity wines, you can create a sipping delight.

Stay away from fortified wines such as port and stick to off-sweet and lower alcohol content dessert wines for the ideal dessert wine sangria.

But is Sangria healthy?

Of course, we have to touch on the health aspects of all of our Tasty Tuesday recipes, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing a good job helping you stay healthy! 

Moderation is key for a lot of things, especially alcohol. But when it comes to red wine, it’s on the healthier side of things. A 5 ounce serving of red wine has as little as 125 calories and 4 grams of carbs. The high number of antioxidants in red wine make it a more healthy alcohol. Moderate amounts of red wines (and a few other alcohols) may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by slightly “boosting” the healthy cholesterol in your system. Red wine may also help reduce your risks of cancer, dementia, or depression when consumed in moderate amounts. 

In North America and Europe, moderate amounts of red wine are considered to be about 5 ounces a day for women and up to 10 ounces a day for men. This refers to total alcohol consumption, though, so if you also drink other alcohols in a day, that could push you over the limit, so to speak. 

High alcohol intake can increase your risk for heart disease, as well as high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Other wines such as rosés, whites, and sweet wines typically contain fewer antioxidants thanks to how they are made, so they don’t hold as many benefits as red wine. Try to stick with moderate amounts – or less – of these wines.

Wine-soaked fruits add vitamins – but only if you eat them!

The other healthy benefit of sangria is the addition of fruit and fruit juices. When you add things such as oranges or 100% orange juice (with no added sugars), you also add vitamin C to your drink. Depending on the types of fruits or juices you add, you could also be adding fiber and potassium or other vitamins. Of course, to actually take in those nutrients, you’ll have to eat the wine-soaked fruit – but who could turn down that level of delicious flavour? 

Some recipes call for added sugar, which can negate the healthy benefits of sangria. Be sure to avoid added sugar where possible! Try honey or agave nectar for healthier alternatives.

Bring on the Sensational Summer Sangria!

Enough about all of that – although if you have any questions feel free to let us know – let’s break out the recipes! For your summer refreshment and enjoyment, we’ve got a variety of options below. 

Red Wine Sensational Summer Sangria

  • For a healthy, no-sugar added delight full of pineapple, pears, oranges, strawberries, and oranges, check out the Healthiest Summer Sangria Ever !
  • Looking to keep your heart healthy this summer? Try this Heart-Healthy Sangria with lime, lemons, pears, oranges, and red wine, sweetened with a little bit of stevia!
  • Love raspberries and agave nectar? Then this Low Sugar Raspberry Sangria is your ideal refreshment!
  • For an extra chilly wine treat, check out this Frozen Raspberry Peach Sangria! Frozen raspberries, peaches, and agave nectar make this a healthier, boozey cocktail for those hot summer nights.

White Wine Sensational Summer Sangria

  • On the keto diet but don’t want to miss out on any summer fun? Let this Low Carb Sparkling White Sangria to tingle your taste buds without affecting your diet!
  • Oranges, limes, and lemons, oh my! This Easy Citrus White Wine Sangria features whine wine, vodka, and a dash of mint, to make an eclectic and delicious cool white wine summer treat!
  • Dive into perfect peaches and resplendent raspberries with this White Peach Sangria that uses honey as a natural sweetener!

Rosé Sensational Summer Sangria

  • A myriad of melons, with a dash of rosé and elderflower liqueur make this Summer Melon Rosé Sangria the perfect refreshment for your summer picnics!
  • Strawberries and peaches are the stars of this Rosé Sangria . Add a little bit of sparkling water just before serving for refreshing bubbles!

Non-Alcoholic Sensational Summer Sangria

  • Wine not your thing? Kids wanting a “grown-up” drink at your family picnics? Why not check out this Healthy Non-Alcoholic Sangria that uses grape juice (with no added sugar) instead?
  • Break out some white grape juice for this Vegan Non-Alcoholic Sangria. Full of blueberries, oranges, bananas, and peaches, you’ll be sure to get all your essential vitamins in one drink!

Enjoy your Sensational Summer Sangrias!

Sensational Summer Sangria is a delightfully refreshing cocktail you can easily add to your summer picnic baskets. With the added benefit of nutrient-dense fruit and the health benefits of red wine, it’s the perfect healthy summer treat. 

Check out the recipes above and be sure to let us know which ones are your favourites! If you create your own, let us know and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page!

Happy Sensational Summer Sangria making! 




Jump into summer with SMRT Health’s Healthy Summer Program!

on June 7, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

A SMRT Healthy Summer is here!

We’ve got you covered for all the fun in the sun you can handle! As we head into summer, we’ll be talking about ways you can stay healthy and happy during the heat and outdoor fun ahead. Our SMRT Healthy Summer is your ticket to an amazing summer ride!

June Joy:

June is the start of summer and the perfect time to start talking about: 

  • Acupuncture and how it can help you with your allergies;
  • Hormones and the benefits of a happy and balanced hormonal system;
  • Men’s Health and how naturopathy can help you live happier, healthier, and longer.

Jumping July:

Summer gets its grip on you as we head into July, so be sure to tune in as SMRT Health’s SMRT Healthy Campaign braves the heat to share all our tips for a healthy and fun summer! We’ll be talking: 

  • Summer Skincare: Learn all the best ways to stay safe and soak up the summer rays;
  • SMRT Health’s Picnic Basket: Peek into our Picnic Baskets for some Healthy Summer Recipes (including plenty of Gluten-Free and/or Vegan options!);
  • Swimming Summer: There’s so much to do outside, let us help you figure out what summer activities are right for you!

Awesome August: 

Summer may be coming to an end this August, but at SMRT Health, we’re gonna milk every last moment of fun in the sun we can! Stay with us as we talk about: 

  • August Air: Air Quality and how you can stay healthy even when the air around you isn’t!;
  • Kids In The Sun: We’ll touch on ways Naturopathy can help your children grow into healthier adults!
  • School Done Healthy: Tips and Tricks to ensure your kids head back to school healthy and ready to learn!

And that’s not all!

We’ve got plenty of other fun topics coming your way this summer. Be sure to stick with SMRT Health and have a SMRT Healthy Happy Summer!