Apparently not every dish with salt is off limits if you suffer from elevated blood pressure. (And many experts do not believe that salt is invariably linked to hypertension.)
A study by a group analyzing the effects of the Mediterranean diet on a population at high risk for cardiovascular problems came to a surprising discovery. It turns out the spicy, Spanish soup known as gazpacho contributes to reducing hypertension.
“Previous clinical and epidemiological studies associate the consumption of gazpacho’s main ingredients (tomato, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, etc.) with an arterial pressure reduction,” explains researcher Alexander Medina-Remón. “This new scientific study states for the first time that a regular consumption of gazpacho is as beneficial as the consumption of its ingredients individually; so gazpacho can reduce hypertension.”
Considering that this cool soup made from an uncooked tomato base is typically salted, its protective affect on arterial pressure came as a surprising one to lead researcher Rosa M. Lamuela: “The reason may be that bioactive elements of gazpacho counteract the effect of salt ingestion.”
Medina-Remón agrees: “Gazpacho highly contains carotenes, vitamin C and polyphenols. The final balance of the bioactive elements of gazpacho and its salt content makes it to be cardio-healthy; in other words, at the end, the positive effect of all the ingredients that contribute to the reduction of arterial pressure prevails over salt’s effect.”