According to a recent study published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, the main ingredients in gazpacho, like cucumber, garlic and olive oil, may help reduce the risk of developing hypertension, a condition that nearly 25 percent of Americans have developed. Gazpacho is a tomato-based soup that is usually served cold.
“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,” said study author Alexander Medina-Remón, Ph.D.
During the study, the investigators analyzed 3,995 participants of the PREDIMED study, which looked at how a Mediterranean diet can impact a population that is at risk for cardiovascular conditions.
Rosa M. Lamuela, who is part of the Research Group on Natural Antioxidants, noted that gazpacho’s benefits were surprising because of its high salt content, which can contribute to cardiovascular conditions, but the food’s beneficial ingredients that contain compounds and nutrients like carotenes, vitamin C and polyphenols helped to offset the sodium-induced detriments.
High blood pressure risk factors and symptoms
The National Institutes of Health notes that some risk factors for developing hypertension include obesity, excessive stress and anxiety, alcohol abuse, consuming too much salt, having family members who also have high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. Hypertension can also be caused from health factors such as chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, certain medications and renal artery stenosis, which occurs when the arteries that bring blood to the kidneys are narrowed.
The source also notes that, many times, people who have high blood pressure may not display any symptoms, but headaches, nausea, vomiting, vision impairment and nosebleeds are all side effects of severely high blood pressure called malignant hypertension.
By altering their diets, people can help reduce their blood pressures significantly. The Mayo Clinic notes that a plethora of fruits, vegetables and grains can be conducive to reducing hypertension and that people may also want to increase their potassium intakes. Tracking the sodium levels in one’s diet and cutting down on the number of processed foods consumed may also be a good idea.
People may also want to consider their omega-3 fatty acid intakes, which the University of Maryland report, may be able to lower blood pressure. Omega-3s can be found in chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp milk and an Omegakrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.