We usually think of gazpacho as a refreshing summer treat, but researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain have shown that the traditional spicy blend of tomatoes, cucumber, garlic and olive oil can help control high blood pressure year round. The study, published online on November 12, 2012 by the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, examined the effect of gazpacho consumption in 3,995 individuals as part of a larger analysis of the effects of the Mediterranean diet on people at high risk of cardiovascular disease. The researchers noted that earlier studies had demonstrated an associated between the main gazpacho ingredients (when consumed separately) with a reduction in high blood pressure. The new study found that consuming gazpacho regularly does as much good for blood pressure control as eating the ingredient vegetables individually, and that the beneficial effects of gazpacho makes it heart healthy despite the soup’s salt content. In some cases, the investigators found that consuming gazpacho lowers the risk of high blood pressure by 27 percent.
Medina-Remón, et al. “Gazpacho consumption is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced hypertension in a high cardiovascular risk cohort. Cross-sectional study of the PREDIMED trial”, doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2012.07.008