The health benefits of pumpkins, plus healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkins have numerous health benefits – they’re rich in vitamins and minerals. Below is more information on this bright orange squash, followed by healthy and unique ways you can enjoy it.

Younger skin

Eating pumpkin can help you look younger as the beta-carotene in pumpkin helps protect us from the sun’s (wrinkle causing) UV rays. But the pumpkin pulp also makes a fantastic all-natural face mask which exfoliates and soothes. Just mix some pureed pumpkin, an egg, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of milk. Then apply and wash off with warm water after 20 minutes.

Better immunity

The large shot of vitamin A that this squash provides helps your body fight illnesses and infections. Pumpkin is also packed with nearly 20% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which can help you recover from colds faster.

Weight loss

Pumpkin is rich in fibre, which slows digestion. In fact, there are 7 grams of fibre in 120g of pumpkin, which is more than what you’d get in two slices of wholegrain bread. It also keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Sharp vision

We know that pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, and this is essential for eye health, helping the retina absorb and process light. A single cup of pumpkin contains over 200% of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.

Unique ways to have pumpkin

Sweet or savoury, roasted or mashed, pumpkin is a hugely versatile vegetable with some surprising health benefits too.

Here are some BBC Good Food recipes:

Roasted pumpkin and spinach lasagne

Pumpkin lasagne

You won’t miss the meat in this roasted lasagne, thanks to the chunky roasted pumpkin and rich, earthy flavours. This is a comfort food the whole family can enjoy.

See recipe

Pumpkin curry with chickpeas

Pumpkin curry

Curry will warm you up as the nights draw in, and this pumpkin curry with chickpeas is the perfect main or tasty side. It’s dairy-free, vegan and low calorie; a lighter option that’ll fill you up.

See recipe

Spicy squash and apple chutney

Pumpkin chutney

Capture the taste of the season with this spicy squash and apple chutney. The sweet flesh of the pumpkin, mixed with a hint of spice, apple and vinegar makes a delicious pot of blended flavours.

See recipe

Pumpkin hummus

Throw a Halloween party and use a carved out pumpkin to create this creamy hummus.

See recipe

Pumpkin pastry

Now for a bit of sweet. This delicate pumpkin and pecan strudel has a subtle sweetness that works well with a dollop of custard or a drizzle of syrup. A winter dessert with a difference.

See recipe

Till next time,


A client case study

Here is a testimonial I have recently received from a client who suffers with arthritis.

“I contacted Shoela Detsios after I had been diagnosed with Viral Arthritis, with the potential of being Rheumatoid. I was hardly able to walk, I couldn’t grip a pen or knife & fork. I felt permanently unwell and the specialist had put me on high dose steroids. Once the course was finished I was told that if I required more, then the only option was Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs.

I had also gained considerable weight that I was unable to lose. I was permanently tired and lethargic. As a former sports person I was finding these dramatic changes in my physical being really hard to accept.

I had some blood tests that I was able to share with Shoela and she suggested I also undertook a dry urine sample.

I visited Shoela in Uxbridge and for the first time I felt that someone was truly hearing me. She understood my symptoms, asked detailed questions and at the end of our meeting she gave me some natural drops to put on my tongue. She later emailed me a detailed programme of natural supplements.

We kept in touch monthly and Shoela told me until my gut was improving it would be unlikely I would lose the weight, but I improved almost immediately in the way I felt. I found my energy levels beginning to improve and I was less lethargic.

During our Skype monthly calls Shoela and I talked about things affecting my health, my work, home, family and the pressures I was under. Each time we finished a discussion I would receive a follow up email with a slight change to my supplement programme, with advice on other changes she suggested I make.

I stuck to the programme, but I was also heartened that Shoela accepted I was human and sometimes sticking with the programme was not always possible.

I am now 2 years on and I have now shed 21lbs of the weight I gained, I have been signed off from the Rheumatoid specialist, who doesn’t understand how I’ve changed so much! I feel amazing. I haven’t taken another steroid and I realise just how big a part my gut plays in my general health and well being.

I am so pleased I was introduced to Shoela and I recommend her and her methodology to anyone who will listen!”

Liz Doogan-Hobbs MBE