Consuming Gazpacho helps lower blood pressure
Regular consumption of cold gazpacho could help fight high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Gazpacho is one of the most well-known typical Spanish dishes and is characterized by its simple recipe and pleasant color. It originates in the region of Andalusia, and is now common in all of Spain and Portugal, as are numerous variations on the original recipe. As well as being a refreshing dish, it has many beneficial properties.
- The origin of the recipe is disputed, with some claiming it is of ancient Roman origin, and others that it is an Arab recipe. It is common in all of the Iberian Peninsula, served as an appetizer or side, and has many regional variations.
- This Spanish dish is easy to make and very healthy. In fact, it provides a great quantity of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and helps fight hypertension.
Gazpacho is a raw vegetable soup, generally served chilled or at room temperature. [/fusion_text][one_half last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”7%” class=”” id=””][imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][/one_half][one_half last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”5%” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]In ancient times it consisted of an oil based soup containing water soaked bread, but with time the recipe also acquired fresh vegetables, typically tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, garlic and onion. It is classically a summer dish, with important hydrating and nutritive properties, and was hence consumed by farmers during the summer. Gazpacho has a red to orange color and a dense consistency, which allows it to be served in traditional bowls or in a glass, occasionally with ice.[/fusion_text][/one_half][fusion_text]A recent Spanish study, published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases magazine, suggests that regular consumption of gazpacho can help fight the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The study analyzed the effects of gazpacho consumption on cardiovascular risk factors in almost 4,000 people. These were selected among the older individuals, and most at risk of cardiovascular disease, of a larger study called PREDIMED, which aimed to evaluate the effects of the Mediterranean diet on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers, guided by Dr. Alexander Medina-Remón of the University of Barcelona, in Spain, observed that gazpacho consumption in inversely related to the incidence of hypertension (high blood pressure), which is in turn an undeniable risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and the main risk factor for stroke in both men and women.
The results have shown that gazpacho can lower blood pressure by up to 27%, and both diastolic and systolic blood pressure values were found to be inversely correlated with gazpacho consumption.
Previous clinical and epidemiological studies had already highlighted the relationship between the consumption of the main ingredients in gazpacho (tomatoes, cucumber, garlic and olive oil) and a reduction in blood pressure.
Dr. Medina-Remón claims that the study is the first to show that gazpacho consumption is as beneficial as consumption of the single ingredients, and that gazpacho itself can lower blood pressure. Professor Rosa Lamuela, who coordinated the study, claims that this effect of gazpacho on blood pressure was somewhat unexpected, due to the salt content of this dish.
Dr. Medina-Remón concludes that gazpacho’s high content in carotene, vitamin C and polyphenols is sufficient to counterbalance the effect of salt, making it overall beneficial for the heart.
The positive effect of all the ingredients that contribute to blood pressure reduction is greater than the effect of the salt.
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