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

The benefits of seeing a Naturopath

Consulting with a Naturopath is very different to an appointment with a doctor. Below are the main benefits you can get from seeing a Naturopath.

1. In-depth health review

A typical visit to a GP is usually a 5 to 10 minute meeting. This contrasts with visiting a Naturopathic Practitioner, which is usually 30 to 60 minutes, as your health is discussed in depth with an assessment. At the end, the Naturopath can establish a holistic understanding of your health conditions. This involves looking into your health history as well as your current health status and any problems.

2. Identify the roots of health issues

If a person has been diagnosed with something, it doesn’t been that it started at that point. It could have developed months or possibly years prior to the diagnosis. Identifying the cause is a vital step in paving the way for a treatment plan.

Catching things before they have the chance to evolve is even better. An example of this could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Steroids or another conventional medicine might be prescribed to suppress symptoms and reduce inflammation. However, steroids do not address the underlying cause of the problem, therefore it can return.

If the cause is left unattended, it can furthermore be allowed to develop more into a wide variety of ailments, from fatigue and inflammation, to migraines and eczema, and more. Getting to the cause early can save many problems in the future.

3. Complements medical practitioners

Naturopathy can compliment what other medical practitioners may also be doing for you. They will bring advice that Doctors often don’t provide, as Naturopaths are taught a different philosophy and are therefore treating your health from a different angle. Rather than suppressing symptoms, the philosophy is about identifying and treating the underlying cause, so the condition can be worked out and released from the body.

4. Tailored medicine and treatment plans

In natural medicine, programmes and treatment plans are tailored to each individual. Once the reason behind the illness is identified, a plan using natural therapies can be put in place. The length of treatment varies from each person, how long one has had a condition and the severity of it.

5. Restoring natural healing ability

The goal is to always return to your natural ability to heal and achieve optimum health. The vast majority of us today have nutritional deficient of some kind. This is for various reasons, including:

  • A lot of our food is transported around the world before being stored for days or weeks in supermarkets.
  • Food is roughly half as nutritionally dense as it was for our great grandparents.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables can lose 50% of their nutritional quality in 48 hours of being picked.
  • Processing of food is on a mammoth scale, leading to problems such as chemicals and pesticides on foods.
  • With a change in lifestyle, we are eating almost 20 times more sugar than 80 years ago.

Strengthening your body and correcting toxicity with natural remedies is hugely beneficial. In my practice, I employ herbal medicine, nutritional medicine (vitamins and minerals) and homeopathic remedies.

Till next time,


What exactly is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is an alternative medicine, based on the idea that health problems are caused by lack of balance in the body – either physically or psychologically. Naturopathy is used to restore balance to help cure these problems. It is branded at “natural”, “non-invasive” and is promoted as “self-healing”.

Importantly, Naturopaths treat the root causes of illness rather than just the symptoms of disease. Symptom management may be important, but it is more important to not disregard the underlying cause.

The story of Naturopathy

The principles of Naturopathy began being used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in around 400 BC. Hippocrates believed in viewing the whole person when finding the cause of a disease, and using nature to induce cause. It was from this that Naturopathy takes its principles.

Naturopathy principles

  • The healing of power and nature: the body can heal itself, given the right condition and treatment
  • Identify and treat the cause: identify the underlying cause of illness, rather than suppressing symptoms
  • Treat the whole person: when preparing a treatment plan, all aspects of a person’s being are considered
  • Do no harm: Naturopaths will never use treatments that could create other conditions
  • Prevention is better than cure – Naturopaths may remove toxic situations and substances from a patient’s lifestyle to prevent further disease
  • The Naturopath as a teacher: Naturopaths empower the patient to take responsibility for their own health by teaching self-care

Common health issues

Naturopathic medicine is used for most health issues. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Allergies
  • Fertility issues
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Prostate issues
  • Stress

What does a treatment consist of?

A consultation usually takes an hour. During this time, the Naturopath will ask questions about the person’s condition, diet and lifestyle, medical history, and any treatments that they are having. The Naturopath may then look into the iris, or tongue and nail diagnosis to get a clearer picture of the health state of the client. Pathology testing such as hair or blood analysis is sometimes recommended.

Once all of the information is gathered, a treatment plan is created to address all areas of a person’s life, providing the body with an optimum chance to heal itself. The treatment plan may include advice on lifestyle, exercise, diet, herbal medicine, homeopathic treatments, or other suitable remedies. A Naturopath may also refer the client to other practitioners as part of an integrated healthcare approach.


If you would like to book an initial consultation with me to review your health, please get in touch.

Till next time,